Esteemed KWUR Alumni -
This is Mickey Bradford, the current General Manager for KWUR. I'm here to beg you for some change, and alert you about KWUR goings-on, some of them monumental in scope.
Our annual fundraising week, which many of you know as Hustle Week, is about to start. It will take place between Sunday, February 24th (now!) and Saturday, March 2nd. For a few very specific reasons, which I will outline, we really need your help. To donate any amount to the station, you can call the station to pledge at (314) 935-5952. DJs will be manning the phones most hours from 9:00 AM to midnight from Sunday to Saturday to take your pledges. (NOTE: Some people have contacted us wondering if there is an alternative method besides checks, i.e. paypal, to make donations. There currently is not, BUT pledge anyway and we'll work this week to figure out how to set one up). Make checks out to KWUR 90.3 FM, and send them to this address:
KWUR 90.3 FM
Campus Box 1205
One Brookings Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63130
Here's a quick rundown of the prizes for certain donation levels:
$10 – KWUR picture postcard with special KWUR k?ans (also included in
donations over $25)
$25 – Limited edition, high quality silk-screened KWUR t-shirt
$50 – A custom station I.D., thanking you for your donation (and
including any other requested tidbits) that we will air live
$100 – Name a part of the station after you or someone of your choice.
$200 – Get a song written about you in the style of your choice, and recorded in KWUR's very own recording studio.
I can tell you two precise places where our money will be going this year. We ask for your help not because we can, but because the results from this Hustle Week will very likely determine if we can undergo either or both of these projects. Furthermore, due to the urgency of these projects, we need to know our financial standing as soon as possible. We always welcome donations, but we need them this week more than ever!
First, we are preparing to undergo the necessary measures to apply for a LPFM (Low Power FM) license during a legal window this coming October. If our application is approved by the FCC, this will result in a wattage upgrade to either 100 or 250 watts. Included in this realm is an expensive interference study, legal fees for preparing the application, and some equipment upgrades to get us compliant with LPFM regulations. Based on the implementation of the Local Community Radio Act in 2011, the change of leadership at our neighboring station KWMU, and talks with two lawyers and two broadcast consultants, this seems to be the best possible chance to go for an upgrade that we've ever had.
Secondly, we have been taking strides to improve our existing signal this semester. I obtained a used, but very well-functioning transmitter from a St. Louis radio engineer, which replaced our old degraded transmitter, and extended our signal further into many surrounding neighborhoods including Delmar, Skinker-Debaliviere, Clayton, and the Central West End. Unfortunately, through this process, we discovered that our signal processor, which runs through the transmitter, is in very poor shape. This does not hold back the range of our signal, but significantly affects its sound quality. An adequate replacement will run us 3000 or 4000 dollars, and we are hoping to purchase one soon, without financially impeding our wattage upgrade plans.
KWUR has been through a lot in the past year. Here are the things that have been keeping us busy:
- We successfully renewed our FCC license for 8 more years on Feb. 1st, after a great deal of tumult. For various reasons, it doesn't seem appropriate to include too many details about this. But I will provide them, if anyone is curious.
- Stack sessions have recently been revived! We've recorded 3 so far this semester (St. Louisians Kid Counselor and A.T.M., and Torres – see http://pitchfork.com/reviews/
- As you read above, we got a new transmitter, which has vastly improved our signal strength. We hope to advertise to surrounding communities as soon as we get a new signal processor to improve the signal quality.
- Shows are blogging! This has been surprisingly helpful in increasing the visibility of shows, especially to non-KWUR listeners. See http://kwur.com/schedule/ to find some hyperlinked blogs, including one for my show, Morton Feldman's Underwear Drawer (…really shameless plug). These will be required for every show next semester, so soon you can browse and figure out what shows might strike your fancy.
- Steam. You might be wondering why hustle week is in the spring. It's because the weekend before hustle week last semester, a giant steam leak erupted beneath the station, heating up some of the floors to 180 degrees. We escaped largely unscathed, except for one tragic casualty: the listening room couch. R.I.P.
Finally, and most importantly, something very unfortunate is happening. There's no good way to put this, and it warrants a long explanation, but we are regretfully being moved to the DUC after this semester. I promise that I will be providing more information to everyone when there is time and space, and I also want to assure everyone that we are doing our absolute best to fight every step of the way and to preserve KWUR's spirit and autonomy. We're completely determined to make the best of everything, and I've been in close touch with some alumni in order to ensure that KWUR's best interests are protected as much as possible. We are all going to miss the current station like crazy, but we're also looking forward to a bright future.
I suppose I have to end this letter at some point. Consider a donation to help the large scale projects that I have outlined above. Tune in to the stream (or 90.3 FM if you're in the area!) at KWUR.com this week, especially during the all-night broadcast, which is this Thursday from 8PM to Friday morning at 8AM! If you're ever in St. Louis, or are considering returning to get a last whiff of the old station, get in touch with me – I would like to hear as many perspectives and stories as possible. Lastly, if you're still in touch with other alumni, send this letter around to them! Don't assume others have gotten it, since we don't have a solid contact list to work off of.
Let's hustle! I truly appreciate every bit of support you can give, and I thank you for playing a small or big part in making the station what it is today.
KWUR 90.3 FM