- Join WGXC's tireless volunteer base; join a Volunteer Advisory Committee.
- Policy and Agreement
- 90.7-FM Program Schedule
- 90.7-FM Program Application
Programmer Quick Links
- Daily Contact List
- Technical Status
- Volunteer Requirements
- Music Reporting
- Pledge Drives
- Program Terms
- Security & Equipment
- Show Promotion
- Programmer Agreement & FCC and Station Policy Programmer Quiz
On-Air Conduct & Board Operating
- Station IDs, PSAs, Underwriting
- On Air Conduct in Seven Parts (FCC)
- Facility Use
- Evaluation & Feedback
- Proper language about your show and WGXC?
- Missing a show?
- Reserve a studio?
- Record a phone interview?
- Using the office?
- Public File?
- FCC visit?
- Technical trouble?
- Hearing something wrong?
- Leaving the studio?
- The studio is locked?
- Helping other programmers?
- Permissible on-air studio interruptions?
- Editing archive files?
- Music submissions?
- Audio file naming?
- News Policy
- Communication Materials and Design
- Fundraising and Outreach
- Dispute and Complaint Resolution
- Making Radio
- More Radio
- Radio Conferences
An extraordinarily diverse group of volunteer programmers are behind the over 100 shows that air regularly on WGXC 90.7-FM. Information about each show including descriptions and host biographies are available by clicking the name of the show either from a broadcast page or from the alphabetical list, which appears HERE.
This page contains important information for volunteers, including current WGXC programmers, individuals interested in proposing a show on 90.7-FM, as well as those who simply wish to get involved. Questions about the information provided here should be directed to Lynn Sloneker, Station Manager, lynn [at] wgxc.org.
WGXC 90.7-FM is a Program Division of Wave Farm. Essential information about how WGXC relates to Wave Farm's programs and activities-at-large is available via the About link in the footer at the bottom of this page.
WGXC is made possible by hardworking volunteers. Everything heard on 90.7-FM is the result of volunteer effort. From mending broken headphone cables, shoveling snow to provide access to the studios, recording town meetings and events, and being on the air sharing music and words, volunteers keep this station going. You don't have to know anything about radio or audio production to make a difference - WGXC needs you just as you are! Becoming a WGXC volunteer is a free and fun way to learn new skills and meet your neighbors.
How can your skills help WGXC? Can you answer a phone and say "Good morning, WGXC!"? Or sit at a table during a town-wide event and tell people about community radio? Put up a flier at your workplace, or favorite local hang? Bring a Zoom recorder to your next town or school board meeting? All of this (and more) helps keep WGXC on the air, and working at its best for our communities. If you'd like to get involved, get in touch by emailing volunteer[at]wgxc.org or calling the Hudson Studio (518) 697-7400! Or stop by one of our standing monthly meetings:
• WGXC Hudson Studio Informational Meeting and Volunteer Orientation: First Wednesday of the month, 5 p.m. 704 Columbia Street, 2nd Fl. Hudson, NY 12534.
• WGXC Satellite Studio Informational Meeting and Volunteer Orientation: Second Tuesday of the month, 2 p.m. Catskill Public Library 1 Franklin Street Catskill, NY 12414.
• Wave Farm WGXC Acra Studio Informational Meeting and Volunteer Orientation: Third Saturday of the month, 1 p.m. 5662 Route 23, Acra, NY 12405.
In working to create a truly participatory radio station, WGXC requires constant input and energy from the community it seeks to serve. Community members seeking to deepen their involvement with WGXC should consider joining one of the station's volunteer advisory committees. Presently, there are four advisory committees concentrated on the areas of outreach, fundraising, programming, and policy. Descriptions of each advisory committee can be found below.
The WGXC Community Programming Advisory Committee meets the third Tuesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. to review incoming program applications, conduct programming evaluations, draft updates to WGXC programmer instructions and resources, and review any community programmer infractions for the Sunday - Friday; 6 a.m. – midnight WGXC Community Program Schedule. To learn more about the Programming Committee, please contact Community Program Schedule Coordinator Alanna Medlock.
The WGXC Community Outreach Advisory Committee sets and meets goals in order to engage new audiences. The advisory committee ensures representation in the community whether staffing a table at a community event, speaking to a group about the station, or attending events on behalf of WGXC. To get involved with the Outreach Committee, please contact Station Manager Lynn Sloneker.
The WGXC Community Fundraising Advisory Committee provides leadership with regards to fundraising events and major donor gifts. The advisory committee meets on the second Tuesday of each month, at 6 p.m. Those seeking to take an active role in WGXC's fundraising are welcome to join the advisory committee. Please contact Station Manager Lynn Sloneker to learn more.
The WGXC Policy Advisory Committee is charged with reviewing and revising WGXC program policies for quality and assurance. As WGXC is a Program Division of Wave Farm, policy revisions that carry legal and/or financial repercussion, as well as revisions that include any deviation from WGXC’s founding vision and Wave Farm’s organizational mission are presented to Wave Farm’s Board of Directors and legal counsel (where relevant) for review and final approval. Learn more about this advisory committee by contacting Station Manager Lynn Sloneker.
Thank you for volunteering your time and talents to Wave Farm's WGXC 90.7-FM. As a non-commercial educational radio station, volunteers are an essential part of our operations.
