As a Staff Development activity, on Thursday, January 24th, Chris Burris, Joe Harrington, Mary Horton, Mary Beth Lock, Lauren Pressley, Lynn Sutton, and I went on a tour of 88.5 WFDD. Greg Keener, Membership Operations Coordinator for the station, was kind enough to volunteer to show us all around.
The station is located inside a renovated house so the interior is rather crowded in some areas, but everything was well laid out and professional looking. WFDD is staffed by 12 members and has three studios. The station also has three bandwidths on HD Radio: WFDD 1 which plays the regular WFDD format, WFDD 2 plays classical and opera music, and WFDD 3 (which is scheduled to launch in February) plays an eclectic blend of music ranging from bluegrass to ambient.
We sat in one of the conference rooms and Greg shared some interesting facts about the station:
1946: WFDD was “born” as a 5 watt station on the campus of Wake Forest College
1948: Officially accepted by the FCC. Thus, this is the year they consider to be their radio debut. The goal for the first pledge drive of that year was $200!
1967: Became the first non-commercial FM station in Winston-Salem
1971: Charter member of NPR (yes, even before WUNC!)
1989: Hurricane Hugo caused the radio tower to collapse
1991: Moved into current location. Prior to that they were located in Reynolda Hall
After Greg fielded some questions from all of us, we went into a studio with one of the Producers and Hosts of WFDD programming, Bradley George. We were able to watch him push some buttons and announce on-air traffic and weather. He also took a few questions from us. It was very brief, but very interesting.
Our time at WFDD was very pleasant and informative. Greg was also kind enough to send us all off with an 88.5 WFDD flower pot coffee mug. WFDD will be having their Winter fundraiser during the week of February 8th-13th. Tune in and give if you can!