FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: May 20, 2016
CONTACT: Cory Morrissey - 207.330.4606
(Portland/Bangor/Lewiston) — The Maine Public Broadcasting Network announces the addition of the Portland frequency 104.1 to the broadcaster’s Maine Public Classical radio network. This signal joins 99.7 in Waterville, 106.1 in Bangor and 91.5 in Fryeburg on the FM dial to further complement Maine Public Classical’s availability via streaming on-line and over MPBN’s statewide HD2 Radio signals.
"Once again we have to say a big thank you to all of our listeners and supporters for recognizing the value of all the outstanding MPBN and NPR programming we broadcast and offering their financial support!" stated MPBN’s President and CEO, Mark Vogelzang. "This pledge drive was especially challenging as we wanted to make sure that all of our listeners understood that we are launching a second radio channel in May called Maine Public Classical and that it won't reach everyone quite yet across the state. We wanted to be as transparent as possible while communicating that we are committed to extending the reach of this new service in the immediate future."
The frequency and associated equipment were awarded through a public bidding process conducted in early May by the University of Maine System. 104.1 formerly was operated by broadcaster WMPG and was a duplicative channel to their stronger 90.9 FM frequency. Maine Public Broadcasting anticipates broadcasting Maine Public Classical over 104.1 Portland in the weeks ahead.
"This is a truly significant addition as we build out our statewide network for Maine Public Classical. When we launched Maine Public Classical in early May we announced that this was just the start of our new FM network and Portland, with Maine's largest population, was clearly an area of focus," stated Mark Vogelzang, MPBN’s CEO. "We will continue to work hard at finding additional frequencies across the state and build on the momentum of this addition to the channel. Classical, jazz and opera fans in the Cumberland County area who haven’t yet heard Maine Public Classical are in for a real treat!"
Jim Rand, Station Manager of WMPG, observed, "When WMPG installed a new higher-powered transmitter and antenna three years ago, our Board and key supporters agreed the 104.1 frequency was no longer necessary to reach our listeners. We are delighted that it will now be put to good use by MPBN."
"This has been a wonderful outcome where all parties benefit. USM will receive resources to support our students. WMPG will receive resources to enhance its operations. And MPBN and its listeners will benefit through this important expansion of its Classical FM Network," noted Glenn Cummings, President of the University of Southern Maine.
MPBN has created a number of online resources at MPBN.NET to provide information on the new radio schedules for both Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Classical as well as a Classical Signal Finder Tool which allows classical, jazz, and opera fans to see how they can access Maine Public Classical in their particular town. MPBN has created a number of “how to” videos designed to help listeners understand the different technologies associated with accessing Maine Public Classical where over-the-air listening is not yet possible.
About the Maine Public Broadcasting Network:
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network is Maine's premier, independent media resource, dedicated to creating exceptional opportunities for the communities it serves to engage with critical issues, compelling stories and quality entertainment. MPBN is renowned for creating award-winning programs, as well as airing content from PBS, NPR, and other independent producers. Formed in 1992, MPBN is an independently owned and operated nonprofit organization with office and studio locations in Bangor, Lewiston, and Portland, Maine. For more information, visit mpbn.net.