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Ryan Yarmel is named Music Director of FM 88.5 and 90.1, stations expand music offerings

WXXI announced today that Different Radio will expand its format to offer more music and mark it with the launch of a new name. FM 88.5 (Rochester) and FM 90.1 (Ithaca) will now be known as The Route, with Ryan Yarmel as its music director. Yarmel, who has been the host of Radioland w/ Yarms  Thursday nights on FM 88.5/90.1 since 2019, takes on this new role with a strong focus on steering listeners on the road to more music discovery.

In June, WXXI launched a full-powered FM signal at 105.9. This all-news simulcast of AM 1370 (which has broadcasted WXXI and NPR News since 1984) offers superior audio quality, plus better signal strength and consistency, than the AM signal. The launch of 105.9 FM also provides the opportunity to move the daily talk show, Connections with Evan Dawson and NPR's afternoon broadcast of All Things Considered from FM 88.5 to WXXI News at 105.9 FM. This frees up afternoons on The Route for more music programming throughout the day

World Café, a two-hour radio program that serves up a blend of blues, rock, world, folk, and alternative country, live performances, and interviews will now air from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays on The Route. Ryan Yarmel will then host Afternoons with Yarms weekdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. bringing listeners an eclectic mix of music -- from rock to Americana, soul to folk, and acoustic to blues.

In addition to a boost in music programming, The Route will increase studio interviews of both emerging and established artists and reduce barriers for airplay with the launch of a new online music submission form, coming in late August at TheRoute.org.

Jake Walsh/CITY Magazine
Ryan Yarmel in studio ready to share some music on The Route

The Route's entire music schedule -- as well as live streaming of FM 88.5/90.1 -- can be found at TheRoute.org.

Ryan Yarmel, The Route’s new music director, is a native of the Flower City, and he has been a fixture in the Finger Lakes music community for years. As a performer, he has appeared on-stage with groups such as the Sugargliders, Aaron Lipp & The Slack Tones, Alex Northrup, The Younger Gang, and solo. A passionate broadcaster, Yarmel hosted Radioland w/ Yarms weekly from 2019 until 2023, and regularly guest-hosted Open Tunings with Scott Regan. In addition to radio, Yarmel has an extensive background with vintage musical instruments, and was the long-time general manager of Bernunzio Uptown Music.

WXXI Public Media’s family of radio services include WXXI-AM 1370, WXXI-FM 105.9. WXXI Classical FM 91.5, WXXY-FM 90.3 (Houghton), WEOS-FM 89.5 (Geneva), WITH-FM 90.1 (Ithaca), and WRUR-FM 88.5, which is a broadcast partnership between WXXI and the University of Rochester.