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Firehouse News, Vol. 1, No. 2: Generally Speaking

WFHB’s Annual Meeting (June 7th, Monroe County History Center, 12:15PM) signals a time of reflection for me. It is the first anniversary of my time as general manager of the station, the first meeting following the end of WFHB’s fiscal year, and a time to look back at the year’s progress and plan for the next.

I announced a number of goals I wanted to work toward last November in addition to those outlined in the station’s strategic plan:  expanding the staff, creating or taking advantage of opportunities for WFHB to gain exposure in the broader listening area, and establishing more avenues for communication among volunteers and to the public.

We launched the Firehouse News, our quarterly e-newsletter, as part of that effort, which would not have been possible without a capable volunteer staff (Carol Fischer, Helen Harrell, Karen Roszkowski, Maryll Jones and Mike Glab). We hope you’ve enjoyed the product so far and will continue to do so.

With help from former WFHB general manager Markus Lowe and Volunteer Coordinator Kelly Wherley, we also reinstituted monthly meetings using a round table format. These meetings are led by volunteers and serve as an excellent delivery mechanism for ideas and discussion, as well as a way for volunteers and staff to meet each other and celebrate their love for community radio together.

Again with significant help from Markus Lowe, we launched the new website in August. Since then, we’ve been uploading most organization meeting minutes for transparency. You can find them here. Articles from the previous newsletters and much, much more can be found there, as well.

Brian Kearney helped us raise funds to hire a full-time development director in the coming fiscal year. The station made tremendous headway in many respects over the last 10 years, but annual revenues have remained relatively flat. It is our hope that a development director will help grow the station’s finances and create new relationships in the wider community moving forward. We expect this person to be hired by August 2014. You can read the job description here. If you would like to apply for the position, or know someone who would, please send a resume and cover letter to manager@wfhb.org.

WFHB partnered with agencies outside of Bloomington whenever possible. Last month alone, we were in the Spring Blossom Parade in Nashville and at the 4th Annual John Hartford Memorial Festival in Bean Blossom. Over the last year, we also partnered with Salt Creek Brewery for the 1st Annual Bedford Blues and Brews, the Indiana Boys for a CD release show at the Brown County Playhouse in Nashville, the Village Arts Walk in Nashville, and Tim Grimm’s CD release shows at Russian Recording in Bloomington and The Commons in Columbus.

Establishing a strong presence in the communities WFHB broadcasts to will continue to be a major goal for the foreseeable future.

We will also work to strengthen our partnership with Community Access Television Services, lay the groundwork for the regular pursuit of grants, and review and revise our bylaws and governance document. To learn more about these plans, attend WFHB’s Annual Meeting or look out for the minutes on our website.

Firehouse News, Vol. 1, No. 2: WFHB Technical Engineer Report

By Helen Harrell

Institutions are contained in buildings and these structures usually have cornerstones as a designation of their beginning.  Seems that can also be true of community radio stations as WFHB has a true cornerstone in engineer, historian, original visionary and overall man of all trades Jeffrey Morris.  To say that Morris has been instrumental in not only the founding of WFHB but its ongoing existence is merely an understatement.  While many folks were around in the beginning (and some still are) and played significant roles in establishing what is now a leader in Southern Indiana Community Radio, Morris has been there from the beginning. Not only did he submit required paperwork, applications, licensing and other government documents and forms to ensure a spot on the radio dial but he also saw to the  purchasing, erecting and maintaining of the main signal tower.  Acquiring the firehouse location, designing air rooms, purchasing and maintaining equipment all came under his purview.  And yes, he had lots of help and support along the way but after speaking with him for an hour or so it’s obvious that his dream for a real community supported and operated, democratically representative radio station has been his motivation regardless  of other associations and assistance. It’s prudent to note that Morris was always a volunteer and received little if no compensation for his many years and hours of work to bring WFHB to the reality it is today.

