IBM Community Grant to Benefit “” WCPE

Wake Forest, NC, April 14, 2007 --( General Manager Deborah S. Proctor of WCPE 89.7FM announced today that WCPE will receive a Team Community Grant from IBM to be used to implement a new technology plan, this is just the latest in a long history of IBM support for the station.

IBM’s On Demand Community April 6, 2007 recognized radio legend and retired IBM engineer, Al Ruocchio as Volunteer of the Month. The recognition notes:

“On April 17, 1980, Al Ruocchio, an IBM engineer in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, debuted as weekly volunteer host of radio station WCPE's opera program. In February 2007 – just prior to his regular Thursday evening WCPE Opera House – station General Manager Deborah Proctor announced Ruocchio's sudden death to his worldwide audience. In addition to Ruocchio's inimitable encyclopedic knowledge of opera, he also teamed with other IBM volunteers through On Demand Community to help transform WCPE from a small station outside of Raleigh into a 100,000-watt international force in classical music.”

Earlier this year Ruocchio was part of an IBM retiree team including Dick Hurley and Charles Wilcoxen that received a Team Community Grant to benefit WCPE. The donation, which will help implement a new technology plan, is the latest in a long history of IBM support for the station.

"When WCPE was just starting out in the early 1980s, IBM volunteers and matching grants were what helped establish us," said Proctor. "Today, if you Google 'Great Classical Music,' WCPE is one of the first Web sites listed. That level of success comes from the efforts of volunteers like Al, Dick and Charles."

IBM volunteer Dick Hurley has been involved with IT planning at the station since October 2005. He credits Technology planning for not-for-profits with helping him to formulate a plan for growth for the station. "Our equipment had not kept up with the growth of our audience or mission," said Hurley. "IBM has been the sole source of our new computers and printers. Today, we have reliable equipment in all key areas and can now consider commercial software for applications such as fundraising."

In 1980, "" wasn't on anyone's radar. In fact, Al Ruocchio's first opera broadcast probably extended just outside the Raleigh city limits. Today, WCPE has an annual operating budget of $2 million. This, independent, listener supported, non-commercial station was truly built by its dedicated volunteer and listeners.

"What Al did was important on so many levels," said Proctor. "He found a nonprofit that he believed in and he made it part of his life's work. His success and love of volunteerism is so indicative of all of our IBM volunteers. Luckily, he recorded enough programs that - between the unaired ones and his 27 years of shows – he will be on the air for decades to come. It's how it should be. Al will be missed but never forgotten."

For more information on WCPE 89.7FM and how to listen worldwide, please visit

Don Peterson
IBM Corporate Community Relations Program Manager

About WCPE:
With a 28-year history, WCPE 89.7 FM is a non-commercial, 100 percent listener-supported, independent station dedicated to excellence in Great Classical Music broadcasting. Community-minded business underwriters and foundations are among the 150,000 listeners in the North Carolina broadcast area. General Manager Deborah S. Proctor’s leadership has enabled the WCPE community to include national and worldwide listeners. Large and small dish home satellite transmissions serve North America. Other radio stations and cable television systems use these services to rebroadcast Great Classical Music. WCPE is one of the first public broadcasters to stream on the Internet. WCPE is heard worldwide on the Internet in multiple formats, including the next generation IPv6. Because WCPE receives no tax-derived support, the station conducts two on-air fundraising campaigns and two major mail-out campaigns per year to raise needed operating funds. Quarter Notes, the WCPE Program Guide, is published four times a year as a means to enhance appreciation and understanding of classical music. It is distributed to station supporters and is also available online at For more information, visit or call 919-556-5178.

Cindy Stranad