Vineyard radio station WMVY is back on the airwaves, about 15 months after losing its radio signal and changing to an online-only format.
The popular independent radio station began broadcasting on 88.7 at about 4 p.m. Wednesday. The return to the dial was preceded by about 20 minutes of the sound of ocean waves. “This is MVY and we’re beginning our new broadcast,” director of worldwide programming Barbara Dacey said. “We’re very excited to be back on the FM dial on 88.7 WMEX Edgartown.”
This was followed by cheers and applause in the studio and the opening of the song “I Feel Good.”
“From wherever you’re listening from, we would love to hear from you because we don’t know how far the signal is going,” program director PJ Finn said.
“It was a longtime coming and all the staff members of MVY are here,” Ms. Dacey said. “It’s been a long haul. Fifteen months. I still remember that sad day. Here we are and it certainly feels a little different to be on this side of it and be on the air again. We appreciate so much that people stayed with us.”
Saying they were pleasantly surprised with how far the signal was reaching, staff read well wishes from friends and fans near and far, including Carly Simon. Then it was back to the music, starting with Ms. Simon’s “Never Been Gone.”
Returning to the dial marks the beginning of a new chapter for the independent local radio station, which began more than three decades ago. In late 2012, the station sold its signal to Boston public radio station WBUR.
There was an outpouring of support for the local station, and an effort to keep WMVY alive resulted in $600,000 in donations over two months, and the radio station continued as an online presence after it lost its signal in February 2013. It is now operated by the nonprofit Friends of mvy radio.
Last November, the station announced that is was coming back to the dial. The new station required FCC approval, which has been granted, and the installation of a new transmitter on the antenna above the station’s Vineyard Haven building.
Another piece of the puzzle was a part that needed to be delivered by UPS. “We can’t complete the task until it gets here,” Mr. Finn said Wednesday morning, adding that the piece was apparently on the Island.
“Saying we’re excited probably falls short of the actual emotion here,” Mr. Finn told the Gazette Wednesday morning. “Every time the front door opens we look to see if it’s [UPS with the part].”