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WCAI, WGBH’s Cape Cod sister station, switches on more powerful radio tower

Boston public radio station WGBH said that its Cape Cod sister station WCAI has completed the upgrade of a radio broadcast tower in Tisbury, a move that will expand WCAI’s broadcast reach to a potential audience of 200,000 additional listeners.

The tower previously had a 1,200-watt signal, but WCAI 90.1-FM obtained regulatory permission to boost that signal strength, and as of last week, the tower has been broadcasting at 12,500 watts, the station said. WCAI is also broadcast from two other radio towers, one on Nantucket, the other in Brewster. Those two towers use different frequencies than the Tisbury tower.


With WCAI amping up its 90.1 signal, the station and its three signals now reach a potential audience of 470,000 listeners on the Cape, the Islands, and a chunk of the South Coast of Massachusetts, WGBH said.

According to WGBH, WCAI has four full-time reporters, three part-time contributors, and four local weekend hosts deployed on the Cape who regularly produce local content to augment national NPR programming.

“Now more than 200,000 additional listeners – plus millions of fish in Cape Cod Bay, Nantucket Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean – will have a clear signal and clear access to the region’s only locally-produced and locally-broadcast public radio station,” WCAI managing director Mindy Todd said in a statement.

Just about a year ago, WBUR, another Boston public radio station, began broadcasting its programming on sister station WBUA on a newly acquired 92.7 FM signal on Martha’s Vineyard. The purchase of that signal was part of WBUR’s plan to expand its reach in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.