PITTSBURGH– November 2, 2023 – Classical radio listeners can enjoy more reliable broadcasts, thanks to a new WQED-FM transmitter funded by the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD).
“The new transmitter will reduce outages and also improve spotty coverage in outlying areas, helping us more reliably reach more people,” said Jason Jedlinski, WQED’s new President and CEO. “As we continue celebrating Classical FM’s 50th anniversary, the new transmitter is a gift back to everyone who makes our programs possible.”
As southwestern Pennsylvania’s “Voice of the Arts,” WQED-FM interviews several hundred performers each year: promoting, celebrating, and making our region’s vibrant arts and culture offerings more accessible.
“RAD is investing more than ever before in our arts and culture assets across Allegheny County,” said Rich Hudic, Executive Director of the Allegheny Regional Asset District. “We’re proud to help WQED amplify that investment and tell the stories of local artists, dancers, musicians, and others doing amazing work in our region.”
WQED-FM had been broadcasting with a pair of transmitters that were among the first HD radio transmitters ever manufactured, nearly 20 years ago. No longer supported by the manufacturer, replacement parts were rarely available, making repairs complicated and expensive. The new transmitter is less than half the size.
“Reliable, efficient, and easy to maintain” is how Robert Bowe, WQED’s Managing Director of Engineering, describes the state-of-the-art system, which monitors itself and proactively notifies station staff about problems. Bowe can manage the 28,000-watt transmitter from his smartphone, as well as the station’s Fifth Avenue studios. Installation took nearly five days, given the complex conduits and ductwork in WQED’s transmission facility, built in 1949.
WQED offers classical music, fine arts, and cultural programming to 80,000 listeners each week via WQED-FM 89.3 in Pittsburgh, simultaneously broadcast on WQEJ-FM 89.7 in Johnstown, Pa. Additionally, WQED offers the Pittsburgh Concert Channel via WQED-HD2, featuring around-the-clock performances by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. All programs are streamed online at wqed.org/fm and in the station’s apps.
The Allegheny Regional Asset District – RAD – invests in Allegheny County’s quality of life through financial support of public libraries, parks and trails, arts and cultural organizations, regional attractions, sports and civic facilities, and public transit. RAD is funded by a countywide sales tax that has generated $5 billion in revenue since 1994. RAD is a reliable solution for economic vibrancy, healthy regional assets, and steady municipal funding. RAD works here.
WQED Multimedia starts conversations and creates experiences that educate, entertain and inspire our neighbors in Pittsburgh and across southwest Pennsylvania. Founded in 1954 as an experiment in educational community-supported television, WQED was a forerunner to PBS.
Our content creators produce impactful stories that delve into the rich mosaic of our region’s past, present, and future. We cover a wide range of topics, from arts and culture to pressing societal issues like opioid addiction. We profile remarkable individuals and organizations who work to strengthen our communities. Our Learning Neighborhoods support children, in partnership with area schools and libraries, and extend to high school students exploring media careers through the WQED Film Academy. Known as “The Voice of the Arts,” WQED-FM provides a vital platform that amplifies our vibrant and diverse cultural assets, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
WQED Multimedia operates WQED-TV (PBS); WQED World; WQED Create; WQED Showcase; WQED PBS KIDS Channel; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; the Pittsburgh Concert Channel; plus various streams, apps, and interactive experiences.