Monday, July 10, 2006
Joe Wessels on the Move
The CityBeat blog has just posted "Controlling WAIF," which highlights Joe Wessels latest email campaign to attract more members before the cutoff for this year's membership meeting -- where new board members will be elected. Here is the full text of Wessel's email, which was quoted at CityBeat...

In Cincinnati we are very lucky. Many of those reasons are obvious. Fountain Square. The River. The Reds, The Bengals. Also, our many visual and performing arts organizations, our wonderful people and our tasty chili, among so much else.

Other lucky reasons aren’t quite so obvious, and they arguably better tell the story of our region. One of those, I think, is WAIF-FM (88.3). And it is in trouble.

You may have seen the May CityBeat article that outlined, in a more or less technical way, some of the issues at the station. Where there is a problem I see a splendid opportunity. I hope you will join me.

WAIF is a membership organization, counting on new memberships to drive its annual budget. With every $15 membership, each person gets a vote at the station’s annual meeting. That vote allows members to elect new board members and begin the process of moving the station in a new direction.

A good faith effort was put forth to talk with the organization’s leadership in the hopes that collectively we could come up with a solution to the stations problems and begin to discuss an alternate future for WAIF. Unfortunately, these overtures fell on deaf ears and issues at the station continue to go unaddressed.

Now, with just days until the August 1 membership deadline, I am writing to a few key people. My hope is you will join me – and help me – in the quest to get new members to join the station. Unfortunately, the Board of Directors, aware that a membership drive might be launched, apparently moved the deadline ahead nearly a month. I am sorry for the short notice.

Joining is important, but more than joining, we need new members to vote at the upcoming September 17, 2006 annual meeting. That way, five new board members can be voted onto the board and begin the work needed to take WAIF to a better place.

Here are some of the reasons I think you might be interested in helping WAIF.

Once a member joins the station, they have a say in one of the country’s last community radio stations. WAIF – owned completely by its members – has been on the air in Cincinnati for more than 30 years.

WAIF embodies a way for your group or organization to become the voice of the station – whether that is on the air, being on the Board of Directors or a member.

With an FCC educational broadcasting license, WAIF delivers truly original programming, commercial free – and the opportunity to create new programs – to an audience throughout the Greater Cincinnati area.

The potential for the station is limitless. Remote broadcasts, new programs, the chance to increase WAIF’s programming hours, better management, better programs, better audience development and better fundraising.

Cincinnati has dwindling radio diversity. WAIF represents a chance to improve diversity and have less-heard and unheard voices on radio in Cincinnati. WAIF truly is “what radio is meant to be.”

Things have not always been so bad at WAIF. As this CityBeat story and others show, the station has realized much of its potential in the past. But now it is at a crossroads. I fell in love with WAIF and the concept of diverse, community radio last summer and fall when I hosted both award-winning shows, the Brian & Joe Radio Show and Cincinnati Advance Radio. It was a wonderful opportunity to take an hour each week and do what I want to further Cincinnati. It was a fantastic medium to do that and it saddens me to think it might not continue.

Here’s what you can do. First, members need to join the station – and we need a lot. Second, and arguably most important, we need members who can be at the WAIF annual meeting Sept. 17 to help get enough votes for qualified people to join the Board of Directors.

If you are interested in being part of this plan – and we only have about three weeks – please reply to this e-mail. I will send you further instructions on how to help get new members.

I am very excited about the prospect this membership drives holds for the future of community radio in Cincinnati and the ability for groups that care about this city to get their message out. If you have any questions please feel to reply to this e-mail or call me at (513) 315-9979.

Thank you, Jason, for sticking through this e-mail. I look forward to the great changes ahead for WAIF and your involvement in it.


Joe Wessels
posted by Reform WAIF @ 1:07 PM  
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WAIF in CityBeat
"Watching at WAIF," 2/22/06

"Letters," 3/01/06

"Naughty Stepchild," 5/03/06

"Letters," 5/10/06

"Letters," 5/19/06

WAIF at The Beacon
"Media Wars! WAIF v. CityBeat" 2/26/06

"Is Donald Shabazz Putting WAIF in Danger?" 2/28/06

"Complaints Filed With FCC," 4/01/06

Action Plan

*Technology & Digital Improvement

*Committee of Business

*On Organization and The WAIF Website

Updates in the fight to reform WAIF, a community radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio at 88.3FM.
About The Writers

Derrick Blassingame and The Dean of Cincinnati are former WAIF hosts. They know first-hand some problems inside the organization. Both decided to contribute to this site, in an attempt to save Cincinnati's community radio station!

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WAIF Board
Donald Shabazz, BOT Chairman
Howard Riley, Station Manager
Colleen Sims, Chief Operator
Ken Naegele, Remote Coordinator
Mark Elstun, Board member
Michael Wood, Treasurer
George Whitton, Premium & Membership
Vinay Satyal, Assistant Treasurer
John Newell, Secretary
Olubanjo Adigun

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