New York, NY-Public radio station WFUV (90.7 FM, wfuv.org) and its licensee Fordham University announced today the station has been awarded a $500,000 grant from The New York State Music Fund to support the development of a second full-time radio stream targeted to music fans in their 20s and 30s. This non-commercial service will be made available via Internet and mobile streaming audio and, in the New York area, as an HD Radio channel at 90.7 FM. Scheduled to debut in Fall 2008, the new service will complement WFUV’s existing service, which will continue in its present format.
“WFUV will further enrich the New York radio landscape by developing a second stream targeted to younger audiences. It’s an excellent opportunity for us to broaden our service and widen our musical offerings as we celebrate our 60th anniversary,” said WFUV General Manager Ralph Jennings. “We are deeply grateful to the New York State Music Fund for its leadership support of this $1.2 million project and for its investment in the future of New York’s independent artists and audiences,” added Jennings.
Programming on the second stream will include a blend of established and emerging indie rock, electronica, world, dance and other musical hybrids.
The award to WFUV was one the largest made by The New York State Music Fund – which has given nearly 400 grants totaling more than $35 million – and is on par with those made to internationally recognized New York performing arts institutions.
“We’re most excited about showcasing what New York has to offer. Our city boasts one of the greatest, most multicultural local music scenes in the world,” added WFUV Program Director Chuck Singleton, who, along with WFUV Music Director Rita Houston, will oversee the project. “Acts like Antibalas, Forro In The Dark and The Hold Steady have no problem selling out venues all over town, yet they presently don’t have a home on the radio in New York City. A second stream enables us to play deserving local acts in the same set as Bjork, M.I.A. or Arcade Fire and, at the same time, better serve New York’s musically-adventurous listening audiences by introducing them to something different.”
WFUV plans to develop the new service over the next year, working in consultation with artists, labels, music writers, web sites, bloggers and venues across the city. The station will also tap an emerging generation of radio talent to develop its new air staff, young New Yorkers with a passion for hearing, sharing and writing about music. In large part, the music selection will be listener-driven.
The New York State Music Fund was created when the New York State Attorney General’s Office resolved investigations against major record companies that had violated state and federal laws prohibiting “pay for play” (also called “payola”). The settlement agreement stipulated that funds paid by music businesses would support music education and appreciation for the benefit of New York State residents. The Attorney General’s Office enlisted the services of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, one of the nation’s largest and most experienced philanthropy services, to develop and manage the grant program.
The New York State Music Fund published guidelines and criteria and accepted grant applications in a number of categories, including music education and public performances of music by artists. New York State Music Fund applications also related to recording, distribution or broadcast through traditional or new media. Special emphasis was placed on reaching underserved populations and broadening awareness of artists, genres or styles with limited access to commercial broadcast or other mass distribution vehicles.
An Advisory Panel comprised of recognized leaders from a cross-section of the music world evaluated and recommended applications based on criteria focusing on artistic merit and community impact.
WFUV (90.7 FM, wfuv.org) is a non-commercial, listener-supported public radio station, licensed to Fordham University for 60 years. Serving nearly 350,000 listeners each week in the New York area and thousands more worldwide on the web, and a leader in contemporary music radio, WFUV offers an eclectic mix of rock, singer-songwriters, blues, world and other music with its influential City Folk® format, plus headlines from National Public Radio, local news and sports and Metro Traffic.