Many years later Morris has become a partially paid employee and while the compensation is hardly comparable to his expertise it is well deserved.  As an example, much of the station operating equipment is old and not only can’t be replaced/repaired but parts are no longer available.  Just call on Morris and he will find a way to fix it!!!  The power is out, the furnace or A/C stops working just call Morris!   An electrician by professional trade Morris brings an expertise to the station that would just be impossible to replace even though that thought does not occur to those who understand what’s what with electronics, equipment and dedication.

Even though Morris is older than most of the current volunteers he is comfortable in the digital age and has had little difficulty moving the station in the modern direction of digitization.  The only stumbling block is one that has always been an issue and that is enough funding for new equipment and facilities updates.  While making do with little is frequently a mantra at the station Morris knows that many updates are needed if WFHB is to continue competing in the local radio market.  Some of his wish list items are for appearance and comfort which are valid needs as well as new updated broadcasting equipment.  Many community members stepped up in the beginning to launch WFHB including such icons as Herman B Wells, Sarkes Tarzian and the Waldron family. However those resources have long been spent and new funding is needed to purchase items such as a new 98.1 transmitter HD, a new airboard and audioarts IP-12, audio network IO interfaces, 3/rewire cat 5/6 cables and codecs for remote broadcasts for an estimated total of $36,500.  Other items on the wish list are cleaning and painting the studio tower and remounting of the Marti antenna, repair, paint gate, new fence and grading and driveway stone at the transmitter building and finish the ‘cage’ (editing room) with wiring, drywall, trim and door.  These latter expenses total $11,500.  So for a grand total of $47,000 many needed improvements and advancements could be made.

Morris hopes folks will step forward and help with fundraising but in the meantime he will continue to repair and maintain.  But one man’s dream has become the reality for so many and that is reason alone to contribute to and support WFHB.

Firehouse News, Vol. 1, No. 2: WFHB News Department Summit to be Held in July

By Helen Harrell

The news department at WFHB is ever growing and evolving under the tutelage of WFHB Director Alycin Bektesh, and the upcoming News Summit to be held in July is no exception to her creative planning.  What’s a news summit you wonder?  While summits can of course vary in intent and purpose this one is intended to improve and enhance the WFHB News department.  Many folks including Bektesh and Assistant News Director Joe Crawford have expressed concerns that the news department operates beyond capacity to produce its 20 in-house programs along with managing the traffic for an additional 13 syndicated programs, recruiting and training new volunteers, participating in community outreach, fundraising and keeping updated content on the website and social media.   Bektesh feels that “because we don’t have time enough to allow us to focus on a departmental strategy, any discussion of changes and improvements ends up being superficial.”

In a desire to seriously address the various aspects for needed change, Bektesh has received both WFHB Board of Directors and News and Public Affairs Committee (NPAC) approval to suspend news programming throughout the month of July for a News Summit, allowing four weeks for daily meetings to narrow focus in brainstorming to action plans.  This effort is also seen as significant by other WFHB staff and long time show producers all of whom will be involved with various workshops throughout the month. A combination of re-runs and short seasonal programs will be used to fill programming time while the Summit is underway.

All WFHB listeners, supporters and volunteers are invited and encouraged to become involved and provide suggestions, new ideas and energy directed toward issues that affect everyone.  Bektesh hopes the result of this major summit will lead to a better trained, more collaborative News Department, a standard system of recruitment and training for incoming volunteers, job descriptions for news staff and producers that accurately match needs and expectations and a clear line of action to increase overall quality.

So folks, this is the time to step up and become involved.  Any and all suggestions will be considered and your participation will be greatly appreciated (and needed). The time commitment expectation is similar to that of any given volunteer’s current responsibilities and duties.   Bektesh said, “I want our declaration of being a community newsroom to be absolutely genuine and this is the opportunity to make it so!”  Hope to hear from all of you and see you in July!!

