JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – WETS-FM, a regional radio station operated by East Tennessee State University (ETSU), is gearing up for a fund drive to aid in keeping the station broadcasting.

A 24-hour operated NPR affiliate, the station has been a source of news and entertainment to the area for nearly 50 years, according to a release from ETSU. The station broadcasts on 89.5 FM and reaches listeners in Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina.

“A lot of people think we were fully funded by the government, which is not true,” said Chad Barrett, the station’s manager. “If only in the integrated world you know, maybe. But no, the majority of our funding comes from listeners, $5, $10 increments. I mean, we have some larger donors, but any little bit helps.”

The WETS-FM Fall Fund Drive is scheduled for Sept. 9-15 and aims to raise $75,000 to support the radio station.

“WETS-FM is an important part of the news landscape in the region, and our faithful listeners have sustained us for almost five decades,” Chad Barrett, the station manager, said in a release. “We rely on support from the community to continue providing critical news stories, informed opinions and so much more.”

WETS-FM is also searching for volunteers to help with taking phone calls during the drive and handling donations, as well as listeners who would like to share testimonials that can be played during the Fall Fund Drive. Anyone interested in either role is asked to email