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Author Archives: WFHB Manager

Firehouse News, Vol. 1, No. 1: About the Music Department

by Michael G. Glab

Jim Manion has been part of the WFHB family since the station was only dreamed about by a few community radio lovers in Bloomington. He was there for the first concert held at The Bluebird to benefit the as-yet unnamed station in July, 1975. He was on staff when the station finally got its FCC okay in 1992. Manion was Program Director until the News Department was established in the early 2000s. At that time, his title changed to Music Director. He’s held that office ever since. He’ll be our source for our regular coverage of Music Department happenings.

Music News:

Under Manion, the WFHB Music Department has become a force in South Central Indiana. “After 20 years, we’re highly recognized by the music industry from major labels down to thousands of indie record companies,” he says. Manion’s mailbox is packed with CDs every day. They’re sent by bands and labels hoping to get their music before WFHB’s sophisticated and discerning listeners. Manion has delegated much of the previewing work to a stable of community Genre Directors. He sorts the piles of CDs each day and funnels them to an appropriate director. The flood is so overwhelming that WFHB cannot even accept certain submissions. “A lot of independent bands and labels think they can send us an email with a link to their album or track. We just don’t have time for that,” he says. Here are the volunteers who listen to each and every new submission the station receives:

  • Cathi Norton (assisted by Bob Kissel) — Blues
  • Markus Lowe — Electronica
  • Brother William Morris – Jazz
  • Adrian Pontecorvo — World
  • Jamie Gans — Bluegrass & Celtic
  • Janet Martin, Rachel Weidner, and Stephanie Foreman — Indie/Alternative
  • Liza Pavelich — Local

Each of the Genre Directors can okay a disc to be played on air. Manion only asks that they tip him off to noteworthy or particularly good records.

WFHB boasts a line-up of around 100 on-air DJs and music show hosts. Their air shifts can be weekly or even monthly. The Bloomington area offers a deep pool of talent for Manion to choose from. “We live in a music-centric town,” he says. “I really trust our DJs and our Genre Directors to make choices.”

Manion says he’s been traveling recently and has had a chance to listen to other community radio stations. They’re good, he admits, but none of them is WFHB. “We don’t feel under any pressure to have our charts conform to what anybody else is doing,” he says.

He adds: “I’m proud of what we do. We’re egalitarian. Everyone has a strong hand in what goes on the air.”

A one-time WFHB DJ named Mark Harrison used to open his show by saying he’d be “bringing you music old and new, strange and familiar.” Manion has appropriated that saying for the entire WFHB Music Department.

Local Live airs Wednesday nights and features, of course, the sounds of the Bloomington area’s many bands. The program first aired in 2007 with Manion as the coordinator and producer. Abe Morris replaced Manion for a spell and now the show is in the capable hands of Nicole O’Neill.

WFHB often showcases touring bands who stop by before playing at one of Bloomington’s live venues. Manion had been coordinating these appearances but turned the reins over to Katie Moulton in February. These special programs are called Firehouse Sessions. Moulton will host the shows from now on, as well. “That’s what we do here,” Manion says,” We find and promote local on-air talent.”

Manion is wrapping up production of Volume Four of WFHB’s Local Live series. The CD will be out in time for the April fund drive and will be a highly sought-after premium for donors.

Firehouse News, Vol. 1, No. 1: Volunteering at WFHB

by Michael G. Glab

Kelly Wherley‘s been a WFHB volunteer for more than a decade. Coming aboard when Chad Carrothers was the News Director, Kelly started out producing Voices in the Street for the Daily Local News, a task he handles to this day. He can be heard anchoring the DLN on Wednesdays and playing music on alternating Fridays (check the Program Guide for Kelly’s show times). These days, Kelly also serves at the station’s Volunteer Coordinator, helping some 200 local folks make WFHB the sound of South Central Indiana.

Becoming a WFHB volunteer couldn’t be easier. “Prospective volunteers must attend New Volunteer Orientation, 11 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month at the station,” he says. Many volunteers do their bit by manning the front desk or helping out with administrative and office duties. Then there are those who dream of becoming the voice behind the music, heard by Hoosiers across out coverage area. “Anybody who’d like to be a DJ must take two classes: Radio Basics with Richard Fish and Mixology 101 with Music Director Jim Manion,” Kelly says. “If they’re interested in the News Department, they work with Alycin Bektesh on training and getting involved with that.”

Richard Fish’s Radio Basics session is a lot of fun, so much so that people often have attended it again, just to hear Rich’s stories of his many decades in broadcasting. And you’ll even get to see how a radio station’s Emergency Broadcast System works.

Jim Manion walks prospective DJs through lessons on the sound board and good radio delivery and technique. He also explains the various charting responsibilities each on-air music announcer has. Playing music on the air is plenty of hard work, but for those who believe they were born to DJ, well worth it.