Here is the link to submit a workshop idea:

https://docs.google.com/a/wfhb.org/forms/d/11po1JniAz3RTB_dMNUi1ycKHwp0HlHl5P2y1GfkN1Gw/viewform

For questions and/or further information email:  news@wfhb.org

Firehouse News, Vol. 1, No. 2: Summertime… and the Livin’ is Easy

By Maryll Jones

It’s that time of the year when the temporary residents have left Bloomington for a few months and the townies take their rightful place back on the city streets.  This brings us to one of the largest social gatherings in the area – the weekly Bloomington Farmers’ Market.  Held at the Showers Common  outside City Hall at 7th and Morton streets every Saturday throughout the season, the farmer’s market is a large venue that includes farmers, food vendors, information booths, buskers and stage performers all of whom are peddling their wares to the customers that attend from the surrounding area.  Thousands of folks attend every Saturday from April to November.

What better place to promote WFHB than at the market?  The brain-child of WFHB volunteers Tilman Piedmont, Joe Estivill and Hondo Thompson nearly 6 years ago, Market LIVE! provides a valuable service to the City but also makes WFHB highly visible to those within the listening area.

What exactly do volunteers with Market LIVE! do?  Volunteers not only answer questions from passers-by and promote the value and power of community radio from the WFHB Market LIVE! booth, they also broadcast a live report from the market every hour at 20 minutes until the hour beginning at 8:40am.

Of the five live segments,  each 3-4 minutes long, two are pre-determined. The first at 8:40am is with market staffer Sasha Divine, who provides a market preview, including what is new that week at the market.  The final interview at 12:40pm is usually with Robin Hobson, Market Master with Bloomington Parks and Recreation.  This final report is a wrap- up of the day’s events and a sneak preview of the next farmer’s market the following Saturday.

The remaining three interviews are the responsibility of the volunteers who have free reign with only a few guidelines.  These guidelines include trying to obtain an interview from a different area of the market for each segment so that the interviews are as diverse as they can be.  The areas include farmers, food vendors, Info Alley, buskers, shoppers and whatever event happens to be going on at the Showers Plaza.

As Market LIVE!’s producer Hondo Thompson said “If you can’t be at the market, we’ll bring the market to you.”

Presently, Market LIVE! is in search of 2 – 3 volunteers to join the small team of roving reporters who will serve as knowledgeable representatives of WFHB to the public at large.  Training will be provided. Some desired qualities include: commitment of 1-2 Saturdays a month through November, ability to work alone or with limited supervision, comfortable doing LIVE, impromptu, unscripted broadcasts with a variety of people, ability to represent WFHB in a professional, positive manner, all while staying within the guidelines of the FCC.

Some of the perks include learning to be an effective live broadcast reporter, becoming an ambassador for WFHB to the public, experiencing the fantastic commodities of the market first hand, and getting to hang out with great people.

Having volunteer staff trained and ready to do live representation at other community events is also a huge asset to WFHB.  So if you are interested in developing live, unscripted broadcasting skills and love to hang out and meet new people,  please contact hondo@wfhb.org for more information and…

Come join the WFHB Market LIVE! band of roving reporters!

See you at the market!

Firehouse News, Vol. 1, No. 2: Democracy and Pot Luck at WFHB’s Annual Meeting

By Michael Glab

They’re fighting for democracy in any number of hot spots on the globe, but we’ve got it right here in Bloomington. The volunteer membership of WFHB will vote on new Board of Directors members Saturday, June 7, at the station’s annual meeting.

“Electing our board leadership is the most important thing you can do if you really care about this station,” former General Manager Chad Carrothers advised the membership prior to last year’s meeting. “You earn a vote with your volunteer hours, so use it!”

The WFHB family passes in and out of the cramped Firehouse Radio studios on 4th Street throughout the year but many of us rarely get the chance to see each other

The annual meeting is a chance for more than 200 WFHB volunteers to rub shoulders with board members, staffers and station supporters. It’s the biggest radio party of the year.