WGXC Volunteers include programmers as well as individuals who support the station in general. The WGXC Communications Coordinator is the primary contact for volunteers and volunteering information. New volunteers should contact the Communications Coordinator to discuss their skills and the kind of volunteer work desired. The Communications Coordinator will direct the prospective volunteer to the appropriate Volunteer Advisory Committee, Staff member, or task, based upon this information. All volunteers are required to read and sign this WGXC Volunteer Policy and Agreement.
WGXC is a program division of the arts organization Wave Farm. Wave Farm is a not-for-profit corporation that is governed by a Board of Directors. Wave Farm’s mission is to celebrate creative and community use of media and the airwaves.
WGXC Station Management relies on the support, advice, and recommendations of Volunteer Advisory Committee members (aka the WGXC Community Advisory Council) to ensure the public within the WGXC 90.7-FM listening is represented.
WGXC’s Station Management has the sole authority to convene meetings in the name of or otherwise on behalf of WGXC. Volunteer Advisory Committee Chairs may convene meetings of their committees in collaboration with that committee’s designated staff member.
Be reliable and punctual when assisting with an activity or event, and be respectful of the mission of Wave Farm and values of WGXC;
• Identify yourself as a volunteer of WGXC when attending any station event or otherwise being publicly affiliated with the station;
• Obtain approval in advance from a Staff member to meet with public officials on station business, speak on behalf of the station in the media, or receive contributions on behalf of WGXC;
• Use station computers, phones, and office supplies for station-related purposes only;
• Volunteers are not authorized to make expenditures on behalf of WGXC; consult a WGXC Staff member if such a need arises.
As a volunteer I understand and hereby pledge to respect and abide by the following:
• That I have read WGXC’s Volunteer Policy and Agreement, and understand and agree to abide by its terms.
• That I have read and acknowledge WGXC’s Dispute Resolution Policy as applicable to my service as a volunteer.
• That as a volunteer with the WGXC program of Wave Farm, I serve to support, offer advice, and represent the community in WGXC’s operations.
• That volunteers are not employees of WGXC and/or Wave Farm, and should notify station staff if at any point they no longer wish to volunteer at WGXC. Likewise, while WGXC appreciates the support and dedication of its volunteers, it has the discretion to dismiss volunteers at any time.
Thank you again for your interest in volunteering at WGXC.
Print name: _________________________________________ Date: _________________
Click on "90.7-FM Schedule" in the navigation bar above for detailed program schedule information.
The WGXC Program Schedule features Community Programming produced by residents of Greene and Columbia counties Sunday - Friday (6 a.m. - midnight.)
6 a.m. – 7 a.m. National and International News
7 a.m. – 8 a.m. Morning Magazine Show
8 a.m. – 9 a.m. National and International News
9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Morning Magazine Show
10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Cultural and Public Affairs
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Music Programs
2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Cultural and Public Affairs
3 pm. – 3:30 p.m. Radio Theatre and Cultural Programs
3:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Youth Programming
4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Afternoon Magazine Show
6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Local, National and International News
7 p.m. – Midnight Music Programs
TRANSMISSION ARTS + EXPERIMENTAL SOUND
Transmission Arts and Experimental Sound programming airs Saturdays and overnights (midnight - 6 a.m.).
Artists experimenting with airwaves, reinventing radio theatre, or using the wireless spectrum as a source for performance and composition is what transmission art is all about. Tune in for local and international transmission art, experimental sound, field recordings, interviews and symposia, as well as other radiophonic treats originating from the Wave Farm Study Center and the WGXC Acra Studio.
WGXC welcomes program applications throughout the year. Programs are added to the schedule as openings occur. Engaging new programmers and new programs ensures that WGXC's broadcast schedule is a dynamic reflection of the communities it serves. There are many ways to be on the air – submit a proposal for a weekly or monthly program, be a guest music DJ, host a morning or afternoon show, or submit your own radio features and segments for broadcast consideration. No previous radio experience is necessary, and all ages are encouraged to apply.
Community Program Application
(Sunday - Friday; 6 a.m. – midnight)
To submit a Community Program Application, please complete the online application here.
Alternatively, you may fill out an application in-person at the WGXC Hudson studio at 704 Columbia Street in Hudson, NY.
Transmission Arts and Experimental Sound Program Application
(Saturdays, and midnight – 6 a.m., daily)
DAILY CONTACT LIST
The technical status, including dates of most recent inspection and maintenance of WGXC studios, is available here.
The WGXC Programmer Forum, for all active local programmers, is available here.
The broadcast archive (organized by year, month, day, and with file naming of yyyymmdd_showname) is available here.
Programmers are expected to participate in the organization and maintain an active status as a volunteer, completing at least six hours of volunteer service each year. The time a programmer spends on air or otherwise producing their show does not count toward this requirement. Volunteer time can be completed in a variety of ways to benefit the station. Common volunteer opportunities include, but are not limited to: Participation in one of the various clerical, library, or housekeeping tasks within the station; additional participation in on-air pledge drives; and/or training and skill-sharing with other programmers.
*Syndicated programs not produced at a WGXC studio are exempt from this requirement.
Please refer to the Daily Contact List above for current staff points of contact.
WGXC currently maintains an online forum for use by all eligible programmers. Programmers become eligible for list membership after the completion of basic on-air training. Use of the list is optional. The list is a tool for communication, providing a venue to post questions and ideas and to share information and resources. It is administered by WGXC staff.
