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BPR's Big Switch

More news for more people.
 BPR’S Big Switch: more news for more people.

BPR is thrilled to announce an exciting upgrade to our services. Beginning Monday October 31st, BPR is expanding our capacity to provide 24/7 news, cultural and public affairs programming to an additional 250,000 people in Western North Carolina.

In a region designated a “news desert” with low broadband access, BPR News will be able to provide 24/7 news and emergency alert services through its free broadcast and digital services, reaching more than 650,000 people in 14 counties across our region.

BPR’s Big Switch means the BPR News service will now be accessible on 13 frequencies, providing new and longtime listeners with a stronger, more reliable signal.

How will BPR’s Big Switch affect your listening? We’re answering your questions below and you can also submit additional inquiries to info@bpr.org or call 828-210-4800.

Frequently Asked Questions for BPR’s Big Switch

What services does BPR currently offer?

BPR offers two channels of service:

  • BPR News, which airs news programming 24/7, and  
  • BPR Classic, which airs music in the middays and evenings, with news programs 5-9 AM and 3-6 PM. On the weekends, BPR Classic airs news and talk programs throughout the day, and in the evening BPR Classic offers music programming. 

Currently, BPR News reaches more than 275,000 people and BPR Classic reaches 525,000 people.

What is the “why” of BPR’s Big Switch?

At a time when high-quality journalism is needed to help people make informed decisions in their communities, BPR is investing in our news department and programming, and the ways we communicate the news to our audience. This change will dramatically increase BPR’s ability to serve more community members in Western North Carolina.

By bringing news and information to 250,000 more people in WNC, BPR’s Big Switch is a strategic decision to invest in and expand BPR’s service, further its mission, and ensure BPR’s sustainability through listener support and business sponsorship.

What is happening, and when?

Simply put, BPR’s Big Switch will swap the frequencies of BPR News and BPR Classic. On Monday, October 31 during overnight hours, BPR News and BPR Classic will switch frequencies and coverage areas.

How will it affect me?

If you listen to the radio, the frequency you tune into will change, starting on Monday, October 31. For example, if you tune in to 88.1 FM for BPR Classic, you will now tune in to 107.9 FM.

Starting October 31st you can hear BPR News at the following frequencies:

  • Asheville - 88.1
  • Black Mountain - 107.5
  • Brevard - 101.5
  • Bryson City - 94.7
  • Cullowhee - 89.7
  • Franklin - 91.3
  • Hendersonville - 99.3
  • Highlands - 103.3
  • Murphy - 88.5
  • Sylva, Dillsboro - 91.5
  • Tryon - 101.5
  • Waynesville-Clyde - 89.7
  • Waynesville-Hazelwood - 102.9

Starting October 31st you can hear BPR Classic at the following frequencies:

  • Asheville - 107.9
  • Asheville - 88.1 HD2 (Requires HD Radio)
  • Brevard - 90.5
  • Bryson City - 99.1
  • Cullowhee - 90.5
  • Hendersonville - 103.1
  • Mars Hill - 90.5
  • Waynesville-Hazelwood - 98.3

User our Frequency Finder to enter an address to see which frequencies you are likely to receive.

Here is a map to show coverage of BPR News starting October 31st.

Here is a map to show coverage of BPR Classic starting October 31st.

Interactive maps are on the way which will allow you to enter an address and see which frequencies you might be able to tune into for BPR News and BPR Classic based on the location.

You can also view engineering maps (BPR News & BPR Classic) that show the broadcast contours of each frequency, along with Longley Rice Shading which takes into account the impact of terrain on our broadcast.

If you stream BPR, nothing will change – you can select BPR News or BPR Classic on your desktop browser, or News or Classic on our free mobile app to listen live to both stations or enjoy local and national content on demand.

While the terrain in Western North Carolina is beautiful, it is challenging for radio broadcasting – that's why BPR has so many frequencies. Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to cover the entire region with both services, therefore some listeners will not be able to receive the broadcast station of their choice after the switch.

What is happening with BPR Classic and how do I continue to enjoy your music programming?

BPR’s priority is to meet the crucial information needs for our region, and we anticipate these needs will become more vital as the WNC media landscape evolves.

If BPR Classic is not accessible on your radio dial after the switch, you can stream the station at BPR.org, on BPR’s free mobile app, or with a smart speaker. For assistance in getting these set up, please contact tech@bpr.org.

Is this change affecting programming?

BPR is only making small program changes at this time. BPR Classic will now have an extra hour of classical music during the daytime hours, from 9 AM to 3 PM on weekdays. BPR is also researching opportunities and costs of providing two distinct services, News and Music.

What does this mean for BPR’s overall future?

BPR staff and the Board of Directors, in consultation with the station’s Community Forum, will continuously listen and learn about what our current and new audiences need and want from public media. For full details, read our Strategic Plan.

If you are interested in being more involved with BPR, we will open applications for the Community Forum this fall. Contact us via email at info@bpr.org or by calling 828-210-4800.

I’m thrilled about BPR’s Big Switch! How can I spread the word?

We are so pleased you share our enthusiasm about these changes. Please send our web story to your friends, family, and networks here in WNC, and share our Facebook, Twitter, andInstagram posts about BPR’s Big Switch on social media.

How can I share my questions or comments about BPR’s Big Switch?

Please email info@bpr.org, and a team member will be in touch soon. We value your input and want to keep you connected to the news, storytelling, and music you value from Blue Ridge Public Radio.