FCC Grants WHAV FM Construction Permit

WHAV's main on-air studio with a view of the Edwin V. Johnson Newsroom.

WASHINGTON— The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Friday afternoon authorized construction of a new FM radio station for Greater Haverhill.

The FCC granted a construction permit to Public Media of New England Inc., parent of WHAV. The station will operate on 97.9 MHz FM and will be the only FM station with Haverhill as its “city of license.” FCC Media Bureau Deputy Chief James D. Bradshaw issued the authorization.


Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini offered his congratulations Friday night.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini offered his congratulations Friday night.

“Congratulations to WHAV. It is the first time in many years that there will be a Haverhill-centered FM station. This is good news for our city and I congratulate Tim Coco and the other (directors) of WHAV, and wish them the best,” said Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini Friday night.

“This is a great day for Haverhill citizens! Residents will soon have easier access to news, emergency information and other programming vital to their interests. The FCC recognizes the importance of local radio and has entrusted nonprofit WHAV to provide this most fundamental public service,” said Coco, volunteer president and general manager. The next step will be a capital fundraising campaign to pay for transmission equipment, he added.

It is the first time in nearly 60 years an FM construction permit has been issued in Haverhill.

Besides Coco, members of the board of non-profit Public Media of New England Inc. are William D. Cox Jr., a Haverhill attorney, and Anita M. Purcell, a former banker and real estate broker. David J. Doherty of Skywaves Consulting Inc., Millbury, provided engineering services for WHAV, while Howard M. Liberman and Lee G. Petro of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Washington, provided legal representation.

The WHAV call letters have been associated with local broadcasting since 1947. WHAV is today operated by Public Media of New England Inc., a not-for-profit corporation. Since 2004, the call has served the Merrimack Valley’s pioneer Internet radio station at WHAV.net and a number of public access cable television stations in Andover, Haverhill and Methuen, and Plaistow and Sandown, N.H.


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