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Author Archives: WFHB Manager

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

by Michael G. Glab

Alycin Bektesh signed up as a volunteer in the News Department in the winter of 2010. She became Assistant News Director in June 2011 and was named News Director in November of that year. Here is a true WFHB success story. She has described her paid staff position as her “dream job.” She’ll be our source for new developments in the News Department.

News News:

Bektesh in recent months has overseen the move of reporters from their old cramped quarters to a more spacious area where the station’s old vinyl library used to stand. “I’m so excited about our new newsroom,” she says.

The new newsroom can comfortably seat three working reporters and a producer or audio engineer, all in front of their own computer work stations. Bektesh says this helps greatly with the communication flow as deadlines approach. “People had to communicate via emails and walking around the building trying to find each other,” she says. “We could all have been here at the same time and never really be able to interact with each other.”

The move also benefits the Music Department, which now can use the small production studio at any time for unscheduled live performances. Under the old set-up, the News Department reserved that studio for post-production and editing.

Bektesh has welcomes aboard Drew Daudelin to manage much of the work that goes into the Daily Local News. “Drew oversees copy editing and production of the script,” she says. Daudelin pitched the idea of the position to her. He works each weekday afternoon and can work directly with new volunteer news reporters, getting them up to speed, and ensuring their output approaches Associated Press standards.

Speaking of high standards, Bektesh recently submitted more than 20 audio clips to the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists for the organization’s 2014 awards. The ceremony will be in Indianapolis this spring. WFHB’s entries include clips from the Daily Local News, Bring It On!, Interchange, and others.

The News Department now has a staff of three dedicated feature writers. The Daily Local News includes an 8-minute in-depth feature concentrating on a specific issue. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford has produced features on historic preservation and other city and county issues. He and reporters Lauren Glapa and Casey Kuhn each must produce at least one feature per week.

With Zorba Paster On Your Health‘s annual syndication fee rising considerably on an annual basis, the News and Public Affairs Committee opted to cancel WFHB’s weekly presentation of the program. Bektesh has put the call out for a replacement produced locally and concentrating on medical issues specific to South Central Indiana. “My hope and dream is to have a local medical reporting program following the model of EcoReport.”

A programming note: A repeat of the Brown County Hour now can be heard on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. BCH runs the first Sunday morning of each month, with the repeat airing three evenings later.

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.

Board Minutes: February 24, 2014


7:05 p.m.


Board members present: Carolyn VandeWiele, Rich Reardin, Rich Fish, Louis Malone, Maria McKinley, Cleveland Dietz

Board members absent: Joe Estivill, Sheryl Mitchell, Pam Davidson, Matt Pierce

Quorum is established.

Public attendees: None


December 2013 – via email Rich F. makes a motion, Joe seconds to approve

Yea – Joe, Maria, Rich F. via email             Abstain – Pam via email

Yea – Carolyn at meeting

December minutes pass

January 2014 – via email Sheryl makes a motion, Richard F. seconds to approve

Yea – Joe, Maria, Sheryl, Rich F. via email

Yea – Carolyn, Rich R., Louis at meeting

January minutes pass

Cleveland is asked to post both December 2013 and January 2014 minutes to the web


Rich R. suggests the GM report be delivered via email prior to meetings in order to save time but also leave time for questions. Consensus is to discuss procedural changes when more Board Members are present.


Monroe County Fair – 10’ x 10’ booth for the week; underwriting trade for booth

The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship – working with a 7th grade class on marketing project involving 6 business documents

Newsletter – on target for March 1st release; question re: how to submit information for publication procedures, sign-up, circulation to be addressed after this issue


Jar’s job description will change from digital archivist to production/operations role after Spring Fund Drive

Rich R. will work with Jar on PRX player / web browser compatibility

Draft of Board Operations Manual is ready for review. Cleveland to send to Board email document for discussion at March meeting

Volunteers’ Code of Conduct document is being reviewed by Volunteer Committee. The discussion has highlighted the need for emergency procedures at the station.

Performance reviews are due for paid staff and Cleveland needs a Board Member to be present at the reviews. With a background in human resources, Louis volunteers.

Spring Fund Drive will be April 4 through April 13 and the Fundraising Committee is up and running. Pitching sessions are 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. No 11 a.m. sessions on Monday, no 5 p.m. sessions on Fridays. Everyone is more than encouraged to attend. A public event is scheduled for April 10, 7 p.m. at the Bloomington-Monroe County Convention Center. Alternative Radio’s David Barsamian will speak.

Development Director – Cleveland will hold off until after Spring Fund Drive (4/13) to initiate a search. He asks for clarification with regard to the GM’s role and the Personnel Committee. The Personnel Committee is involved with screening whereas the GM hires.

Annual meeting date is tentatively June 7th. Cleveland to attend the PMDMC Conference in July.


The second allotment of just over $20,000 has not yet been received from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant, but all documentation for it has been submitted. We are checking station procedures with CPB compliance requirements. Messages have been sent around to committees regarding meeting times and minutes.

Underwriters with year-long contracts will now be given notice that if payment is not received within 30 days of 1st invoice, WFHB reserves the right to pull the underwriter’s mentions off the air. An initial invoice and a 2nd invoice after 15 days accounts for the 30 days from when a contract is signed. Rich R. suggests a phone call is made prior to pulling them off the air and all are in agreement.