Forwards, other spam-like email, or messages unrelated to WGXC business are not permitted. If a post is found to be inappropriate for the forum, staff will contact the user directly. Consistent and ongoing abuse of the forum rules will lead to the loss of privileges.
Examples of appropriate use of the list:
• Communication between programmers about upcoming on-air guests, topics and interviews.
• Sharing of information about WGXC-related events.
• Recruiting fill-in hosts during hiatus or vacations.
For a two-week period every three months, programmers must provide a detailed and comprehensive report of the music played on 90.7 FM for music licensing purposes. Instructions and basic training are provided to each programmer. Programmers are informed in advance of when a comprehensive music-reporting period is in effect.
WGXC conducts a minimum of three, 10-day, on-air pledge drives each year. This is how the station raises the bulk of its operating expenses. Programmers are required to participate in the on-air fundraising effort during their regular show time.
Programmers must be prepared to fundraise for a minimum of half of the show’s length. While the time spent on air does not count as volunteer time if it is a part of a programmer’s regularly scheduled broadcast, pledge drives provide the opportunity for programmers to help out in other ways as well.
Volunteering at other times during the pledge drive — to pitch on the air, answer phones, etc. — is expected. Programmers are also asked to make an effort to identify people to call in and pledge during their show. In the weeks leading up to pledge drives, meetings and trainings are held to prepare programmers for on-air fundraising.
During each pledge drive WGXC staff and Community Advisory Council will assist programmers with pitching on air, handling phones, and coordinating other volunteers.
Pitching during syndicated programming on WGXC: Producers of syndicated programming airing on WGXC are encouraged to produce PSAs or include a mention of WGXC’s Pledge Drive in programs airing during Pledge Drives.
All programmers are given a term of one year. All programmers, in good-standing, are invited to participate in a simple reapplication process at the end of their term in order to continue as an active program for an additional term. Programmers in good standing have completed their required annual volunteer hours, and have not violated the policies in this document.
No one (including programmers and volunteers) is permitted to enter a WGXC studio outside of public hours, without prior authorization of the Station Manager. Programmers are integral to maintaining the security of WGXC’s equipment and spaces. Programmers may ask visitors to identify themselves and to disclose the reasons for being in the studio. Programmers may also ask a visitor to leave if they have no legitimate reason for being there, and should alert the Station Manager immediately. Programmers are expected to be courteous to one another and to staff.
It is very important to leave the studio in suitable shape for the programmers that follow you, and the station must be left secure. There is a shutdown checklist posted in each studio, which involves a variety of tasks, from common-sense tidiness to station security. Failure to follow these procedures could constitute, at best, a nuisance for other programmers and, at worst, a major security or property damage risk for the station.
Whether you are prerecording or doing a live show, we ask that you leave the studio tidy and the equipment ready for the next program/programmer.
WGXC'S WEBSITE: The WGXC website is the first priority for posting information about your upcoming programs as well as posting playlists, and audio archives. Contact station staff for instructions on how to add information to WGXC's NEW Website.
SOCIAL MEDIA: WGXC is on Facebook and Twitter, and programmers are encouraged to help build audiences for WGXC's presence on both of these platforms. In addition, some programmers have made “Pages” on Facebook or Twitter accounts for their program. This can be a great way to build a base of online followers for your show, to remind them when you’re on the air, and to share your archives. Do not name your page “WGXC,” use your show name.
Before you go on the air, send a tweet to WGXC’s followers both on WGXC's Twitter account and your own if you have one.
How to access WGXC's Twitter account: Before going on the air, go to one of the WGXC studio computers and open an internet browser. Click on the bookmark called “WGXC Twitter.” (If you’re not live at the studio, you can also go to twitter.com.) Check with a staff member for login information. On the upper righthand corner, click on the compose new tweet icon. Now, type a short message about your show that’s about to air, using a maximum of 140 characters. Use a respectful tone, and include necessary information
Example: Tune in for “The Ag Show” at 2 p.m. with the editors of @ModFarm. You can call in with questions at 518-828-0290. wgxc.org
ON-AIR PROMOS: Have you heard those, short announcements on the air about some of our programs? We want everyone to record a promo for their show. If you haven’t done this yet, get in touch with station staff and we’ll help you make one. You can also record special promos for exciting upcoming programs: Are you interviewing a mayor? Is your next show a call-in show? You can record a short promo for broadcast in the days leading up to your show.
WEBPAGE/FACEBOOK: Lots of programmers have made their own websites/pages for their shows. They post playlists of past shows, post their archives, and let people know what’s coming up. This is absolutely fine; however, it is important that the WGXC website be considered a first-priority for posting information.
Programmers need no previous knowledge or training in radio broadcasting or production to have a show on WGXC. The station provides training for all new programmers in a variety of skills and techniques including live broadcast engineering, interview techniques, audio recording, editing, preproduction and field recording. All WGXC Programmers will also receive WGXC-specific training, including FCC compliance.Programmer Agreement
FCC and Station Policy Programmer Quiz
It is essential that there be a trained board operator in the studio for all live programs. If you are a programmer and aren’t comfortable operating the board, WGXC will provide a board operator to help you until you can do it yourself. Ultimately, board operators are responsible for everything that happens in the studio and on the air.
