Since Memorial Day weekend 2006, thousands of people all around the world have been waking up with Laurel Redington. I say thousands because MVY, the last independent radio station of its kind, streams online to the furthest corners of the world, think Thailand, West Tisbury, Tokyo, Ireland. You name it, there are people listening to our beloved local channel.
Laurel, a self-proclaimed night-owl, is the voice we spend our mornings with from 5:30 a.m. -11 a.m. When the Island is shaking off the morning fog, Laurel is bringing music to our mornings and getting us ready for our day. She lights a candle each morning as she begins, a new scent every week, and takes us on a little journey.
From Laurel, we get the latest local news, some great music of course, and a moment or two to share in her life. This is a time for her to connect with listeners. With her world so quiet, she feels as though she’s talking one-on-one with people. Meanwhile, many of us are wrapped up in the chaos of our morning routine, and we need anything we can get to calm us down.
Soon, it’s time for Laurel’s favorite part of the day, the Morning Toast. Each morning at 6:20 a.m., Laurel shares something positive with her radio world. Whether it’s a personal story, a little positive note, or reading a poem from an Island poet, she likes to try to have a positive impact on the world. She tries to bring people into the present, the now. Show them that the entire day is ahead of them, and they control the tone of that day.
Sounds kinda hokey? Well it is, but that’s why it’s so great. When you sit in a small, quiet studio on Martha’s Vineyard, you might not know how much of an impact you can have on people. As Laurel has learned, it can be quite significant. From offering a few words of inspiration, Laurel has helped numerous listeners make their day a little better.
She gets countless letters and emails thanking her for being that positive voice that gives them strength for the day. She even had one listener tell her that her program on MVY was a big part in his recovery process from alcohol abuse. Laurel had no idea just how much her words meant to so many people.
These are the kind of people that work at MVY. This is the kind of radio station that calls Martha’s Vineyard its home. For over 30 years, MVY has been bringing us the best in music, both local and commercial. Now you may or may not know that we — and I say we — because it’s all of us, have until January 31st to help keep MVY alive and onair.
Not in the traditional sense but, streaming live online. The channel 92.7 will no longer be playing fresh indie music, or Blues at 8 after January 31st, but you can get all your favorite shows on your computer or smart phone. Just go to the MVY website and find your way to keep MVY playing. Its onair radio channel, 92.7 has been sold to WBUR, out of Boston. Just what we need, more NPR channels and talk radio.
I have nothing against NPR, but I would rather keep an iconic station like MVY onair – since it’s the only one of its kind, sadly a dying breed. It really is something special. Also, think about this — how often do you feel closer to the Vineyard once you are able to get the channel when traveling? It’s synonymous with Island living. How sad to not have that beacon anymore, well maybe for a year if things go well.
What do we have to do to keep MVY going? Well, it’s simple – become a Friends of MVYRADIO. The station needs to raise $600,000 by the end of January. Think that sounds impossible? Guess again, they have already raised over $540,000. That’s amazing!
With over 3,000 donors, including Carly Simon and Bonnie Raitt, it is a possibility. Once that money is raised, what will happen? Well, first it will allow WMVY programming to go unchanged for a full year. All your favorite programs and DJ’s will be doing their thing, but online.
The station will become a nonprofit, listener-supported, non-commercial station. During this funded year, the WMVY team will be searching for grants and other financial support to keep the station going. Also, it will allow for them to figure out the transition from a commercial station to a station with underwriters. A total different ball game for those of you familiar with fundraising.
And most importantly, they will be looking for a new FM signal to broadcast from on Martha’s Vineyard. Who knew that there were options for a different signal. Not that being an internet radio station is terrible, but let’s face it, many of us like to unplug when we’re here. Turn off the computer, put the phone on vibrate, and leave it out of sight, and think about all those folks who are just not tech savvy — yikes.
So if you love WMVY, now is the time to show it. I’ll make it even easier for you to help, click here to make a donation to this iconic Vineyard station. Think about those days on South Beach with your friends or the drive from Vineyard Haven to Aquinnah with MVY blaring. How about listening to the Vineyarders football game you had to miss because you had to run off-Island?
If MVY raises the $600,000, they will have a whole year to work out a long-term solution to keeping MVY as it is, and a seriously good chance to bring it back to the good ole fashioned radio – if we help. They are so close to their goal!