Gulf Coast State College will drop its NPR affiliation from 1480 WKGC/90.7 WKGC-FM Panama City, FL.
The stations will retain their local programming and pick up BBC News and American Public Media programming to round out their new schedule. NPR programming will still be heard in the market on Florida State University’s 89.1 WFSW Panama City.
WKGC explained the changes to its listeners in the following letter:
When WKGC was founded, its mission was fairly clear-cut… educate and train future broadcasters and provide programming that couldn’t be found anywhere else. Over time, as the station grew from a tiny AM signal an enormous 100,000 watt FM, that mission grew and expanded into other areas. But one thing has remained constant…to serve the people of our community as best we can with unique, informative and entertaining programming.
But the radio dial is no longer the only choice for audio entertainment and information. The broadcast industry is undergoing seismic change. With the advent of smart phones and tablets, online and on-demand programming are luring away the audience, who want what they want when they want it. Add in developments like “linked dashboards” that allow the listener to play these on-demand programs through the sound system in their cars, and you see that the change is not coming…it’s here. Looking to that future as well as the responsibility we have to our listeners and the students we train, it has become obvious that we must make changes to some of our programming and in the way that programming is distributed.
So, after many hours of discussion and too many sleepless nights, we made the decision to discontinue our affiliation with NPR. Effective October 1st, this station will be an American Public Media affiliate. News will be provided by the BBC, with a 90 year history of journalistic excellence. Other new programs include “Wits” and “The Splendid Table”.
This decision was not made lightly or capriciously. But with another full strength signal in the market carrying much of the same NPR programming that we are, it just doesn’t make sense to continue with it. And with this change, you will have more diversity in your listening choices beyond just which signal do you want to listen to the same program on.
It has also given us a new direction. Going forward, GC-90.7 FM will concentrate more on locally generated music, arts and entertainment programming. We have repurposed one of our studios into a live music studio where local and even national musicians can come and perform live on the air. These performances can be recorded (both audio and video) and made available on a new GC907.org website that’s currently under construction.
Looking forward to this brave new world of broadcasting, we will also be making many of our locally generated features available for download as well. You’ll be able to enjoy many of your favorite GC-90.7 shows whenever you want to. And it gives our students some much needed, hands-on “real-world” experience that they’ll need in this new world of broadcast communication.
Yet even with all this change, you can rest assured that many things will remain the same. Like our live and local programming, our dedication to local news and issues and our commitment to local music and the arts. With your continued support, that will never change If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please click here and e-mail me.
On behalf of the entire staff here at GC-90.7 FM, Thank You.