This year’s meeting begins with the traditional potluck lunch before Board president Joe Estivill bangs the gavel. Current General Manager Cleveland Dietz  II notes that the candidates will participate in a pre-meeting panel discussion this year rather than the traditional informal meet-and-greet. “It would be hard to give each candidate time for a short speech followed by questions and answers and have the meeting move along in a timely manner,” Dietz says. “Having a panel discussion beforehand, with questions provided by the membership, will help the official meeting move at a more manageable pace while not sacrificing the opportunity to ask candidates questions.”

Dietz says, “It’s a bit of an unusual election this year with a number of petition candidates.” Board members Matt Pierce, Carolyn VandeWiele, and Richard Fish are not running for re-election so three spots will be open. The panel discussion, moderated by News Director Alycin Bektesh, will begin at 11am.

Last year, Maria McKinley and Kevin Jones were elected to the Board. [Jones has since left the Board.]  The terms of the nine Board members are staggered to prevent upheaval.

Estivill says the 2013 annual meeting drew some 60 voting volunteers.

Get to the Monroe County History Center early this year so you won’t miss out on the good food and important politicking. This is the second year the annual meeting is being held at the MCHC at Washington and 6th Streets. For years WFHB’s annual meetings had been held in the Waldron Arts Center Rose Firebay, the largest performance space in the station’s home building. But, as Dietz explains Ivy Tech would prefer to reserve the Rose Firebay for revenue-generating events.

Attending members get to hear all the station’s business and news in the past year. The General Manager not only gives a report on his activities but Dietz will present a report on WFHB’s finances over the previous 12 months in addition to a forecast of the station’s money situation for the next year. Music and News directors Jim Manion and Alycin Bektesh will present their reports.

Then the real fun begins. As always, station staffers will present awards, including “Programmer of the Year,” the News Department’s “MacGyver Award” honoring excellence through innovation, “Rookie of the Year,” “Board Member of the Year,” and “Volunteer of the Year” to deserving recipients.

Following tradition, Music Director Jim Manion will distribute swag including CDs, T-shirts and other mementos to the crowd.

After the winning Board candidates have been announced the floor is opened for general discussion. Volunteers are welcome to make observations or ask questions about anything to do with Firehouse Radio. It’s your time to speak your mind.

Board President Joe Estivill again reminds volunteers and the interested public that the minutes of the annual meeting as well as all other Board parleys throughout the year are published promptly on the WFHB website.

Firehouse News Spec. Ed. 1: WFHB’s 7th Annual Acoustic Roots Festival

by Maryll Jones

It’s finally April and festival season is quickly approaching. One of the first festivals of the season is WFHB’s own Acoustic Roots Festival (ARF).

The ARF first began with the idea of having a signature music event that would also serve as a fundraiser for the station. Originally held on the property of the Story Inn in Story, Indiana, as a 4th of July festival, it was later moved to the Upland Brewing Company in Bloomington to allow for an earlier start in the season as a pre-cursor to the later, well-established bluegrass festivals in the area.

While speaking with WFHB music director Jim Manion, he explains that there is a “…spectacular acoustic music scene in Bloomington and you can’t pin it down to any one genre.” He continues, “Part of our mission is to celebrate an increase in local cultural diversity.” The ARF provides a public face for the station to the community and serves as a way for musicians to connect with each other. As a result, several of the artists have collaborated on other projects.

The last two years, two stages were utilized but this year, WFHB will exclusively use the new big new permanent stage that Upland built with limestone from the construction site next door. The decision to make this change was easy; one stage, one sound system and only one seat needed per person.

This year’s festival emcee, Hondo Thompson suggested that you “Come early and stay late.” The Friday afternoon mix DJ and co-producer of Market LIVE continued, “The adventure begins with the first note from the first band and doesn’t end ‘til the lights go out.”

As the festival grows each year, so does the need for volunteer participants. Without the 20-25 volunteers that pitch in every year, the festival would not exist and a huge fundraising opportunity would be lost. It takes a group effort doing anything from physically helping with the set-up the day before to taking tickets, selling merchandise, providing security, being stagehands, and finally the cleanup and tear down at the end of the day. The service the volunteers provide is invaluable. Look for the call-out for volunteer sign-up in the coming weeks.

