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WWNO is the listener-supported NPR affiliate radio station for New Orleans and eleven parishes of southeast Louisiana, broadcasting on 89.9 FM, and on KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area. Since 1972, WWNO has played a prominent role in the cultural life of New Orleans and southeast Louisiana.
Known as “your source for NPR news, music and culture,” WWNO’s programs also include jazz and other musical styles, thought-provoking commentary, lively entertainment, and local news and culture, presented on three separate schedules:
- The familiar 89.9/90.5 (news, classical, and much more),
- Digital WWNO2 (classical, news, talk), and
- Digital WWNO3 (jazz).
All can be heard online.
WWNO serves southeast Louisiana by broadcasting news, information, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We benefit the public in several ways:
- WWNO is a voice for balanced news and analysis from NPR and other sources. WWNO provides an alternative to the polarizing or sensational approach of commercial media.
- WWNO enhances our region’s cultural life with music and other creative entertainment beyond that available on commercial radio.
- WWNO aims to promote our region’s cultural and economic vitality by producing and broadcasting programs that tell New Orleans’ story to the world while we bring the world’s news and culture to New Orleans.
While remaining close to its origins as a source for classical music, WWNO has steadily expanded its service to respond to the broad range of interests represented in its eleven-parish listening area.
Service Area and Audience
WWNO/KTLN serves a population of about 1.5 million people in eleven parishes: Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Tammany, Lafourche, Terrebonne, Tangipahoa, Washington and Livingston.
As excellence and impact grow year by year, WWNO consistently ranks among the top five radio stations—commercial and public—on weekday and Saturday mornings, based on Arbitron audience data for Spring and Fall 2010 and Winter 2011. Each week at least 94,000 people listen to WWNO (Cume). Its weekday morning average quarter hour (AQH) is as high as 9900. In any fifteen-minute period an average of 9900 people listen to Morning Edition on WWNO.
WWNO serves our communities by broadcasting NPR news, information, classical music, jazz, variety programs, and unique local content.
The University of New Orleans operates WWNO and KTLN as a public service.
We employ the latest technologies to ensure the highest quality, uninterrupted programming on our multi-cast HD and Internet broadcasts.
We operate our business at the highest level of professional standards and integrity.
We strive to be wise stewards of the member and community support that we receive.
We are responsive to audiences, business partners, financial supporters, educators, and our community at large.
We support the cultural, social and economic redevelopment of our regional communities.
We welcome partners who want to enrich the culture, enhance the education and renew the Gulf South.
We celebrate the international depth and flavor of classical and jazz music.
We exhibit mutual respect for our colleagues, peers, and audience.
We work to create an environment that encourages community participation in the making of decisions that affect our region and our audience.
WWNO is licensed to and operated by the University of New Orleans as a public service, with oversight by a twenty-member Community Advisory Board. The station employs nine full-time staff, 10-15 part-time, contract, and student staff, and appreciates the help of about forty volunteers.
Programs and Accomplishments: 2010-11
Format and Digital Channels
While remaining close to its origins as a source for classical music in southeast Louisiana, WWNO has steadily expanded its service to respond to the broad range of interests represented in its eleven-parish listening area. NPR News has been augmented by the BBC and other sources, and local news reporting has been increased. With WWNO’s two digital channels, listeners can hear classical music and jazz throughout the day and night. The station has launched locally-produced cultural programs, and plans to continue strengthening its regional focus in news, cultural, and public affairs programs.
WWNO is a leader in digital broadcasting—one of the first in the nation to employ digital broadcasting to expand the range of programs available to our diverse audience. We broadcast our familiar schedule on 89.9FM and digital WWNO1. WWNO2 plays classical music when 89.9FM carries news, and vice versa—a schedule designed to give our news and classical listeners more freedom to create the listening schedule they prefer. WWNO3 airs jazz throughout the day. All of WWNO’s broadcasts stream on our website, WWNO.org.
During the typical weekday 24-hour schedule, about 13 hours are devoted to classical music. Since 2008, WWNO has expanded its classical playlist to include more 20th-century classics while retaining a broad range of audience favorites. New Orleans in Concert highlights performances recorded live in New Orleans by some of the world’s best musical ensembles. In 2010 we introduced Live at the Concertgebouw – performances by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam—and From the Top, which features the country’s best young classical musicians.
WWNO has long-standing ties to the classical music community. In February 2011 we devoted New Orleans in Concert to “Identity, History, Legacy: La Société Philharmonique,” a special concert by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra that featured selections once performed by La Société Philharmonique, a 19th-century orchestra of free men of color in New Orleans. With Cabaret Le Chat Noir, WWNO presented two evenings of popular music by George Gershwin to complement the New Orleans Opera production of Porgy and Bess.
In January 2011 WWNO began presenting the Saturday matinee performances of the Metropolitan Opera on WRBH 88.3 FM. WWNO remains technically and financially responsible for the Met broadcasts, a musical treasure not heard on any other Louisiana radio station. Through this partnership with WRBH, WWNO continues to provide the Met to nearly all listeners in southeast Louisiana, while avoiding longstanding schedule conflicts that have limited our ability to serve the full range of weekend listeners. Our listeners continue to enjoy NPR’s World of Opera every Tuesday evening.
Strengthening Local News and Cultural Programs
While strong national and international news programs (such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The World), are the backbone of public radio nationwide, public radio’s future vitality requires similar strength in locally focused news and cultural programming. During 2009 WWNO made initial steps in this direction with such features as Market Minutes, Where Y’Eat?, and All Things New Orleans, along with Inside the Arts and the GNO Info Minute.
In 2010, we began airing Community Impact and Northshore Focus with support from the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the Northshore Community Foundation, respectively. We hosted StoryCorps, the national oral history project; each week StoryCorps New Orleans presented life stories from southeast Louisiana, with companion articles appearing in The Times-Picayune. We introduced two book features, The Sound of Books, and The Reading Life, and a weekly food program, Louisiana Eats!,—a companion to the nationally successful The Splendid Table. With the future of education so crucial to the future of New Orleans, Award-winning Education Matters, a weekly feature reporting on the status and impact of education reform, was launched in September of 2010.
As the severity of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill grew in summer 2010, WWNO provided increased news coverage through imaginative use of limited resources. Support from the Coypu Foundation helped us to air frequent reports from Eileen Fleming and other local freelancers, augmenting NPR’s coverage. In a collaboration with the BBC World Service, WWNO listeners heard BBC reports, while listeners worldwide heard BBC news enhanced by WWNO’s local perspective. WWNO hosted BBC’s global listener call-in program, World Have Your Say.
WWNO aims to be at the heart of the region’s cultural life. We are encouraging cooperative activities among cultural organizations, such as the annual season-opening Culture Collision, which we helped to organize in 2009. We continue to help fund and promote a discount admission pass, the Culture Collision Card, a collaborative project of six leading visual, music, and performing arts organizations.