Congratulations! 100% of you answered this question correctly. But that’s not that surprising. Public radio listeners are a pretty smart bunch!
The nuts and bolts of it are this: Wake Forest University owns our FCC license, and thus owns WFDD. You’ll hear this in our station IDs, when we state that we’re “a broadcast service of Wake Forest University.” Click here to find a comprehensive history and read about how it all began over 75 years ago.
Many respondents noted in comments that WFDD is an NPR affiliate station, and this is also correct. NPR member stations must meet certain criteria to be accepted as a member, and then pay membership dues to NPR, which entitle the station to certain benefits. These include, among other things, a set of rights to NPR programming and content, and the right to associate the station’s brand with NPR’s. What you may not know is that NPR was founded by member stations many years ago, and that past WFDD station manager Dr. Julian Burroughs was a part of early planning meetings for the creation of NPR. Again, check out that previously referenced history and timeline to find out more!
This explains the business side of WFDD’s relationship with NPR. We’ll cover the content side of the relationship in a future We Were Wondering… post!
A few respondents commented that WFDD is owned by its listener supporters. While not technically correct when it comes to the legalities of “ownership,” it is true that WFDD belongs to our listeners. And it’s heartwarming to us that so many listeners feel that sense of stewardship. We are under your collective wing and would not be here without you and your belief in our mission. That’s why the relationship that is of the utmost importance is our relationship with you. This is radio for the people, made possible by the people.
"Of course not! WFDD is listener 'owned' through our support for the station."
- Allison M.
"Love you guys - and have loved NPR for 40 years! They don't own the stations - the stations have to pay for their 'subscription' to receive NPR programs/news. At least that's how I understand it..... That's why ALL listeners should contribute!!" - Debbie C.