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WETS-FM listeners may sample HD programming this weekend

JOHNSON CITY (August 28, 2013) – Listeners of WETS-FM (89.5), East Tennessee State University’s public radio station, will get a taste of the station’s HD (high-definition) programming this Saturday, Aug. 31, on the FM signal.

“We’re going to give listeners a chance to hear some of the locally produced programming that’s available on WETS-HD 2,” says WETS Operations Director Nick Roosa. “Even though HD radio sales are projected to increase by 63 percent this year, a lot of people in the Tri-Cities don’t have HD receivers yet, in part because there’s only one HD radio station in this market.”

HD Radio is the trademark for the technology that allows radio stations to transmit audio and data using a digital signal embedded on-frequency in a station’s standard analog signal. This allows listeners to hear the same program in either HD – higher quality digital radio with less noise – or standard FM. The HD format also allows a single station to offer up to two more signals in addition to the program being transmitted on its analog signal. WETS uses its HD 2 signal to present Americana music, while its HD 3 service is dedicated to classical and jazz.

More than 1,900 stations covering 84 percent of the United States offer HD radio service, and more than 1,000 HD 2 and HD 3 channels are on the air. But in the Tri-Cities, WETS offers the only HD service available. The station began broadcasting HD signals in October of 2011.

“Listeners can hear our HD signals online by going to our website at www.wets.org,” says Roosa. “They’re also available through Shoutcast and all the other online radio platforms. But on Saturday, we want to present a few of our own HD 2 programs on our FM signal just so listeners will have a chance to hear them on their radios.”

The sample begins at 2 p.m. with “The Fab Files,” a program examining the music and legacy of the Beatles, produced by Roosa. That will be followed by a longtime regional favorite, “Women on Air,” hosted and produced by Susan Lachmann.

At 4 p.m., Wayne Winkler presents “Soul Kitchen,” a four-hour mix of blues, R&B, soul and funk.  This week’s program will feature Otis Redding’s legendary performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.

At 8 p.m., “The Utility Muffin Research Hour” with Bob Hoffman focuses on the music of Frank Zappa. The HD 2 sample wraps up from 9-10 with “Bluegrass Breakdown,” produced by Nashville Public Radio.

“We hope this sample will make people curious about what else is available on HD,” says Roosa. “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Schedules for all WETS programming are available at www.wets.org.