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Jul 03 2011

RIS future in question

The future of Radio Information Service – an organization long-providing assistance in reading to the visually impaired – is uncertain. RIS was founded in 1976 and has been carried primarily on the sub-carrier signal of 90.5 FM and later added the sub-carrier of 89.3 FM to fill gaps in coverage. RIS ceased operation as a non-profit in August 2009 and WDUQ came to the rescue to continue some of the offerings of the service, relying on the aid of volunteers to maintain broadcasts.

Cuts in RIS’ programming have been steady recently and while programming is expected to continue throughout July, it’s uncertain it will continue beyond that. Lee Ferraro, general manager of WYEP told the Post-Gazette, “The group {referring to the now-defunct board} that was responsible for the RIS went away. This is not our program, but we are willing to help and donate the subcarrier to broadcast the programming.” WYEP and subsidiary, Essential Public Media now operate WDUQ under a Licensing Marketing Agreement until the FCC approves the sale of ‘DUQ.