In the future, WFHB hopes to increase sponsorship and apply for grants for the festival. The idea is to pay the performing musicians as they presently volunteer their talent for the benefit of the station but at the cost of losing a potential paying gig. Organizers would also like to have the budget for a national or international act such as Eileen Jewell and Jason Wilber, both of whom have close ties to Bloomington and donated their time and talent to past Acoustic Roots festivals.

On Wednesday, May 7, at 9pm, WFHB’s Local Live, a weekly WFHB program that features eclectic music broadcast live from various recording studios in Bloomington, will be doing a sneak preview show with upcoming festival artists Lexi Len & the Strangers and TV Mike & the Scarecrows. This broadcast will be live from Primary Sound Studio (formerly known as Farm Fresh Studios). Stay tuned to WFHB radio.

Who: The Underhills, Jacob Latham, Lexi Len & the Strangers, Ottomobile, White Lightning Boys, Tim Grimm and Jan Lucas, the Indiana Boys, and featuring TV Mike & the Scarecrows What: WFHB’s 7th Annual Acoustic Roots Festival When: Saturday, May 17, 2014 from 3-11pm. Gates open at 2:30.

Where: Upland Brewing Company, 350 W. 11th Street, Bloomington, IN.

Why: A great way to hear a full day of great music, hang with friends and support WFHB Community Radio.

Cost: Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the gate. Upland Brewery food and beverages will be available on site but food and drinks, coolers, etc., are not allowed to be carried in.

Firehouse News Spec. Ed. 1: Board of Directors Candidates Needed!

by Helen Harrell

A couple of months ago lots of voices were heard from in reaction to the hiring process for a new WFHB General Station Manager.  This demonstration of concern seemed like a positive sign that many folks love the station and care very much about its continuation as a democratically run media force in the Bloomington community and surrounding area.  Many of those heard from had great suggestions as well as pragmatic and philosophical goals for station expansion and now is the perfect time for those positive thinkers and supporters to transfer their ideas and thoughts into action by serving on the WFHB Board of Directors.

There are 3 board positions expiring in June and new board members will be elected at the upcoming annual meeting to be held 7 June at 12:15 pm location TBAThe nominating committee is submitting 4 nominations but anyone who has put in 30 hours of volunteer time during this past year (at least 4 hours in 3 different months) can petition to be a board member.  Simply collect 10 signatures of support for yourself or for someone you wish to nominate and submit them to manager@wfhb.org by 6 May 2014.  Board candidate bios will be posted on the WFHB website.

This is a great opportunity to be a part of WFHB not only as a volunteer but as someone who can contribute to the future planning and growth of a station that is just simply getting better every day. Hope to see YOU among the list of potential candidates!

Firehouse News Spec. Ed. 1: Ahhhhhhh… Spring… Fund Drive at WFHB That Is!

by Helen Harrell

If you haven’t been involved with a WFHB fund drive you just don’t know what you are missing!  Not good at asking folks for money?  You aren’t alone in that area but once you become involved in the activities at the station during a fund drive your enthusiasm will pique and it will become easier to ask listeners and supporters for financial contributions to keep the greatest community station ever…certainly in Southern Indiana and beyond (because don’t forget we live stream on line and podcast too) on air…….up and running. 

Many regular listeners and probably those infrequent listeners as well simply don’t understand how community radio works and that the democratic principle of a strictly volunteer run organization means that everyone must contribute to keep the lights on, the music flowing, the news reporting and the equipment from self-destructing!  Those of us who have been involved for many years actually look forward to fund drive time when energy is high, excitement is in the air and so many volunteers gather in the studio to pass their enthusiasm on to the broader listener community.  What could be better than gathering around the microphone with others who share your passion about WFHB and talking with folks about how great it is to have non commercialized news and public affairs reporting and music shows not bought and paid for by the mega-music industry?

