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WNCK Shifts To Public News/Talk

89.5 WNCK Nantucket WCRB NPR Public RadioNantucket Public Radio’s 89.5 WNCK Nantucket, MA has dropped its simulcast of Classical 99.5 WCRB Lowell/Boston and launched its own News/Talk/Classical programming.

The new programming on WNCK will include Morning Edition from 6-10am, All Things Considered from 4-6pm, and Classical music at all other times. Both of the newly added NPR programs also air on WGBH’s “Cape & Islands Radio” service heard on Nantucket on 91.1 WNAN Nantucket.

WNCK is co-located with commerical AAA ‘97.7 ACK-FM” WAZK as both stations are owned by groups led by Jeff Shapiro. Shapiro also owns 16 stations in New Hampshire and Vermont under the Great Eastern Radio banner.

Nantucket Public Radio Inc of Nantucket, MA today announced that WNCK 89.5 FM will now be locallyprogrammed and locally focused. It becomes the first ever NPR-affiliated station to have full time studios and offices on Nantucket. It will directly focus on and will super-serve Nantucket Island only. The station will be known as “Nantucket’s NPR Station, 89.5 FM WNCK”.

“The NPR branding is superior and offers extremely compelling content with both talk elements and news,” said Nantucket Public Radio Program Director Justin Tyler. “We have had a ten year relationship with Boston’s Classical Station, WCRB ( a service of WGBH) as they have been simulcast partners on our 89.5 frequency. However, we felt this was the right time to offer Island residents a blend of NPR programming and classical music while focusing on community issues, events and happenings that are important for Nantucketers.”

The on air schedule for WNCK FM will be “Morning Edition” from 6a – 10a Weekdays, “All Things Considered” 4p – 6p Weekdays, and Classical Music filling out the remaining hours of the day and all weekend long. The island of Nantucket is home to over 14,000 year round residents, with the island population rising to over 50,000 people in the Summer.

Nantucket Public Radio General Manager Jeff Shapiro added that “we feel that the sophistication of NPR News/Talk along with Classical music is the perfect fit for a key segment of the island population. We will continue to add more and more locally originating talk programming to key weekend periods. We are looking for local residents and visitors who might want to contribute audio/talk content to make Nantucket’s NPR station a special and unique place for Nantucket listeners.”

For more questions concerning “Nantucket’s NPR Station, 89.5 FM WNCK”, please contact Justin Tyler at [email protected] or at 508-228-9770. Studios and offices for WNCK are located at 19 Old South Road on Nantucket.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

3 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Jeff Lehmann


    Wow, I didn’t see that one coming! Very strange… Just what Nantucket needs, another NPR station! Obviously NPR is already heard on co-located 91.1 WNAN (97.7 AZK is actually on a tower across the street), and on WBUR’s 92.7 and 89.1.

  2. Profile photo of joseph_gallant


    WNCK should instead have either

    (1) Launched a locally produced 24/7 classical format (even if it meant voicetracking announcing between selections), or,

    (2) Sell to WGBH so it would have remained a simulcast of WCRB-99.5.

    Given that the two separate ownership groups of WNCK and WAZK-97.7 are both owned by the same man, could they be combined into a single noncommercial entity with 97.7 going 24/7 noncommercial classical with some local content while 89.5 went 24/7 NPR news and information??

    If the scenario in the last paragraph doesn’t come to pass, or if WNCK doesn’t get a second frequency, the split news/classical format on WNCK might not last. If news programming gets far more listener donations than music programming (which has been the case on almost every NPR member station that has had a “split” format), WNCK will go where the money is and drop music entirely.

    Apart from drive times, there would be enough NPR/PRI news/information programming available for ‘NCK to go 24/7 news and information.

  3. Profile photo of Jeff Lehmann


    Joseph, why would you want them to do away with the local.AAA format of the current 97.7? There is absolutely no need for another full time NPR affiliate on the cape and islands.

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