A board operator/programmer is responsible for the following:
• A legal station identification at the top of every hour during the broadcast.
• One public service announcement at the start of the show.
• One underwriting announcement at the start of the show. (*or on Saturdays and late nights, one funder acknowledgement announcement.)
• Five minutes of events from the WGXC Events Calendar. These readings can be spread throughout the show. This is required of all music shows, except the shows in the noon timeslot on Monday through Friday. Those programmers must play the noon headlines instead.
• Breaking news bulletins from the Managing News Editor such as weather bulletins, road closings, etc. when they are posted.
• All on-air conduct and material broadcast during the show, including that of the guests.
• The security of WGXC music and equipment.
The FCC requires the station identify itself every hour, on the hour. This is called a legal station ID. To be legal, the station ID must be: “WGXC, ACRA”
The legal ID must be stated wholly and completely at the beginning of every hour. We cannot insert any words or phrases into the statement listed above. We may say whatever we please before or after the legal ID, but the ID itself must air in this format. To make station IDs more interesting, they can be made as jingles or surrounded by short radio dramas, statements about programming content, or celebrity endorsements. Only the legal ID is regulated by the FCC; programmers are encouraged to identify the station any way they please throughout the remainder of the hour.
Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
Informing listeners of events occurring in our community is one of the valuable services the station provides. Programmers are required to play or read at least one public service announcement per hour. The required PSA should be played at the beginning of the hour.
WGXC is a noncommercial station, and the FCC prohibits noncommercial stations from broadcasting advertisements of any kind. However, we are allowed to air underwriting announcements, which allow us to acknowledge the support of the business community. Underwriting is also a community service, as well as an important income stream for WGXC. Programmers are required to play underwriting announcements.
Part One: Promotional and Commercial Speech
As the holder of a non-commercial FCC broadcast license, WGXC must take great care not to provide direct promotions for business; This constitutes advertising and is prohibited by law. The announcement of local events that occur in our listening area is encouraged. We see this as a public service to our listeners, but great care must be taken to avoid crossing the line between public service and advertising. This section outlines our policies in this area.
Prices: Announcements containing price information are not permissible. This would include any announcement of interest rate information or other indication of savings or value associated with product or business.
Examples: Ten dollars at the door for the benefit concert on Friday. (Instead of mentioning the price, you can point listeners toward the link on the WGXC Events page for more information.) They are the cheapest (product or service) around.
Inducements: Announcements containing an inducement to buy, sell, rent, or lease, are not permissible.
Examples: Movie admission free to museum members. Vivian's Chocolate Valentine chocolate for the first 50 people through the doors. Six months of free service if you sign up for locally provided internet now.
Calls to Action: Announcements containing a call to action are not permissible. The FCC disallows calls to action on public broadcasting stations. A Call to Action is a statement or phrase that commands or invites someone to action. The best way to explain this is to give some examples.
Example: "Bring lawn chairs and blankets." The word "bring" is a call to action, you are telling a listener to "bring" something with them. The compliant manner of stating this would be "Lawn chairs and blankets welcomed." You are not telling the listener to do something; you are merely stating that the events organizers will allow people to have these items with them at the event.
Example: "Come to tonight's presentation of Such and Such." In this statement you are telling the listener to take action by coming to the event. The compliant version of this statement would be "The Such and Such organization will present Such and Such tonight." This simply says that the event is tonight and does not instruct a listener to be there.
Example: "Don't forget to get your tickets." "Don't forget" and "get" are both instructions to the listener to take action, in this case, get tickets. To be compliant you would say "Tickets available by pre-order only." You can see that it is the same message, which is to get your tickets ahead of time, but the language falls within the parameters of what the FCC and WLRH does permit.
Example: “For more information call 555-1234." The word "call" is clearly an inducement for a listener to take action, in this case to pick up their phone and "call." The same message is communicated by changing the language to "Information at 555-1234."
In the past the phrase "We invite you…" was not allowable. It is still considered a gray area. In our situation, where local representatives are used for voicing their organizations PSA it is allowable, by local policy, as long as it is low key in nature.
As programmer, you may not issue a call to action by asking or suggesting that the listeners should perform some task which may result in an organization other than WGXC making money. You may state that a new CD by "MC Whoever" is available at "The Little CD Store" but you cannot tell listeners to go there and "buy it on sale now for $12.99." For announcements of events, ticket prices cannot be mentioned, but a phone number or website should be provided where listeners can get that information.
Value neutral descriptions: You cannot qualify a product, service or event as something that may be more or better in some way than another event, service or product. The FCC disallows public broadcast outlets from comparative language in describing products, services, or events. Commercial broadcasters can say that something is the best, or number one, or one of kind, but we cannot. We can't even use language that will suggest that.
When describing something in value neutral terms you will be describing the actual event, product or service exactly as it is without embellishing language. Here's an example of what is allowable:
"The Such and Such organization will present their annual spring concert this Saturday at 6 p.m., and will feature the music of Grammy winning artist, So and So. Lawn chairs, coolers and blankets will keep you comfortable under the night sky. Information at 555-1234." Here's an example of the same one that is not allowable:
"The Such and Such organization, one of the leading organizations of it's kind, will present their fantastic annual spring concert this Saturday at 6 p.m., featuring the country's favorite artist, Grammy winning So and So. Lawn chairs, coolers and blankets will keep you comfortable under the night sky. Information at 555-1234."