In place of corporate control and/or sponsorship programming is determined by the very listeners who are asked to donate a few bucks each year to help keep it all going. The very fact that WFHB is volunteer driven is significant in that the station offers low barrier journalism.  What does that mean you ask?  It refers to the fact that WFHB offers a voice for any and all who want to participate and welcomes all opinions, attitudes and beliefs (we do anticipate that folks will be polite regardless of views).  And unlike corporate media your $$$ contributions go directly to station expenses and not into financing some CEO’s 3rd vacation home.  The dollars from fund drives make up over a third of WFHB’s annual budget and are imperative for daily operation of the station.  Paid staff is small and consists of dedicated  individuals who work very hard for their rather small wages, and the station is essentially run by its more than 200 volunteers who receive no financial recompense but receive great satisfaction in knowing they are contributing to the greater good – an amazing community station that focuses on public interest, issues, entertainment and events – all at the community level but relevant to the world.

WFHB holds the distinction of being the first (since 1993) volunteer-powered and listener supported community radio station and its focus is on providing an open community forum for the discussion and exchange of issues and ideas to celebrate local cultural diversity.    It has been my pleasure to volunteer on air, serve on the Board of Directors as well as on several committees and financially contribute to WFHB for well over a decade.  I also find it to be great fun to share my enthusiasm for the station during fund drive and tell others what a special opportunity it is to have a station like WFHB in the local community and surrounding areas.  Bloomington IN is better for having an independent, democratically run station and we ask for your financial help in ensuring that we can continue to bringing you the best from Btown!!

Firehouse News Spec. Ed. 1: It Takes a Community

by Michael Glab

WFHB’s semi-annual fund drives require more than just a pitcher and a catcher. Sure, they’re fitting terms as our spring call-out for donations begins the same week that baseball opens its 2014 season. In the community radio game, the pitcher is the on-air voice who issues the call for financial gifts from our listeners; the catcher is the volunteer who answers the phone when folks phone in to give.

The Spring Fund Drive this year runs from Friday, April 4 through Sunday, April 13. Throughout that busy, exciting ten days, nearly all of our more than 200 volunteers will pitch in to make the drive a success.

This will be Cleveland Dietz’ second fund drive as General Manager of WFHB. He also was involved in two others as an intern serving as assistant to the GM. Each of his four drives brought in a significant percentage of the station’s yearly operating budget.

We’ve had the same goal for four drives now, $46,000,” Dietz says. “Each year, between both fund drives, we’ve made roughly $92,000. Annually, we make another $68-70,000 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. That’s $160,000 of our $250,000 annual budget. The rest comes from corporate underwriting, random contributions throughout the year, two web drives, some grant money, some event money, and our CATS Week partnership with the Monroe County Public Library.”

The year’s two fund drives, in other words, will pay some 37 percent of the station’s bills.

WFHB follows many of the industry guidelines in raising money from its listeners. Station management also has come up with a few innovations of its own in an effort to get listener support.

Every on-air personality receives a pitch packet containing tips, prompts, and even a regulation or two. They also are encouraged to attend “pitcher training” sessions.

We talk about good practices,” Dietz explains. “For example, it is not good practice to say things like WFHB can’t operate without this money. You don’t want to present the picture that WFHB is flailing about and will sink if this doesn’t work out. People don’t want to support a sinking ship.

You want to stay positive. One way is to talk about what WFHB means to you personally. I feel it’s very, very powerful to talk about what brought you to the station, what keeps you here, why do you feel like it’s an important part of your life. It’s one of the very few times of the year when listeners can get a sense of the person behind the microphone. We also talk about not trashing other radio stations. Really, we’re all serving different niches.

We go over ‘Tell-Ten.’ That’s when we ask our volunteers to ask ten of their friends or family members to support them during their show. We find that people don’t typically donate to organizations so much as they donate to their friends or family. So folks who do employ the Tell-Ten are consistently among the most successful fund-raisers in terms of dollars brought in during their shows.

