BY LEONARD E. COLVIN, CHIEF REPORTER, THE NEW JOURNAL AND GUIDE
NORFOLK, For the first time in its 36 years of broadcasting from the campus of Norfolk State University, its public radio station, WNSB 91.1 FM, conducted an on-air membership drive “MemberFest 2016,” April 1-10. April ushers in the warmth of spring and all across the land public radio stations like WNSB are having their annual drives to raise much needed funds to pay for programming and recruit new members to build their listenership. South Hampton Roads is fortunate to have several public radio stations, which must rely on corporate and private donations and membership drives to pay for programming, staff and equipment.
“We understand fully that our listeners count on us. Now we are counting on our listeners. Their financial support enables the radio station to stay on the air and gives WNSB the financial boost needed to grow, improve and be there for our loyal listeners 24 hours a day seven days a week,” said Edith Thorpe, general manager of WNSB 91.1 FM. Norfolk-based public radio stations WHRO FM 90.3 and WHRV 89.5 began a week on April 9 of their on-air fund raising efforts.
According to Barbara Hamm Lee, the host of the weekly Black-oriented talk program “Another View” on WHRV-FM 89.5, much of the money raised is used to pay for news programs such as “Morning Edition” produced by the National Public Radio (NPR) network. WNSB, which is owned by NSU, called its spring fund raiser “MemberFest 2016.” WNSB signed on the air for the first time February 22, 1980, as a non-commercial radio station with an educational format. The station has since become one of the most-listened-to public radio stations with an urban format in Hampton Roads and the only public radio station with an urban alternative format in Virginia.
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