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BBG to Rededicate Transmitting Station

Congress restores funding to Murrow site in North Carolina

The Broadcasting Board of Governors plans to rededicate a high power RF site, known as Site B at the VOA’s facility in Greenville, N.C., that was once slated for closing.

The BBG had proposed closing the shortwave broadcasting center, officially known as the Edward R. Murrow Transmitting Station, as part of its 2011 budget submission. It estimated the cost saving by doing so at $3 million.

Congress later restored funding for the facility saving it from closure, according to a BBG spokeswoman.

“The 2011 budget request, submitted to Congress in early 2010 under the leadership of a previous Board of Governors, did not include such funding,” said the BBG spokeswoman.

The BBG has requested that it be fully funded at $3.2 million for FY2013.

The rededication of the high-power RF facility, which is the BBG’s largest radio transmission plant in this country, will take place on May 2, 2012. The Edward R. Murrow Transmitting Station transmits about 2,200 hours of programming each month, produced in studios in Washington, D. C.

The decline in shortwave broadcasting listenership since the end of the Cold War has moved some international broadcasters to cut services. The VOA at one time had shortwave transmitting plants in Ohio and California. The North Carolina facility is the last one remaining. The International Broadcasting Bureau, which oversees the VOA, has been focused on placing programming on FM in countries where the service is needed.

The North Carolina site’s 38 transmitting antennas, which utilizes eight very large transmitters operating at 250 kW, is set on nearly 2,800 acres not far from Greenville.

Approximately 85% of the shortwave broadcasts from the Murrow Transmitting station are Radio Marti Spanish-language broadcasts to Cuba,” the spokeswoman said. “The remaining programs include VOA Spanish to Latin America along with English, Portuguese and French to Africa.”

Worldwide BBG operates 84 transmitting sites with a total of 182 transmitters plus nearly 1,400 affiliates broadcasting in 59 languages to audiences in more than 100 countries.