The underlined portions of this example are, without question, not compliant with rules regarding value neutral descriptions.
Promoting local organization fundraisers: At no time will WGXC promote an organizations' fundraiser unless it can be promoted strictly as an event. A concert to raise money for a service organization can be promoted as a concert with a brief statement in the body of the announcement that states who will benefit. An example is: " …Proceeds benefit Such and Such organization."
This is the only statement allowable in a PSA to acknowledge a beneficiary. Words such as "fundraiser" are not allowable. There are some fundraising activities that we simply cannot promote, no matter how worthy the cause because the language cannot be modified. Examples include silent auctions and yard sales. WGXC does not permit mentions of an organization’s event sponsors in PSAs.
Tone of PSAs: The tone you use when reading PSAs is important. PSAs must sound consistent with our other announcements. PSAs that are read like a commercial, even with compliant language and content, is inconsistent with our overall presentation and will be pulled from our rotation
Additional language/content guideline: All PSAs must end with "Information at…" This creates a "consistency of sound," an important component of WGXC's overall sound. Do not qualify the word "information" with words like "further" or "more." A website or email address is also acceptable with or without a phone number, but may not include added language.
Many of WGXC's programmers cover topics in their shows that they specialize in professionally. This can add a valuable perspective to the discussions that they air, but programmers or their guests may never engage in promotion of their own business ventures on the air. It is implicit in our mission that no individual, business, or organization should profit directly from the use of these public airwaves. A programmer or guest's professional qualifications or business affiliations may be referred to during a show where appropriate, for credentialing purposes only. In keeping with our goal to maintain a barrier between professional gain and the use of our airwaves, we also ask programmers to follow these additional guidelines:
• Use references to your professional accreditation or credentials as credential.
• Use contact information for your program that is NOT the same as your business contact information (this includes websites).
• When providing contact information for a guest that is the same as their business contact information, refrain from repeating it too often. Contact information should be announced at a predictable time during your broadcast, preferably at the end.
• Disclose any affiliation that might affect or have the appearance of affecting your coverage of a topic, organization, or event.
• When appropriate, identify your opinions as your own and your guests as their own and not those of WGXC and/or Wave Farm.
If you have a band and you have a gig, are an author and have book release, etc., put it on the Events Calendar on the website, post it to the on-air e-mail listserv and let your fellow programmers know you are available to go on their shows. You can also leave a copy of your CD or book at the Hudson studio, to be reviewed/played by other programmers. Don't ever just go on the air to promote yourself.
Compensation in the form of either PAYOLA or PLUGOLA is illegal.
Payola refers to receiving any kind of consideration to play someone's music or feature a product or guest.
Plugola refers to the on-air promotion of goods or services in which the programmer has a financial interest. The standard situation is where the programmer promotes a club, music store, or concert in which they have an undisclosed personal interest.
Do not accept money, services, goods, or other valuable consideration from anyone (individuals, organizations, associates or other entities) to broadcast anything and don't promote any activity or matter in which you have a direct or indirect financial interest.
Part Two: Obscenity, Indecency, and Profanity
Although the First Amendment provides broad protections from government regulation of speech, broadcasters do not enjoy the same expressive rights as individual citizens. This is because broadcasters are trustees of the public airwaves (a limited resource) and the act of broadcasting itself is “pervasive” – radio waves are everywhere, and thus the likelihood of inadvertent exposure to objectionable speech is considered serious enough to regulate.
The Federal Communications Commission prohibits or restricts three forms of speech in particular: obscenity, indecency, and profanity.
Obscenity has been defined by the United States Supreme Court to be hyper-sexualized material that is “patently offensive” by “contemporary community standards” and most importantly, “lack[s] serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.” Obscene material may also be indecent and/or profane, but it must meet these three specific criteria. Obscenity is not allowed on the public airwaves at any time.
Indecency is defined by the FCC as content that “depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive to contemporary community standards…sexual or excretory organs or activities.” If this sounds similar to obscenity, you’re right – except that indecent material does have some redeeming social value. The FCC only allows the broadcast of indecent material between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. (these are called “Safe Harbor” hours).
Profanity is defined by the FCC as “language so grossly offensive to members of the public who actually hear it as to amount to a nuisance.” In simple terms, profanity involves the use of expletives and grossly offensive pejorative speech. Like indecency, profanity may only be broadcast between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The FCC’s enforcement process regarding indecency and profanity is complaint-driven, and those who complain have to provide documentation – including information relating to the details of the broadcast, the date and time it occurred, and station information. The FCC will ask for a response from the station, examines the context of the complaint, and then determines if a monetary penalty is warranted. Fines for indecency can range from the thousands to millions of dollars, but the majority fall within the $1,000 - $100,000 range.
In recent years, the FCC’s regulation of objectionable speech has come under significant legal review, and there are now open questions about the continuing viability of such regulation in the context of our modern media environment. But the current definitions and regulations stand and will continue to be enforced until these questions are resolved.
In a nutshell: keep your programming clean if you broadcast outside the Safe Harbor hours, which constitute the majority of the broadcast day. During Safe Harbor, it may be a good idea to warn that some of your programming may be unsuitable to sensitive listeners if any of it may be considered indecent or profane. If you have specific questions about profanity, indecency, or obscenity, please contact WGXC’s Program Director or Station Manager.
