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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

WVEW Back On Air, But Stream Goes Silent

WVEW 107.7 , Brattleboro’s low-power community station, has stopped streaming.

The major storms of June 19th knocked the station off the air. (It knocked WKVT off the air for a short while, too.) Brattleboro radios tuned to 107.7 were treated to a week of static. Luckily, things have been worked out and you can now hear WVEW over the airwaves again.

Typically, the go-to solution when there is trouble with the over-the-air signal is to direct listeners to the WVEW stream, and it worked again this time. The station had created an app, available for mobile devices and had links on their web page. Many shows had many streaming listeners, and Brattleboro folks could take WVEW with them when they were out of the area.

Unfortunately, according to Jim Maxwell, the station has received notice from SoundExchange, the “pipeline for licensing of streaming,” letting WVEW know that the station’s stream was (in their view) unlicensed.

This could lead to significant penalties and back payments, said Maxwell, so while the station works to figure out how best to proceed, WVEW has stopped streaming for the time being. They’ve also notified SoundExchange that the WVEW stream has ended.

SoundExchange collects digital royalties, according to how often a song is played, then makes payments to artists and “rights owners.” They also lobby Congress, much like the RIAA, to pass laws dealing with copyright and payments, and work primarily in the interest of music labels and publishers.

SoundExchange has a “non-commercial” class of webcaster, which is aimed at smaller broadcasters. Even so, the minimum monthly fees can appear extreme to stations with small budgets. SoundExchange does not license podcasts (but encourages podcasters to get the rights to any music they play).

Streaming costs are in addition to the other ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and Global Music Rights royalties and fees that get paid by stations for playing music over the airwaves.


Disclosure: I share a time slot on WVEW with Lise, Wednesday nights from 7-9 pm, for our show Bubblewrap. While I’m a part of the station, this story is entirely my own and does not represent any official views or opinions of WVEW. Ie, it is not a press release, and WVEW did not write it.


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No broadcast signal either

Alas, WVEW is again off the air. There has been no broadcast signal since last night when 107.7 FM on your radio dial returned to static. Awaiting updates from WVEW board members who are handling the problem. Hopefully we'll be able to tune in the station again soon although not on the Internet, just on our old-fashioned radios.

Over and out...


And just like that, WVEW is back

Well, fingers crossed but WVEW is back on the air. Sorry for the belated notice above... Hopefully it sticks this time.



Because my radio doesn't pick up the station well here and i still haven't found the stereo since the move, i await the stream to return.



Both WVEW and VPR got knocked off the air Friday night.... WVEW is back. Haven't checked VPR.

It happened after the storms had passed (here), so my guess is that lightning or something took out a bit of Comcast's empire for a while.

BTW, The Narrator was doing an exceptionally good Friday night show on WVEW - playing interesting music and movie clips - and then... static.

I worked at a station in Florida that would get knocked off the air frequently due to big storms. The towers would get hit, the power would go out, generators would kick in, and seemingly hundreds of pieces of equipment would be beeping. I'd have to run around and reset everything. It wasn't much of a problem, except for the computers. They had a computerized (!) ad system in the early 80's.

My guess is that it was a variation of DbaseIII or something similar, with an amber monitor showing lines of text that required each commercial to be hand entered and given a time to play. I'd get the whole day programmed in about an hour at the beginning of my shift, but if we got hit it was all wiped out. No such thing as storage memory for things like that back then.


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