WCOM-FM 103.5 Receives 50 Forward Award from Coastal Credit Union

CARRBORO, NC: The Public Gallery of Carrboro, which operates WCOM-LP 103.5 all-volunteer community radio, received one of five $5000 50 Forward awards from Coastal Credit Union in a ceremony at its Raleigh headquarters on November 14, according to Public Gallery of Carrboro chairperson Art Menius. 50 Forward enabled participants to nominate a deserving nonprofit to win a $5,000 donation. Entrants are asked to identify a nonprofit within the 16 counties where Coastal does business, briefly describe why the nonprofit is deserving of a donation, and explain what it does that is meaningful to the person nominating it.

1500 people nominated 463 non-profit agencies, according to Menius. Five were selected to receive the $5000 awards. The other 50 Forward recipients were Raleigh Rescue Mission, Chapel Hill High School Philharmonic Foundation, Beginnings, and First NC Robotics.

The video which Coastal Credit Union produced about WCOM can be viewed at https://youtu.be/yde6gind5s0.

“We’ve spent the past 50 days looking back on the impact we’ve made in the lives of our members and community over the past five decades,” said Coastal’s spokesman, Joe Mecca. “50 Forward is the kickoff to our next 50 years of serving the community, and lets our members pay it forward to the organizations they see doing great work.

One of the first stations to go on air under the FCC’s Low Power program, WCOM went on air on September 29, 2004. The station, which rents studio space from The ArtsCenter in downtown Carrboro, reaches listeners around the globe through its Internet stream on www.wcomfm.org. It depends on donations, grants, events, and underwriting for its income.

WCOM provides a radio home for dozens of volunteer hosts creating original programming including outstanding talk and current affairs shows and music programs spanning many genres with especial strengths in roots, jazz, and blues. Guests on WCOM over the years have proven as diverse as Congressman David Price, blues star Shemekia Copeland, then State Senator Ellie Kinnaird, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Chris Hillman, the late Elizabeth Edwards, and mentalist The Amazing Kreskin. WCOM has trained and given a first broadcast opportunity to countless area residents.

According to its website, “Our mission at WCOM is to educate, inspire, and entertain the diverse populations of Carrboro, Chapel Hill and nearby areas. We cultivate local music and facilitate the exchange of cultural and intellectual ideas, with particular regard for those who are overlooked or under-represented by other media outlets. We provide a space for media access and education by providing equipment and training to our community.”

New Programming:

New Show starts 11/15/2017:  Planet Watch:  what’s going down in our part of the universe and what we can do about it: SOLUTIONS to big problems facing humanity today…  a great adjunct to our homegrown “Home Power Hour!” Wednesdays 7am-8am.

Show update:  “Neverland” on Saturdays 4-5pm is now “The Salt and Pepper Show“,  a fun filled hour of music and fun facts about the artists as well as talk about Tween issues and pre-teen chatter.

New show starts 10/30/2017: (Mondays, Noon-1pm):  The Radio Survivor weekly show explores the future of community media, with a focus on community radio, college radio, low-power FM and public access TV, along with podcasting and internet radio.  Hosts Paul Riismandel, Eric Klein and Jennifer Waits highlight the best and most innovative audio programming and keep you updated on the news that affects our ability to make, create, hear and see great community media.  www.RadioSurvivor.org

WCOM Annual Birthday Celebration November 2, 2017

You are invited to join WCOM hosts and members for our 13th station birthday party at the Hickory Tavern in the Hampton Inn in Carrboro. We’ll be celebrating starting at 5:30 PM on Thursday, November 2, 2017. Great people, good food and drink, terrific raffle prizes, plus 10% of your food purchases benefit your community radio station, WCOM.

Welcome Skyler Borgman to our Board

Skyler  Borgman, CFA, has joined the board of directors of the Public Gallery of Carrboro, the parent organization of WCOM community radio. A financial adviser with Morgan Stanley, Skyler was active in non-profits in his native Philadelphia. He has a particular interest in and vision for building WCOM’s relationships and identity in the greater Carrboro and Chapel Hill community.

Hal is in the House

Our new broadcast automation system – named Hal is an informal poll of show hosts – is in the studio. Engineering plans to put it online replacing Simian on Saturday, January 7. Although we have to expect the bumps in the road of any technological transition, the new system will eliminate the endemic issues with Simian during the last year and make remote show posting, management of back up shows, and scheduling syndicated programming much easier.

We owe a lot of thanks to Engineering Chair Donald Brumfield for making this happen with the kind assistance of Bill McClymont. We also appreciate the donors to our 2016 Annual Appeal and Orange County for funding Hal.

WCOM at Primetime Business Expo

WCOM promoted itself and underwriting opportunities at the Chapel Hill Carrboro Chamber of Commerce’s Primetime Business Expo at the Friday Center on Thursday, November 11. The chamber generously gave WCOM a booth at Orange County’s largest such event, putting us in the same venue as WCHL, WQDR, Wells Fargo, Camerons, the Chapel Hill Sheraton Hotel, and several dozen other area businesses.

Donald “DJ Smooth Jazz” Brumfield, WCOM’s engineer, staffs our booth at the Primetime Business Expo.

WCOM hosts Ernie Hood, Don Emmett, Becky Johnson, Donald Brumfield, Bill Hendrickson, Art Menius, and Dave Bellin took turns representing the station both at our booth and visiting those of other businesses.

Dubose elected at Annual Meeting

The members of the Public Gallery of Carrboro (dba WCOM Community Radio) held its 2016 Annual Meeting on Saturday, October 22 in the ArtsCenter. The membership by acclamation elected Eliza Dubose to a three year term on the board of directors starting on January 1, 2017.

Donald Brumfield presented the engineering report, Bill Henderickson for the Development Committee, and Karl Blake for the Programming Committee. The latter has been very active lately adding new local and syndicated shows and developing a system for rebroadcasting local programs. Art Menius offered the financial report indicating that the board has ended the unfortunate run of $2000 annual losses that began with the $5400 per year increase in studio space rental.

Menius gave the chair’s state of the station report. He listed numerous accomplishments of the past nine plus months including enhanced budgeting and cash flow projections, stronger committees, new bylaws and observing them, more fundraising and grants, adoption of and monitoring a long range plan, bringing the station into compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 with the outstanding support of music hosts entering data into Spinitron, and 100% underwriting compliance. He also listed challenges before us including increasing involvement in the local community, strengthening the community of WCOM members, getting more people involved in the tasks that keep the station on the air, and building a financial reserve.