Part Three: Hate Speech and Sensitivity
WGXC takes seriously its mission to promote access to the airwaves for under-represented voices as well as its responsibilities as a community organization. Speech that is intended to or has the effect of hurting or intimidating any individual or group of people, or incites violence, is considered hate speech. Broadcasting hate speech undermines the mission of our station and compromises our community's trust in us. Don't do it.
Beyond the issue of hate there are larger issues of sensitivity. We ask that you make it your business to be sensitive to different listeners in our community. It is not uncommon in the United States for underrepresented and/or marginalized groups of people to be portrayed unfairly in the media. What you may consider funny or idiosyncratic about a group of people is often not funny and even offensive to that group. Put yourself in the shoes of others and behave accordingly.
Part Four: Equal Access for Political Candidates
Coverage of political elections, particularly local ones, is a valuable service a community radio station can perform for listeners. While it is not in the interest of this station to limit discussion of any topic or access to any guest, there are certain implications for the station as it pertains to political candidates. Here is what the FCC has to say about it: When a qualified candidate for public office has been permitted to use a station, the Communications Act requires the station to "afford equal opportunities to all other such candidates for that office." The Act also states that the station "shall have no power of censorship over the material broadcast" by the candidate.
We do not consider either of the following two categories as a "use" that is covered by this rule: An appearance by a legally qualified candidate on a bona fide newscast, interview or documentary (if the appearance of the candidate is incidental to the presentation of the subject covered by the documentary); or on-the-spot coverage of a bona fide news event (including political conventions and related incidental activities).
What this means is that if you invite a qualified candidate for political office onto your show, even if only to discuss fishing or worm composting, the station is required to provide equal time to any and all opposing candidates for the same office, if they so request. The Programming Director and Station Manager will facilitate all such requests. You may be required to yield some of your airtime to make this possible.
Regular programmers that are elected officials or running for office must observe a three-month hiatus prior to any Primary or General Election.
Part Five: Opinion, Slander & Disturbing Content
When expressing your opinion, please make it known that you are speaking for yourself and not WGXC or Wave Farm.
Do not slander. Slander is defined as making a false, malicious, or defamatory statement against an individual or group. Ultimately, you are legally liable for any on-air statements you make.
At any time, if you decide to air content that may be inappropriate for children or may otherwise be disturbing, please warn listeners in advance of and periodically throughout your broadcast so that they have the opportunity to avoid that content.
Part Six: Co-hosts, Guests & Phone Calls
It is not uncommon for programmers to want to share their airtime, either regularly or irregularly, with a co-host. Multiple hosts can create a more dynamic and compelling program. However, please be aware that co-hosts may not operate any studio equipment other than a microphone or telephone (for call screening, etc.), unless the co-host is also a fully-trained programmer at WGXC. The show’s programmer of record, is ultimately responsible for everyone’s on-air conduct.
Programmers may invite any individual(s) they desire to be guests on their shows. All guests and their behavior are the responsibility of the programmer who invited them. Any WGXC policy and FCC regulation infringements committed by a guest are ultimately the responsibility of the programmer, and any warning points that may result will be directed at the programmer.
Choose your guests wisely, and prepare them on how they should conduct themselves on the air. Make every effort to inform guests, prior to broadcast, of exactly what kinds of speech they may not engage in. If a guest violates policy or is uncooperative, the programmer has every right to restrict the guest's access to the air. This also applies to any guest you may have live over the telephone. To allow any guest to violate FCC speech regulations (obscenity, indecency, profanity) puts not only your own show but the station’s license at risk.
FCC rules regarding telephone conversations require that we inform all callers that their conversations will be broadcast. This applies to both live and recorded programming that uses telephone conversations. Airing a person’s comments over the phone, live or recorded, without their consent can result in FCC sanctions that may jeopardize WGXC’s license.
Part Seven: Aliases, Anonymity & Credits
All programmers should identify who produces their show in some way during their show — for most programmers, that is you. When discussing strong opinions or airing content that may be controversial, please remind WGXC's listeners that the views and opinions expressed are not those of the station or Wave Farm. Hosts do have a right to use an alias on the air, and are required to disclose when a guest is using an alias on the air. However, you must properly identify yourself on all program and broadcast logs.
Studio Use Priorities
There are many different functions occurring in WGXC’s broadcast studios at any given time: live broadcasts, prerecording, training, etc. A priority system for studio use clarifies and streamlines scheduling needs. These priorities are as follows:
• Priority 1: Regularly scheduled live programs
• Priority 2: Prerecording/production of regularly scheduled programs
• Priority 3: Training (formal training and one-on-one sessions)
• Priority 4: Technical maintenance
• Priority 5: Fill-in programming.
Reserving a Studio
A studio-use schedule is posted in each studio. Staff members must approve scheduling requests initiated by programmers.
No WGXC equipment may be used or borrowed without proper training. Requests for training should be directed to WGXC staff.
Please note: programmers and volunteers are prohibited from sleeping overnight in WGXC studio facilities (with the exception of Wave Farm artists-in-residence in Acra). If the actions or behavior of a person at a studio is deemed inappropriate by a WGXC staff member, s/he will be asked to leave.
