Martha's Vineyard's "eclectic-folk-alternative" WMVY is one of broadcast radio's webcasting pioneers. About the time the station was purchased by Joe Gallagher's Aritaur Communications in 1998, WMVY became one of the nation's first with an online stream.
The station in fact developed on online brand of its own, "mvyradio." While on-air the station remained an ad-supported endeavor, the online mvyradio went commercial-free, supported by the non-profit Friends of mvyradio.
Yesterday WMVY/mvyradio announced it will sell its broadcast signal to Boston NPR-affiliate WBUR, ending nearly 30 years of broadcasting to the Islands, Cape Cod and south coast.
Station staff and Friends of myvradio have launched a campaign to keep the station alive online (eventually returning to the airwaves as a non-commercial broadcaster). Their goal is to raise $600,000 by the end of January.
"It’s an ideal scenario which will require significant fund-raising, but we’re committed to making it happen," Gallagher said. He remains Aritaur's president/CEO, and is also managing director at Angel Street Capital, which is focused on investing in digital media start-ups.
For five years Jennifer Lane managed sales for Aritaur's radio stations. In her Audio4cast blog, she expressed her confidence in "the power that a community has to save things that it values," and is betting Friends of mvyradio will reach its goal and maintain the station's unique brand online.