Backers seeking to revive Great Barrington's WBCR-LP
Nov 20, 2017 12:04 am
John Townes is reporting in the Hill Country Observer the backers of lower power FM station WBCR in Great Barrington are looking to revitalize the station during the coming year. For much of the first decade after it first went live in 2004, the station attracted dozens of volunteers and provided a diverse range of live, local programming. Over time, however, participants left and in late 2015, the station closed its offices and studio and consolidated its operating equipment in a space near the transmitter atop Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington. As a result, the WBCR broadcast schedule is now filled with syndicated programming from Pacifica, along with automated music. “We had run out of money, and the board warned that we might have to wind down and prepare to close,” said Asa Hardcastle, a longtime volunteer and member of the Berkshire Community Radio Alliance. “However, a core of the members rallied.” Judy Eddy, a former Alliance board member who is active in the current reorganization effort, attributed the station's problems in part to the absence of a paid staff. The station also suffered from a lack of physical visibility after it moved from a studio space on Main Street, Hardcastle said. The new business plan for WBCR includes an aggressive membership campaign, the hiring of a paid executive director to oversee station operations and finding space for a broadcast studio in downtown Great Barrington. Long-term, the hope is to hire more staff and to buy a studio site. Read the full story in the Hill Country Observer.