Hudson Studio Access
Hudson Studio access at times outside regular business hours (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) shall be granted to programmers and volunteers only with the approval of the Station Manager and as needed to facilitate live programming. The Station Manager shall keep a log of all individuals who have access to the studio outside of business hours.
Acra Studio Access
Acra Studio access shall be granted to programmers and volunteers only with the approval of the Station Manager and Artistic Director. The Station Manager and Artistic Director shall keep a log of all individuals who have access to the studio outside of business hours.
Programmers can use office space and equipment for WGXC-related business only.
It is the shared responsibility of WGXC staff, programmers, and volunteers to assist in keeping station facilities tidy. As a general rule one should leave the space cleaner than when it was entered.
No food or drinks are ever allowed in WGXC’s broadcast studios.
When transitioning between shows in a studio, programmers must leave the studio promptly and with all of their program materials so that the next programmer can begin their program with focus and a clean slate. Many programmers make arrangements with the programmer on the air before them that allows for some studio overlap. These arrangements should be made between programmers a case-by-case basis; please keep in mind that not all programmers are able to function comfortably with others in the studio.
WGXC’s listeners are invited and encouraged to send feedback regarding the station’s programming to feedback [at] wgxc.org or (518) 291-WGXC (9492).
WGXC’s Station Manager will review the feedback account on a daily basis. Messages for programmers will be forwarded promptly to those individuals. Messages for staff members will be forwarded promptly to those individuals. General comments and complaints from the listening public will be responded to within two weeks of the initial contact. Any feedback submitted by programmers, volunteers, or staff that is determined to be a dispute or complaint will be flagged and the sender will be directed towards WGXC’s Dispute and Complaint Resolution policy.
The Station Manager will prepare periodic feedback reports to the staff, Wave Farm's Executive Director and Board of Directors. Feedback reports are intended to aggregate all feedback WGXC receives — praises, criticisms, concerns and questions.
"Show Name" is produced for Wave Farm's WGXC 90.7-FM in the Hudson Valley in New York State.
The WGXC Program Schedule Coordinator must be notified first. That notification--by email or telephone--must occur at least 48 hours in advance.
The preference is for a live, in-studio replacement to fill in during any and all absences. If an in-studio replacement is not possible (no one is available, and/or the programmer is assigned to a late-night or early morning spot at a time when staff is not present and a programmer with knowledge of security procedures is not available), the production of a new, pre-recorded show is acceptable. If a new show cannot be recorded for whatever reason, the programmer will be asked to specify the archived show they wish to have re-broadcast in their absence. The Program Schedule Coordinator must approve the choice of replacement host in advance of broadcast time.
In instances of a requested serial absence--up to three months for a broadcast hiatus--programmers must first identify a potential replacement for the duration of their leave. All replacement hosts must be approved of, and trained by the Program Schedule Coordinator.
The most common way to find a substitute is to post a message on the programmer listserv. Include the date and time of the program to be filled, along with any other program-specific details (genre, medium, etc.) important for a sub to consider.
In lieu of, or in addition to using the programmer forum as a search tool, establish a reciprocal relationship with another programmer willing and able to act as a backup when needed.
WGXC Programmers have access to WGXC’s facilities to produce their programs and fulfill their volunteer requirements. In order to ensure equal opportunity for all programmers, please note the following guidelines:
Advance reservations are required.
Only staff can make or amend reservations.
Requests should specify if it is program-related, or volunteer hours.
If program related, WGXC’s Program Schedule Coordinator must be the point of contact.
If volunteer, WGXC’s Communications Coordinator must be the point of contact.
Interview technology in order of preference:
Via phone using freeconferencecall.com with the recording option
No cell phone calls
Programmers may use the Hudson office computers, telephones and printer(s) during regular business hours (10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mon. through Fri.) for WGXC-related business only. Use of the studio WiFi network is also available, but on a limited basis. All other activities should be cleared with a member of WGXC staff.
The public file is a collection of documents required to be maintained by all broadcast stations by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The file must be maintained at the station's main studio and visitors must be given unquestioned and immediate access to the public inspection files during business hours. The WGXC public file is located online. If a member of the public requests to see the file, invite them to make themselves comfortable and then immediately locate a staff member who will facilitate immediate access. If the request comes at a time when a staff member is not present, immediately contact the Station Manager by telephone. The Station Manager will aid the programmer or volunteer in providing the requested access. The programmer or volunteer should remain with the visitor until the Station Manager or other staff member becomes available. Individuals requesting access to the public file must never be turned away or told to come back, nor should they be left unattended or ignored.
Greet the visitor and immediately notify staff to their presence. If a staff member is not present at the studio, call the Station Manager. The Station Manager’s contact information can be found on the daily contact list posted in the studio. Be aware that the FCC representative may first ask to see the public file. The public file is a collection of documents required to be maintained by all broadcast stations by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The WGXC public file is located online. Immediately locate a staff member who will facilitate immediate access. It is imperative that studio management be contacted as soon as possible, so the request for a more thorough inspection can take place.
First and foremost: Stay calm and roll with it. Always act as a professional. Refrain from complaining about the problem on mic. Do your best to keep the show moving. Concentrate on ensuring an enjoyable listening experience for your listeners, despite the challenge you might be facing.
As you do your show prep and before arriving at the studio, check the WGXC Technical Status document, located at the top of this page under "Quick Links" for the latest news on the status of the equipment in all three studios.
