WFHB (98.1 and 91.3) is a community radio station in Bloomington, IN.
I encourage you to check out the station, either via iTunes public radio or streaming audio at the station web site. I volunteer at WFHB, along with approximately 100 (give or take) other people, and this week we're having a fund drive to raise money for operating expenses.
Although the station is small, independent, and community-based, from emails the station has received, apparently listeners include people in Thailand and Sweden and even that exotic land called Wisconsin...
WFHB has only three paid employees. Volunteers range from retirees who play Perry Como to high school students who do an entire Saturday segment called "Youth Radio."
WFHB's programming is called "free-form radio." That means no required playlist based upon commercial rather than artistic interest. That means you might hear Gus Viseur and The Duhks and Roosevelt Sykes and Leonard Cohen and Keran Ann and Neko Case and Elvis Costello during one program.
Obviously the programming is diverse. Featured music (depending on the show, or sometimes not) includes delta and Chicago blues, new and classic jazz, world, hip-hop, alternative rock, alternative country, Latin, reggae, rockabilly, Americana, bluegrass, experimental, gospel, Native American, classical, archival spoken radio comedies, and probably other categories I've forgotten to mention.
WFHB depends entirely on listener support and is not affiliated with "University" public radio, NPR, ...the sort of public radio that has to answer to large corporate sponsors (and still ask you for money.)
Along with BBC World News Service every weekday morning, the station also offers Euroquest, from Amsterdam, Alternative Radio, featuring people like Howard Zinn, Free Speech Radio News, and is currently testing a Friday edition of Democracy Now!
These programs aren't free. But this station is one of the few ways people in the area (not to mention people tuning in online) have to hear a variety of news sources as media consolidation continues.
In addition to national and international feeds, the station has locally written and produced Daily Local News, a weekly GBLT program, a weekly Spanish-language local and international news program, and a weekly public affairs program that was one of the first in the country to interview Carl Rising-Moore, a man who started an underground railroad for suicidal soldiers.
So, obviously I'm telling you all this because I'd like to invite you to subscribe and become a listener.
(And I'd like to see the expression on the Station Manager's face when he gets new memberships from Kossacks and wonders where they all came from.) And also, I'm telling you this because the sooner we reach our financial goal, the sooner we can stop asking people to support independent community radio.
Here are the membership levels and the premiums that come with them:
At the $35 new member pledge level, new members receive one CD and a year subscription to Utne magazine.
At the $60 pledge level, new or renewing members receive one CD and a year subscription to Utne magazine.
At the $120 pledge level, new or renewing members receive three CDs and either a year subscription to Utne OR a 6 month subscription to Paste* music magazine.
At the $365 pledge level, new or renewing members receive the most popular CD from the playlists of WFHB each month and either a year subscription to Utne or a 6 month subscription to Paste music magazine.
*Paste includes a cd sampler every month with music ranging from Bright Eyes to Spottiswoode and His Enemies to Vic Chestnut to Lucinda Williams to The Waifs to Lou Barlow to The Blind Boys of Alabama (with Tom Waits) to the Preservation Hall Hot 4 with Duke DeJan...in other words, a lot like the programming at WFHB.
I wasn't sure if it would be okay to post a diary about the local community radio station's fundraiser, but I saw another Kossack wrote about his recently published book. I do not benefit financially in any way, but I do benefit so much by having the opportunity to make my community (and the community of listeners around the world) a more diverse and interesting place by helping to offer a variety of music and points of view.
I think you could benefit, too.