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In 1975, four Vermonters gathered to create a public radio station for Vermont. National experts tried to dissuade them, reasoning that Vermont was too rural a state to support a station solely by listener support. Vermonters proved them wrong on every count and now reaches listeners all over the state. Vermont Public Radio was made possible by thousands of Vermonters that volunteered and contributed funds to provide ongoing access to programming that informs, educates and entertains and we're still going strong. For the past decade, the station has consistently ranked as one of the most-listened-to public radio stations in the country, based on radio listening per capita. Currently, more than 26,000 people contribute to VPR.
On October 1, 2007 Vermont Public Radio became two distinct services - VPR and VPR Classical. VPR offers news and information programming along with public radio entertainment favorites. And VPR Classical, our expanded network of stations providing classical music 24/7.
Vermont Public Radio's WVPR 89.5 FM in the Upper Valley became the first radio station in Vermont to begin broadcasting in HD digital sound on July 19, 2006. Fitting, given WVPR was Vermont's first public radio station.
As a community licensee, Vermont Public Radio operates with a state-wide Board of Directors and the majority of its funding comes from local community support.
VPR began broadcasting as WVPR 89.5 from studios in the historic Windsor House in Windsor, Vermont. In subsequent years, VPR expanded to include WVPS 107.9, Burlington; WRVT 88.7 Rutland; WVPA 88.5 in St. Johnsbury and WBTN 94.3 in Bennington, as well as VPR.net. In 2004, we launched WNCH 88.1 FM in Norwich, our flagship station for VPR Classical, which now covers most of the state.
As a state-wide resource, VPR is integral to the journalistic and cultural life of the region. Listeners are regularly heard on VPR, via call-in conversations on the daily noon newsmagazine Vermont Edition. Although it may have grown in size, VPR is still driven by its original mission: to extend involvement in contemporary affairs through programming that provides context to the events of today and the impact they have on the lives of Vermonters.
"VPR is a living example of what enthusiasm, vision, dedication and long-term commitment can build," says Robin Turnau, VPR President and CEO. "Together we've created a resource for the community that connects neighbors across the state. It's a connection that will only continue to strengthen ...."