Elizabeth City State University’s public radio station, WRVS 89.9 FM, has received more than $220,000 in grant funds from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). The grant, according to station general manager Melba Smith, will provide funds to produce and present local news broadcasts on a consistent basis.
The grant funds come from the CPB’s American Rescue Plan Act Stabilization Grant. The grant is funded under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus.”
Through local news broadcasts, WRVS will not only provide up-to-date reports on the region’s news, but also emerging information regarding COVID-19.
“WRVS plans to utilize the funds awarded to ensure that staff have the ability to provide live broadcast coverage in the event of a quarantine or limited in-person station access through the use of remote broadcasting tools,” said Ms. Smith.
The funds, she said, will also allow WRVS to continue providing “nationally acclaimed programming dedicated to educating and informing the general public on topics related to coronavirus prevention, preparedness, and response.”
“For the station, that also means bolstering its lineup of public affairs programming,” she said.
In March, the CPB board of directors approved a distribution plan for $175 million in emergency stabilization funds for public media. The funds were included in the American Rescue Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11.
During the height of the pandemic, WRVS worked to keep its listening area informed on the latest COVID-19 news. The station’s program director, Clay Mercer, continued daily broadcasts, not only providing local public service announcements and entertainment, but also through National Public Radio.
Mr. Mercer did much of his work, like so many, from home. Much of WRVS’s programming was prerecorded due to stay-at-home orders throughout the pandemic, and Mr. Mercer worked with a minimal staff.
Now, thanks to the CPB grant, the addition of staff will give WRVS the needed resources to provide broader coverage of the region and important information surrounding COVID-19.
“Through broadcast, streaming, and podcasting platforms, WRVS will produce and present local news and information for its listening audiences on a consistent basis,” said Ms. Smith. “As such, the station will also invest funding in coronavirus related resources and services that will be available to the public at station-sponsored community events and activities.”
For more information about WRVS, and a broadcast schedule, go HERE.