Aspiring news hounds can learn basic journalistic practices as well as the mechanics of recording interviews from Alycin Bektesh. The News Department has openings every day, Monday through Friday, for script writers. Reporters often can get a crack at the microphone as fill-ins for regular news readers.

“We have a lot of opportunities for volunteers,” Kelly says. “Folks can email me, General Manager Cleveland Dietz, Alycin, or Jim for more specifics. Plus, we’re always on the lookout for desk jockeys!”

Kelly leads monthly Volunteer Roundtable Meetings with Cleveland and Markus Lowe. They follow New Volunteer Orientations, the first Saturday of each month, beginning at 12:15 p.m. “The roundtables serve as an opportunity for existing volunteers to talk among themselves about issues that we often don’t have time for during the station’s quarterly meetings. Volunteers need to read Spot-Online for details on where the meeting will be held from month to month.”

The WFHB Volunteer Committee, with Kelly as a member, meets every Monday to discuss how to make the volunteer experience easier and more rewarding. The committee currently is revising and updating the station’s volunteer manual so new and prospective volunteers will have a complete understanding of what it means to work at WFHB. “People can get quite a lot out of volunteering, including course credits, professional development, and the kind of satisfaction that comes with being a part of our community and serving it through WFHB,” Kelly says.

Weather Closings and Cancelations for March 2, 2014

Closings and Cancelations:

  • Brown County Publc Library
  • City of Bloomington Animal Care and Control Facilities
  • City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department
  • Mathers Museum Family Craft Day–Carnival
  • Monroe County Public Library – Bookmobile
  • Monroe County Public Library – Ellettsville Branch
  • Monroe County Public Library – Main Branch

Report It!

Do you know about a closing today that we haven’t reported on this page? Let us know by sending an email to wfhb@wfhb.org.

Weather Closings and Delays for Feb. 18

Closings

  • Spencer-Owen Community Schools

Delays

  • Mitchell Community Schools on a two-hour delay
  • North Lawrence Community Schools on a two-hour delay

Report It

Do you know about a closing or delay not listed above? Send us an email at wfhb@wfhb.org to help us provide the most complete list possible.

Early Closures and Cancellations for February 14

Early Closures / Cancelations

  • Bloomington Area Birth Services is closed.
  • Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington evening classes are canceled.
  • Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard is closed.
  • The Ryder Film Series showing for tonight is canceled.

Report It

Do you know of an early closing or cancellation that isn’t included in the list above? Let us know! Send us the details at wfhb@wfhb.org.

WFHB to launch quarterly e-newsletter March 1; sign up here!

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Weather Delays for Feb. 11

Delays

  • Brown County School Corporation on a two-hour delay.
  • Mitchell Community Schools on a two-hour delay.
  • Monroe County Community School Corporation on a two-hour delay.
  • North Lawrence Community Schools on a two-hour delay.
  • Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation schools on a two-hour delay.
  • Spencer-Owen Community Schools on a two-hour delay.
  • St. Mark’s United Methodist Church on a 1 1/2 hour delay.

Report It

If you know about a delay or closing that is not listed above, please send an email to wfhb@wfhb.org and let us know about it.

Technology Committee Minutes: February 5, 2014

Attendance: Markus Lowe (ML), Johrdan Vicstein (JV), Richard Fish (RF), Reina Wong (RW), Cleveland Dietz (CD). Alycin Bektesh attended at the beginning, and then left, deciding she was not needed as a committee member but would be available if needed.

Call to Order: 6:03 PM

RF asked about renaming this the “Information Technology Committee” or “IT Committee” to avoid confusion with audio or radio technology. There was general agreement. CD pointed out that audio and radio tech came under the Facilities Committee.

There have been some reports that the Pongo_SFTP hyperlinks don’t work. FILEZILLA is suggested as a simple, free program that seems to work OK.

An SPJ nomination for the news website was suggested.

CD: Rich Reardin has a connection at I.U. that could hook us up with Informatics students who could help migrate archives to new site. Markus suggested it should be one competent person in SQL database management and PHP code, rather than a group or team. Best arrangement would be an unpaid internship with academic credit given to the intern.  Alycin suggested calling the Informatics counselor to set up credit partnership. This would probably be a semester-long project. CD will get back to Rich Reardin on this.

Reporting weather-related events, school closings and the like: Info has been coming in piecemeal, at different times. DJs should be able to update the information and produce “live” reports as it comes in. A place on our website could be created where people could post information; RF asked if that could result in bad information (unauthorized). ML said the info would have to be vetted. This needs to be organized: make up a list of all the possible organizations we might want to hear from, and do outreach. Find out who communicates closures and delays, ask how to get on the list of media outlets, find out what their preferred methods are (telephone, email). Create a way to put this info on the computer so on-air people can access and update it.

