WETS launches spring fund drive
Published 9:13 am Friday, April 11, 2014
When WETS-FM first went on the air, its staff of five broadcast 12 hours a day from an old house, and the only programming that could be considered ‘local’ was hosts playing classical music. From vinyl LPs.
Fast forward 40 years, and the station’s staff broadcasts three separate radio stations from its custom-built building, each on the air around the clock and spiced up with original programming that finds its way across the nation.
How’d they do that?
“Listener support.” That’s station director Wayne Winkler’s answer.
WETS listeners are responsible for transforming the station from a tiny operation in one of the smallest markets measured by Nielsen Audio to a state-of-the-art content generator with national reach.
“Without the financial support of our listeners during our fundraising campaigns,” Winkler asserts, “none of this could have been possible.”
The station has launched its annual spring fund drive, giving those listeners another chance to show their financial support. Backers can phone in pledges and contributions at 888-895-9387 or contribute online at www.wets.org.
WETS briefly interrupts regular programming in both spring and fall to ask listeners for tax-deductible contributions. It’s a ritual known to public radio listeners across America, dating back to 1979, when the Federal Communications Commission permitted non-commercial “educational” radio and television stations to ask for listener contributions on the air.
Winkler says listener support is now the “lifeblood” of WETS, and that he and his staff have always paid close attention to what programming actually received that backing. They have also added two digital HD channels that are dedicated entirely to music.
“Now we not only offer news and information around the clock, we offer more music than we ever did before, and it’s available online as well as on HD receivers,” Winkler said