We go over using social media, but not to the degree that it becomes repelling. Then our pitch packets offer a wide variety of prompts that people can use to talk about some aspect of the station that they’re not exactly familiar with but are good selling points generally.”

WFHB DJs and program hosts don’t read off a script when making pitches. Dietz explains: “We’re against the idea of scripting pitches. It can be very easy to sound like you’re reciting something. It comes off as inauthentic and not genuine and frankly, you sound bored. That’s not the way to inspire people to open up their wallets for WFHB.

Of course, on-air volunteers aren’t alone during fund drives. Veterans of the fund drive game like Music Director Jim Manion and News Director Alycin Bektesh are always around to help. Manion has been involved with WFHB’s fund drives since the station went on the air 21 years ago.

And, as always, members of the Bloomington Independent Restaurant Association will provide food all day for volunteers throughout the fund drive.

Listener-supported radio experts have determined that the typical donor has heard seven pitches before picking up the phone and making a pledge.

Every one of our shows has a dollar goal,” Dietz says. “But even if you’re on the air and you’re pitching like crazy and you’re just speaking beautifully about community radio and what WFHB means to South Central Indiana but no one’s picking up the phone, you’re still putting in good work toward that seventh pitch.”

Let’s hope that seventh pitch is a strike.

2014 Fund Drive Special Events

Friday, April 4, 8pm: Busman’s Holiday CD release party/fundraiser for WFHB, at the Waldron Arts Center auditorium, tickets: $8

Tuesday, April 8, all day: Brown County local acts & entertainment, at Muddy Boots Cafe and the Pine Room Tavern, tickets: free (donations will be solicited)

Thursday, April 10, 7pm, Alternative Radio founder David Barsamian, at the Bloomington-Monroe County Convention Center, tickets: for the talk only, $5; for the talk plus meet-and-greet, $35

Friday, April 11, Firehouse Lounge, WFHB DJs at the Back Door, tickets: free

Firehouse News, Vol. 1, No. 1: Introducing the Firehouse News

by Michael G. Glab

Welcome to the first issue of the Firehouse News. Written, compiled, and edited by volunteers with the cooperation of WFHB staffers and Board of Directors, Firehouse News brings you inside information about Bloomington’s community radio station.

Firehouse News is a key component of a multi-front effort to bring transparency to our station. We’ll tie in with WFHB’s main website, as well as Facebook and Twitter pages, and the Google groups Spot-Online and Spot-Unleashed. Using these tools, we’ll create a comprehensive and thorough look at all aspects of our community-run, community-owned broadcasting and online operation.

Our articles, profiles, and news items will serve not only the hundreds of active WFHB volunteers, but will help introduce Firehouse Broadcasting to tens of thousands more people in our coverage area, including the Indiana University campus. The more people who get to know about WFHB and its people, the more our volunteer army will grow. With that will come fresh new ideas for programming, exciting new on-air and production talent, and a more involved listener base.

In this first issue, we introduce you to some of the key people who bring grassroots radio programming to our corner of South Central Indiana. They’ll tell us about new developments in programming, challenges in airing music, news and spoken word entertainment in a non-profit environment, and long-term station goals and strategies.

Firehouse News will bring you reports from the Music, News, Engineering, and Volunteer departments. We’ll present the General Manager’s report. We’ll have profiles of volunteer staff and paid staff. We’ll present informative features on the many faces of WFHB. This newsletter will be your lifeline to community radio in South Central Indiana.

Now, when you need to find out about the nuts-and-bolts of a non-profit, community radio operation, you can turn to us. We’ll provide links to the WFHB station bylaws, the activities of its Board of Directors, the Firehouse Broadcasting Strategic Plan, and even our station budget.

Regular issues of Firehouse News will arrive in your inbox four times a year with special issues published at various times. For instance, we already are working on a special issue to cover the upcoming Board of Directors election, the Spring Fund Drive, and the Acoustic Roots Festival. Subscribe to Firehouse News. Tell your friends and family about us. Be a part of Bloomington’s community radio family!

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