Columbus, Ohio: There is an uprising brewing in Columbus, Ohio over whether to keep jazz music on a community radio station as its music format or return the format to talk radio programming. This is Part Three of a series about WCRX-LP. Follow this story and discover just what the fuss is all about.
Real leadership arrives at WCRX-LP
In Part Two of this story, you were introduced to reports of the alleged mismanagement and suggested misconduct at Bexley Public Radio Foundation (BPRF), the license holder of low power community radio station WCRX-LP. In this, Part Three of our series, we continue providing you the background that has led to an uprising amongst the team that provides the daily management, programming and operations of the radio station and their effort to Keep Jazz On WCRX-LP, Jazz 102.1 FM.
… It would take a major effort to brand the station as a jazz station and separate it from the time-share frequency partner that broadcast a completely different format on the same frequency.
With the addition of the new mid-afternoon jazz show, jazz lovers not only quickly discovered the station, according to the station’s founder, it was the first time the station had ever received unsolicited telephone calls from listeners. School bus drivers and morning commuters in search of something else to listen to discovered the station and called in to express their excitement and the enjoyment of what they were listening to in the early morning and afternoon.
With the success of the new personality, his format and his show, and the following of the existing host volunteers, two months later in August, 2011, the personality suggested to the founder that he "seize the moment", "fill the void" and allow him to change the entire format of the station to a jazz format during the entire twelve hours when other content or shows were not being produced or aired.
The founder wanted to separate himself and the station from the format provided by the frequency timeshare partner. The founder recognized that the new personality would bring to the table the management, marketing, information technology and engineering expertise necessary to brand and build the radio station. It would take a major effort to brand the station as a jazz station and separate it from the timeshare frequency partner that broadcast a completely different format on the same frequency.
Separating itself from the other radio station sharing the frequency was more difficult than just differentiating the two diverse formats and getting listeners to realize they weren't listening to the same station when one station went off the air and the other began its broadcast day.
A major issue also existed between the two radio stations. For the previous four years, it was reported that a financial feud had been started by Bexley Public Radio Foundation (BPRF) who was demanding rental usage fees from the other station for the use of the antenna and transmitter it owned and had installed at the tower site.
On the other hand, the other station declared that they provided all the engineering and IT support, as well as owned and maintained the remote computers and other equipment installed at the tower site that made it possible for both stations to broadcast and was not charging BPRF. BPRF was threatening to sue the other station and the other station was claiming that as such, BPRF was attempting to profit from the shared relationship.
The new personality decided not to become involved with the financial dispute between the groups but rather, concentrate on developing and implementing procedures and structure for the station. He garnered the respect and following of most of the existing personalities and volunteers that remained. Even more important, he improved morale and gave the staff the hope of future success.
Using his technical skills, working offsite in the evenings from home, the new personality developed the technology to allow the station to consistently sign on at the beginning of its broadcast day at 3:00 in the morning. He built a remote studio in his home to accomplish this and a portable remote broadcast system, which led the way for the station to do remote broadcasts. Jazz 102.1 FM, WCRX-LP was evolving, real leadership had arrived and a new jazz radio station was born!
This is Part Three of a series about WCRX-LP. Continue to follow this story and discover just what the fuss is all about.
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Next: Part Four – A New Station Manager Appointed
Want to help Keep Jazz On WCRX-LP, Jazz 102.1 FM? No matter where you are in the world reading this article, if you’re a jazz lover and want to keep jazz on the radio airwaves, visit the Jazz 102.1 website and sign their online petition at http://www.myjazz102.com.
See Columbus Dispatch Article - "Small radio stations agree to split airtime | The Columbus Dispatch"
See Columbus Dispatch Article - "Dialed into jazz | The Columbus Dispatch"
Part One - Introduction to the Uprising
Part Two - Alleged Mismanagement