WRIR-LP Richmond, VA
by Chris Maxwell, Station Manager
WRIR is the nation's LARGEST community LPFM in terms of population
covered by our signal. We had our first fundraiser three months after going on air and 342 people donated about $22,000. We have dozens of underwriters with accounts
receivable over $50,000 after just 8 months.
We are already a major resource to the community. One of our DJs did in-depth interviews with people promoting AND opposing massive
corporate welfare in the form of a performing arts center that many say will pull
the oxygen out of grass roots small business and small nonprofit arts spaces that got going with no government funding. We have Republicans and
Democrats, Greens and Libertarians as well as Independents of no party and
Nihilists ("I don't vote because nothing matters") coming in to do programming of music, news and talk. As long as its not already aired
on another radio station and supports cultural diversity in Richmond, we
will find a place to air it!
WRIR also got off the ground with no foundation funds! We spent about $15,000 getting on-air and it was ALL from the PEOPLE of our community. This includes building the ONLY LPFM in the nation to
have the C-Band PRSS satellite receiving system where we get a lot of the
news and talk programming that is aired every weekday from 8am-5pm as well as some of the top NPR programs like Talk Of The Nation and hard-hitting
dissent such as Amy Goodman's Democracy Now!
We have 14 locally produced news and talk shows including "Inspiration Corner" (Thursdays 12:30pm - 1pm) and a Sunday Morning Reggae Carribean
Gospel show ("Karribean Prayze" Su 9a-11am) and Sunday 6-7am "Tones Of Gospel" that carry Christian programming as well as Mary Knoll news and
talk (Mondays 4pm-4:30pm) from the Christian perspective. Our mission is
"Radio For The Rest Of Us" so this is the Christianity that is NOT on the
other 12 Gospel oriented radio stations in this area. We occasionally carry
lectures from other churches ignored by the likes of "ambassador" Pat Robertson and the army of AFA stations.
So we have a VERY wide range of the community at WRIR, we have over 100 volunteers who come through on a weekly basis. This is the best part of
WRIR, the amazing neighbors coming out of the woodwork. We are creating
a refuge where those who are rejected by Lame Stream society can thrive and
network with other people and discover new music, culture and ideas. We also are striving to find ways to provide a resource of information and
inspiration that will help those who fall through the cracks of our society
to become the person they always wanted to be.
We have some of the nations most African oriented programming, in fact one
of the Barnes & Nobles in Washington DC puts our Sunday afternoon webfeed
on their overhead speakers for that reason. We have a news team that create 30 minutes a week of fully internally produced news with always new interviews and research, NOT
"rip'n'read" from the print or internet presses.
And this is all in SPITE of receiving massive interference that reduces our
useful coverage down to a mile or two on some days due to being co-channeled with a huge
SuperPowered station of 73kw that is sometimes heard 100 miles over our head to the west in spite of that
co-channel being 70 miles to our EAST!!
And we have our first antenna on our studio, which is surrounded by about
half a dozen huge 10 and 12 story apartment buildings, parking decks, warehouses etc. This chops up our signal horribly with picket fencing
is more like abutments of bridges to the sound.