Live webstream: CD reports some complaints. Our live webstream is currently self-hosted with a virtual server on GoDaddy. Receiver in the closet picks up 98.1 and feeds to Icecast (GoDaddy). We can have 15-30 simultaneous users. ML thinks ShoutCheap can handle more. We are using ShoutCheap to send remote streams back to the station. ML: combine all three streams to ShoutCheap. JV: experiment by creating a Virtual Private Server (VPS) as a second “beta” stream. It would have a different URL, anyone who has bookmarked our present stream would have to update. JV: possibly use an “alias”?

JV: best if we could get away from assigned DNS. ML: the port assigned by ShoutCheap is the issue, we could ask for a specific port.  JV will set up the second “beta test” stream over the next month, without messing with the present stream. We will ask those who had problems to try this new stream. RF offered to ask his listeners to test it – has a couple of dozen people who get email about Firehouse Theatre each week. RW asked to be added to the list, she’s a mobile listener, uses TuneIn.

Problems with the webstream could come from various points in the chain. CD will ask Jeffrey Morris if he could put in a direct wired connection from the Board to the streaming computer; this would eliminate any glitches coming from the RF chain.

Internet connection: currently with Comcast. RF asked if we could get on Smithville: they now have a major fibreoptic trunk running right through town, and RF’s dayjob (St. John Associates, 300 West 1st St.) switched to Smithville. JV and ML had not thought this was an option. CD and JV will inquire to find out.  JV suggested a PFSense router in front of the modem, if possible.

Audio updates—Markus will look into a more robust audio player for the website.

Getting data on how and who is using our website. We have Google Analytics now. RW asked about a statcounter, JV said we have to have a specialized tool or set of tools to go beyond Google Analytics, and we probably don’t want to. JV and ML felt like getting the data and displaying it was opening a can of worms, but said they would look into options.

Board had asked, what if JV was unavailable, or someone else had to stand in for him? Server = FreeNAS. Johrdan identified it as a very easy web interface with very good documentation. We don’t really do anything that’s off the beaten path. If someone were to replace Johrdan, he says it would take them about a day of reading through FreeNAS documentation.

Backups Issue: Johrdan is storing our off-site back-ups for servers at his home on his personal hard-drives. We’re approaching 3 TB on Pongo, and JV an ML estimate this will grow at about 1 TB per year. Proper backups require triple storage: servers in use, a set of backups in-house, and a second set of backups off-site – total 9 TB at present. JV strongly suggested a fireproof safe for our in-house backups. Backing up to “the cloud” is not a good option, we have too much data and there are issues with cloud security. Best option is to purchase good “enterprise-grade” hardrives, 7200 rpm, such as Western Digital or Seagate. It would be more efficient to store back-ups at the station. If we did this properly, we would pull the hard drives out of the server every two weeks. A fireproof safe would alleviate Johrdan’s worries.

JV says IT needs are more about network, rather than PCs around the station. Most immediate need is a new Network Switch, estimated cost about $400.00.  A better wireless access point would help. Reliance on WI-FI is not ideal. Ethernet cabling throughout the station would be a big help, but would be a pretty big project to install. Wiring would have to run through walls & ceilings, ports and plugs installed in every room. RF asked if we would need to go through Ivy Tech for permission, CD said no we would not.

Priorities: Network switch, ethernet cabling, better wireless access point.

RF asked about getting class data to students via our website. JV suggested using a publicly-shared Dropbox folder, and ML agreed this was more accessible, less risk if data goes to people not associated with the station, handier for immediate needs.

RF asked if a Board member was needed or useful on this committee. ML, JV, and CD said probably not. RW wondered how useful her presence was.

Adjournment: 7:28 PM

Board Meeting Minutes: November 25, 2013

Call to Order: 7:10 pm

-Members in attendance: Joe Estivill, Richard Fish, Kevin Jones, Carolyn VandeWiele, Matt Pierce, Pam Davidson, Maria McKinley, Cleveland Dietz

PUBLIC COMMENTS

- Maryll Jones, Mark Lowe, Louis Malone, Anson Shupe, Clarence Boone, Jeffrey Morris, Jim Manion, Peter Kaczmarczyh, Jeanne Smith, Liza Pavelich, Joy Shayne Laughter, Kelly Wherley, Mark Tschida, Steve Pollitt

- Joe Estivill: Read the bylaws, get involved.

REVIEW / APPROVAL OF MINUTES

- Estivill asks to delay the approval of meeting minutes. Davidson makes a motion to delay. Pierce offers a second and vote is unanimous.

