Richmond Area Public Stations Rebrand As VPM

VPM 88.9 WCVE Richmond 107.3 WBBTRichmond VA based Commonwealth Public Broadcasting will rebrand its network of radio and television stations from “Community Idea Stations” to “VPM” on Monday, August 5.

The rebranding will affect the two radio brands run by the organization as Public News/Talk 88.9 WCVE-FM Richmond will be known as “VPM News” and Classical/Jazz 107.3 WBBT-FM Powhaton/93.1 WWLB Ettrick becomes “VPM Music“. 89.1 WCNV Heathsville and 90.1 WMVE Chase City will air a mix of programming from both networks. The two public television services that serve Richmond, Charlottesville and Harrisonburg will become “VPM PBS” and “VPM Plus” respectively.

Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corp., known for its public broadcasting platforms that extend from Greater Richmond through Charlottesville into the Shenandoah Valley, is changing its brand identity from the “Community Idea Stations” to “VPM.” The change is effective Aug. 5, 2019.

All stations owned by Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corp. will be known as VPM, which represents Virginia’s home for Public Media. This includes PBS stations in Richmond, Charlottesville and Harrisonburg as well as NPR stations in Richmond, Chase City and the Northern Neck.

“This is an exciting time in our station’s history,” said Jayme Swain, VPM President and CEO of the Virginia Foundation for Public Media (VFPM), the parent company of VPM. “We have undergone a number of changes over the last year that have made us an even stronger public media station and community partner. This new name will enable us to unify all of our stations across platforms and simplify our message in a crowded media landscape.”

The name VPM was selected following market research conducted by Simpson Scarborough (Alexandria, Va.) which included online surveys of donors, email subscribers, the general public and focus groups comprised of advisory board members, supporters and community stakeholders. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed were in favor of the name change.

TV station name changes

Accompanying the organization’s name change will be several changes to station names.

Starting Aug. 5, Richmond’s WCVE PBS will be renamed VPM PBS. Under this new moniker, VPM PBS will continue to offer the same national and local programming to viewers in Central Virginia. In addition, WCVW PBS, which broadcasts in all three markets, will be known as VPM Plus. By offering an alternate schedule to the main station, VPM Plus will provide the opportunity for more educational programs and encore presentations of programs that premiere on VPM PBS. Similar name changes are planned for the station’s PBS KIDS 24/7 channel, lifestyle channel Create TV and international program channel MHz Worldview.

Radio name changes

On the radio, WCVE News (88.9 FM) and WCVE Music (107.3 FM and 93.1 FM) will become VPM News and VPM Music.

VPM brand events

As part of the new name and brand rollout, VPM will be hosting several “brand experience” events in Richmond, Charlottesville and Harrisonburg. These interactive, family-friendly events will offer the public an opportunity to visit with VPM staff and catch a glimpse into the station’s exciting future. Upcoming “brand experience” events and venues include:

Aug. 12-17 (Harrisonburg): A large tent at the Rockingham County Fair in between the Fairgrounds Main Office/Exhibit Hall and the children’s rides

Sept. 6 (Charlottesville): An open house, 4 p.m. – 9 p.m., at the Charlottesville VPM Office on the Downtown Mall to coincide with First Fridays

Oct. 5-6 (Richmond): A large tent at the 2nd Street Festival in Jackson Ward, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Oct. 12-13 (Richmond): A large tent at the Richmond Folk Festival, 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.

“Our newly crafted brand promise is to be Virginia’s trusted source for lifelong learning that is entertaining, objective and locally relevant,” said Swain. “To fulfill this promise, we will produce more local storytelling across platforms and connect that content to the community through outreach and engagement. Building on our over 50-year legacy, we hope to have an even greater impact in the next 50 years.”

Beginning Aug. 5, keep apprised of new developments at VPM by visiting the station’s brand-new, redesigned, and interactive website at VPM.org. Follow VPM on social media @myVPM.

About VPM

VPM is the largest locally owned and operated public media company in Central Virginia. As Virginia’s home for public media, VPM provides the best of PBS and NPR programming coupled with a strong set of community-based programs and services designed to make an important impact in the areas of arts, news, history, science and education. Each week, the stations in Richmond, Charlottesville and Harrisonburg are accessible to nearly 2 million people across Central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley.

VPM includes public television stations VPM, VPM Plus, VPM PBS KIDS, lifestyle channel VPM Create and international program channel VPM Worldview.

VPM also includes Richmond public radio stations VPM News (88.9 FM-HD1) and VPM Music (107.3 FM and 93.1 FM-HD2). In the Northern Neck (89.1 FM WCNV) and Chase City (90.1 FM WMVE), listeners receive a combination of the news and music stations.

More information can be found at VPM.org.

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1 Comment
  1. Eric Jon Magnuson says


    In case anyone’s wondering, the name “Virginia Public Radio” has been used for many years by a different entity: a statewide news service/partnership that’s based at Virginia Tech’s Radio IQ/WVTF, in Roanoke. (Ironically, the only Richmond-based outlet for that group might be WRIR-LP.) Likewise, Radio IQ/WVTF itself now uses the tagline “Virginia’s Public Radio”.

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