New underwriters: Buskirk-Chumley Theater, Bill Daugherty & Eccentric Enterprises, WTIU

Renewed: Smithville, Relish, Bloomingfoods, Monroe County Public Library, IU Health, IBEW Local 725

New (Trade): Cutters Soccer Club (we’re sponsoring a team), Showers Inn, Monroe County Fair Board, Monroe County History Center

Currently negotiating: Bloomington Independent Restaurant Association, One World Enterprises, IU Dept. of Applied Health, Touchstone Wellness

Youth Services Bureau: We are excited to collaborate with the YSB on Youth Radio (Mixed Nuts) and YSB is equally excited to take on our grant writing work. We are hoping to increase and/or update our equipment.

SPEA’s grant writing class is pursuing a Monroe County Community Foundation Precision Health grant for the development of a locally produced health show. The grant is for $15,000 and would be used to pay a project coordinator to take on the production of this show. Rich F. and Rich R. mention a show about sexual health from Bill Yarber.

Volunteer Quarterly Meeting will be this Saturday, March 1, noon, Rose Firebay at Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center.


The Fiscal Year 2014 Budget needs to be addressed. The Finance Committee needs volunteers who are knowledgeable in accounting, finances, and budgets. Louis suggests Sarah Borden, who works with these issues at YSB. He says she may be interested in volunteering for the Board and will ask her.

Financial / Budget documents are handed out. See attachments for review.


Master Committee Assignments – update of new volunteers

Cleveland reports that most committees are doing well except for the Finance Committee and Fundraising Committee. Per our governance documents, the required 2 Board Members per committee remains unattainable and, as discussed previously, unnecessary. This brings up the topic of the Policy Committee and, once again, we discuss the need to revamp the station’s governance documents. A call out for volunteers in the Minutes, at the monthly volunteer meeting, and the newsletter is a way to begin.

Community Advisory Board

The CPB grant requires an active community advisory board. According to WFHB station documents, the composition is as follows:

Board Secretary + at least one other board member + up to seven non-WFHB board members

MISSION: (FROM STATION BYLAWS: Article Nine: Community Advisory Board)

The Board may select from the community at large an unspecified number of persons to serve on an advisory panel known as the Board of Advisors, for terms of one (1) year. These Advisors may be reappointed for such additional one (1) year terms at the Board may deem proper. The Advisors shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Board of Directors. Members of the Board of Advisors shall not be Staff Members. The Advisory Board Membership should reasonably reflect the diverse needs and interests of the community.

The CPB has its own set of requirements: http://www.cpb.org/stations/certificatioon/cert3.html

Board Members are asked to become familiar with this document for future discussion of compliance.

Two names were offered in consideration of the CAB:

Jeb Conrad, the new local Chamber of Commerce director

John Whikehart, newly retired Chancellor of Ivy Tech Bloomington and current Deputy Mayor of Bloomington

Fundraising – update from Cleveland/Pam re: database

Cleveland and Pam have not yet had the chance to meeting; discussion tabled

Board Operations Manual – see GM Report

Executive Committee – tabled



Sheryl Mitchell – report on ½ day non-profit Board class

Sheryl is ill and not in attendance tonight. Carolyn mentions the information fit a beginner’s course and served as an overview of Board Operations. She will send her notes around to the Board Members via email. Rich F. says he can do the same.

Fund Drive

Fifteen minutes is set aside to brainstorm fund drive ideas which include:

Parade with Spot

Scavenger hunt to find Spot

Text via phone a $10 donation

Saturday Farmer’s Market with Spot (Showers Lot)

Spot supporting veterans

Pet community issues

Service dogs

Cleveland mentions that Spot is getting a makeover so he can be more mobile, but most of these ideas cannot be ready for Spring Fund Drive ’14. Plan ahead for Fall Fund Drive. What is already planned includes: Busman’s Holiday CD Release Show, Brown County Day, Alternative Radio’s David Barsamian, Firehouse Lounge at The Back Door

Mardi Gras event needs volunteers to sign up to work the door, serve food, collect money. Doodle doc has been sent around. Board Members are encouraged to sign up.

Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce membership expired a few months ago. Dues are $350/year. Discussion about the benefits include listings on their website, membership directory which serves as underwriter contacts, BizNet newsletter which has a widespread circulation, networking through their “Business After Hours” social program

Rich F. makes a motion to renew membership and pay the dues of $350. Carolyn seconds and the vote is unanimous.

Board Members with terms expiring this June:

Matt Pierce and Carolyn VandeWiele have decided not to run again for the Board. Rich F. has decided to run for another term.

Discussion of potential Board Members and preliminary contact person gives us the following names:

Sarah Borden – Louis Malone

Markus Lowe – Rich F.

Pat East – Rich R.

William Morris – Louis Malone

Carolyn VandeWiele to contact Pam Raider for potential candidates in Brown County

Interested candidates will be forwarded the usual letter of disclosure and Board candidate questionnaire. Results will then be forwarded to current Board members and the candidate will be invited to the March 24th Board meeting for an interview.

April 8th is the deadline for Board nominations to reach the membership. May 8th is the deadline for signature-endorsed candidates to reach the membership.


9:10 p.m.

Weather Closings and Delays for Feb. 18


  • Spencer-Owen Community Schools


  • 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!

Subscribe to WFHB’s e-newsletter!

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Email Format

Weather Delays for Feb. 11


  • 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

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