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Tuesday, December 14, 2004 (Pittsburgh, PA) — WQED-FM is partnering with Radio Information Service (RIS) to carry the RIS radio signal to visually-impaired and other subscribers in the East End area. RIS is a nonprofit organization supporting the independence of people who are blind, visually impaired, or unable to read or hold standard print material, by broadcasting the reading of current print information.

WQED-FM has joined WDUQ-FM in offering its sub-carrier frequency so that RIS listeners can choose the station that provides them with the best reception. Southwestern Pennsylvania’s hilly terrain can greatly affect radio signals from one community to the next. Because WQED-FM’s transmitter is in Oakland, the many blind and visually-impaired people living in that neighborhood will now have access to a clearer signal. "We are delighted to be able to use the signal of WQED FM to strengthen the invaluable service that the Radio Information Service provides to their clients," said BJ Leber, WQED Multimedia senior vice president and station manager. "RIS is the lifeline for many in our community and how terrific that WQED FM can help make that connection."

WQED Multimedia, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2004, provides educational, cultural and informational products and services that enhance and engage the community. It is the parent company of WQED tv13, WQEX - your America's Store channel, WQED fm89.3, WQEJ fm89.7/Johnstown, a publishing division that includes PITTSBURGH magazine, local and national television and radio productions, and the WQED Education and Community Resource Center.

Radio Information Service Executive Director Laurie Anderson notes that listeners are already benefiting from the new partnership with WQED-FM. “We are thrilled to be able to offer our listeners another option that can improve their reception. Having WQED broadcast our signal enables us reach even more listeners and to better fulfill our mission of promoting Independence through Information.”

RIS' signal is broadcast throughout 12 counties of western Pennsylvania and portions of Ohio and West Virginia. Listeners may access RIS through a special FM radio receiver, which RIS provides to eligible applicants for a nominal fee. The service is also available over the internet ( ), on Comcast Cable systems, and through RIS’ Telephone Dial-in System. In addition to its core radio service, RIS provides translation of printed material to Braille or audio recording. RIS is supported by contributions from the community, by foundation grants, and by contract services to industry.

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