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

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.

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