GENERAL MANAGER’S REPORT

- Co-Promotions: Village Arts Walk in Nashville 11/9 and 11/10; IDEAS Network at Monroe County Public Library 11/11; Kalispell, Busman’s Holiday and Vollmar at The Bishop Bar 11/15; My Sister’s Closet fundraiser at American Legion Post #18 11/30

- Hot Spot Dance Party at The Root Cellar Lounge 11/15

- Hoagy Carmichael birthday celebration concerts at The Players Pub 11/21 and 11/22 brought in approximately $440

- Updated DJ guidelines should be ready by the end of the year

- PRSS membership is up for renewal. We need to decide by December 31 if we want to remain a member of this distribution network. Total cost is more than $4,000 per year. We’re able to acquire Zorba Paster On Your Health, Isla Earth, and SoundBeat from it. Zorba costs an additional $3,298 per year. We do accept $4,000 grant from Raymond Foundation

- Harmony School intern working in the music library for organization

- Potential collaboration with Youth Services Bureau in the works

- Nash Hott will be leaving at the end of the semester to take a job as a TA

- CPB application is in. We lost $2,000 as the amount is now down to $68,000. The government shutdown led them to front-load the distribution and lower the total amount given.

- Matchstick Initiative application process does not seem as complex as Community Foundation made it out to be. It will require input from board members and probably be up to the Executive Committee to fill out. Due on January 31

- There are currently no applicants for the Ivy Tech work study position

TREASURER’S REPORT

- Income report: still recovering pledges from Fall Fund Drive last month

- Special event income was from Hoagy Carmichael birthday party

- Underwriting line item is short and we have a pending decision supposedly from Sahara Mart

- More expenses under office supplies

- We are ahead $3,000 this month

- We are down slightly for the quarter due to less coming in from fund drive. Dietz suspects the lesser results were due to government shutdown, local layoffs at GE and Smithville

- Year-to-date we are $2,000 short, partially because of the STL transmitter purchase

- Stampfli & Associates offered a scenario if we are considering renting out studio space, it may cost a small amount in property tax and would add an extra form when filing return. We might consider donating space (as long as end product is aired on WFHB). Nonprofits have to account for this kind of thing as unrelated income, property tax and what percentage of income.

- A CD player in the air room has died. An IRS individual was incorrect when telling us we need to designate a POA to allow them to talk with our accountant. We just need to send a letter.

MUSIC DEPARTMENT REPORT

- Current projects include on-air promos to promote our departments, logging our “flights,” record fresher promos for news and music departments, and updating the DJ guidelines

- VandeWiele stated the production on the last Lotus Live CD “is marvelous.”

OLD BUSINESS

- Concerning “The Cage” – Jeffrey Morris and Dietz will meet ASAP to come up with a list of improvements, repairs, requests to present to Paul Daily by 12/15. John Whikehart has announced he will retire mid-January.

- Digital Board replacement – The price is good at $8,000. The Facilities Committee will need to take a look and provide a written request, even if we are not able to install it for a while. There’s approximately $10,000 in the Capital Account. When the time comes for a new board, we’ll need to take steps to provide different learning curves, set up mentors, debrief, and have staff serve as cheerleaders.

- Health insurance – Bill Stant is currently out of town. Dietz asked Stant to review our insurance. Kim Sims from First Insurance Group says our insurance will be changing and that prices will likely be changing, too.

- Christmas bonuses – Dietz is hunting in HR and financial records for a history

- 12/7 – Quarterly meeting, 12 noon, place to be determined. Ivy Tech’s policy for rent-free option is the week before.

- 12/23 Board meeting – Since the Board meeting will be 2 days before Christmas, 12/16 is also available for the Hooker Room and the meeting will be changed to the 12/16.

- The Board moves down the hall to the McCloskey Conference Room for a closed session dealing with the GM hire. The Board looks at the applicant pool to initiate the discussion. The interim GM is interviewed for the position. The Board votes in favor of hiring Dietz as the permanent GM.

Meeting adjourned: 11:30 pm

Volunteer Committee Minutes: February 3, 2014

Attendance: Kelly Wherley (KW), Louis Malone (LM), Vera Grubbs (VG). Cleveland Dietz (CD) was present for part of the meeting.

Call to Order: 6PM

- Initial discussion about the mission and focus of the committee

-  Good database of perspective volunteers, active volunteers and alumni already in system with volunteer coordinator, KW.

-  Detailed discussion on how to handle new volunteers in regards to placement and matching of talent, skills and experience.

-  Speculated about the duties of a development director in reference to the recruitment and/or training of new volunteers. CD cautions us that the development director will probably be concerned mostly with fund-raising.

-  CD suggests that the volunteer committee resurrects and revamps a previous Volunteer Handbook. He will search for an old copy/template.

-  Related documents , such as the orientation sign-up sheet, should be modified and refined to better gauge the applicants’ commitment and enthusiasm as an active volunteer.

-  A Code of Conduct (behavior) to be included in handbook.

-  Also need to establish a set of standards and expectations for perspective volunteers.

Adjournment: 7:15 PM

Next meeting scheduled for Monday, Feb.10 , 6 PM at the station

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