Wevd to Strengthen Fm After Sale of Am Station

The sale of WEVD-AM by the Forward Association Inc. to a group specializing in Christian religious broadcasting will not affect programming on WEVD-FM Joel J. Plavin, general manager of the station said. He stressed that WEVD will “absolutely” continue its Jewish programming in Yiddish, Hebrew and English. The Forward Association, Inc., publishers of the Jewish Daily Forward, will retain its ownership of the FM frequency.

Plavin added that the sale of the station, whose call letters memorialize Eugene V. Debs, the American Socialist leader. “can only help” WEVD-FM programming efforts by providing new funds. Plavin noted that the AM facility had only limited air-time, which it shared with WPOW-AM of Staten Island, Plavin hopes that the concentration on FM broadcasting will reach a larger and more dispersed Jewish constituency in the suburbs, though possibly at the expense of older urban listeners with no access to the FM frequency.

Weekly listeners of WEVD are estimated at about one-half million. Plavin emphasized that expanded FM Jewish programming on a full-time basis will result from the sale. Currently., the station broadcasts from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., and 8 p.m. midnight., Monday through Friday; 9 p.m.-midnight Saturday, and all day Sunday. Harold Ostroff, general manager of the Forward, said the sale will allow the FM station to broadcast 24 hours a day seven days a week. The $1, 175, 000 sale is expected to go into effect on January I. WEVD began broadcasting in 1927.

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