WAMC Northeast Public Radio of Albany has opened a news bureau at Skidmore College that will cover the southern Adirondacks.
It’s an expansion of the regional station’s 16-member news staff, made possible by the success of a just-completed $1 million fund drive for the station, said WAMC President and CEO Alan Chartock.
“For many years, our friends, underwriting supporters and members have been asking for a bureau in this area. And now, thanks to the generosity of our partner, Skidmore College, we’re able to deliver,” he said.
The Southern Adirondack Bureau, the radio station’s fifth news office, will develop news reports from the Saratoga Springs/Glens Falls region, including Saratoga County, the Lake George area and southwestern Vermont.
“People have been saying ‘can we get something in the southern Adirondacks,’ and my answer is ‘yes, we can,’ ” Chartock said. “To be honest with you, we couldn’t have done it before.”
In return for having rent-free operating space at the college, the National Public Radio affiliate will provide internships for Skidmore College students interested in journalism.
“We’re delighted that WAMC is expanding its news coverage of our area,” Skidmore President Philip A. Glotzbach said in a statement. “We see in this arrangement valuable opportunities for students who — through internships — will able to explore careers in journalism and broadcasting.”
WAMC also has news bureaus covering the Pioneer Valley and Berkshires in Massachusetts, the North Country and the Hudson Valley. The Pioneer Valley bureau in Springfield, Mass., and the Hudson Valley bureau in New Paltz also are hosted by colleges.
“The big advantage to them is every time there’s a report from the bureau, the name of the college gets out there,” Chartock said.
Lucas Willard, a Saratoga-area native who was formerly WAMC’s Berkshire bureau chief, is staffing the new bureau. He joined WAMC in 2011.
WAMC covers a wide area of eastern New York and also parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. Chartock said surveys show the station has about 400,000 listeners each month.