Always arrive prepared with extra media that could be substituted in the event of a technical problem. For example, bring an iPod or a laptop as backup in case the CD drive gives you problems.
Troubleshoot the problem you are facing to the best of your ability. Troubleshooting checklists for a variety of potential problems are available in the white WGXC binder located in each studio.
Call for staff support. If you are on the air in the Hudson studio during business hours and staff is present, ring the emergency bell located on the rack, to the left of the board. If you are broadcasting from Acra, Catskill or from Hudson at times when staff is not present, call a staff member. The daily contact list is posted in a prominent location in each studio.
Yes, in the case of non-FCC compliant content and any period of extended silence (“dead air”), staff should be notified. If the problem occurs between 6 a.m. and midnight, Sun. through Fri., the WGXC Program Schedule Coordinator should be the first point of contact. For problems overnight or all day Sat., the Wave Farm Artistic Director should be contacted. If either the Program Schedule Coordinator or Artistic Director cannot be reached, the Station Manager should be called.
The outgoing host must set up the station ID, PSA, promo and underwriting spots for the incoming host. IDs must be played at the top of the hour.
The outgoing host is encouraged to end their show (whenever possible) with a song to allow ample time for the incoming programmer to settle in before the next show begins.
Departing hosts are urged to leave the studio organized and ready for use. Please close out and clean-up open browser windows on both the Mac and laptop computers, secure headphones, turn off unused channels on the board, etc.
Arriving programmers are asked to wait outside until five minutes before their show is scheduled to begin before entering the studio.
All programmers are encouraged to work in collaboration with those that precede and follow them in the broadcast schedule.
Using the daily contact list, call the on-call staff member(s). The staff person will walk you through the process of gaining access. A copy of the daily contact list is located at:
Hudson Studio: taped to the underside of the lid on the WGXC mailbox.
Acra Studio/Wave Farm Study Center: posted above the lockbox at the main entrance.
Any programmer who wishes to become a peer trainer, or any programmer who would like additional training should communicate with WGXC staff about their needs. It is important that only those who have participated in WGXC-organized training sessions, serve as peer trainers.
To assure programmers have focused creative space, the following list documents when it is acceptable to enter a live studio:
Technical trouble that does not resolve itself quickly
Non-compliance with FCC regulations
When a programmer has articulated needing help on air
The last five minutes of every program should allow for transition, including the arrival of the next programmer, and/or a staff member who may need to cue a subsequent program.
While programmers are welcome to edit their programs however they see fit for independent purposes, and with independent resources, WGXC archive files should reflect what was broadcast on-air. Editing should only take place in order to remove any non-FCC compliant content and any period of silence caused by technical difficulties.
Requests to music labels for new releases should be channeled through the WGXC Program Director or the Wave Farm Artistic Director. Requests for new jazz releases should be made through programmer Cheryl K. Symister-Masterson.
WGXC uses the following standard naming protocol for broadcast audio archives: ShowName_BroadcastName_WGXC_yyyymmdd[Date].extension For example: SomethingtoTalkAbout_HallenbeckHamilton_WGXC_20151007.mp3
To unify materials produced on behalf of WGXC, while ensuring autonomy for the artists creating WGXC special event promotional fliers, posters, etc., a WGXC footer has been designed and is required on all materials that represent programs and activities produced by WGXC.
The WGXC logo and footer is available for download here.
Official Name & Language
The official name for WGXC is “WGXC: Hands-on Radio”
The official Station ID is “WGXC, Acra”
The official tagline is “Creative Community Radio”
Each use of the WGXC logo and all promotional materials must be authorized by station staff. PDF proofs must be sent to staff [at] wgxc.org for review at least three business days to approve all usage requests.
Any financial expenditure requests must be approved by the Station Manager.
WGXC is a Program Division of Wave Farm, a nonprofit organization with a mission that celebrates creative and community use of media and the airwaves. Wave Farm Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and contributions made to the organization are tax-deductible.
All donations solicited on behalf of WGXC are used to meet the operating expenses of WGXC. Funds shall be solicited in a respectful manner, without pressure, and with the permission of the Station Manager prior to beginning any fundraising activities.
Those soliciting donations or promoting station fundraising events on behalf of WGXC are acting as represents of the station and as such, are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful, professional manner, consistent with station policies.
In general, donor-designated restrictions on gifts to WGXC are undesirable. WGXC seeks to cultivate donors who are in support of the WGXC mission and program division at large. A culture of restricted donations can be crippling for an organization with significant regular operating costs like WGXC. Any donor-designated restrictions on contributions must be approved by the Station Manager and Executive Director before being accepted.
Programmers and Volunteers who wish to have an active role in fundraising, beyond Pledge Drive activities, are invited to join the Fundraising Committee, and may do so by expressing interest to the Station Manager.
WGXC shall work to continuously serve the diverse populations in our listening community. Programmers and Volunteers who wish to have an active role in station Outreach are invited to join the Outreach Committee, and may do so by expressing interest to the Communications Coordinator.
This set of procedures is intended to guide WGXC’s programmers and volunteers who wish to express their concerns regarding the station’s policies, procedures, and performance.
Timing: In order for a dispute or complaint to qualify for processing under this section, it must be filed no later than thirty (30) calendar days after the date on which the aggrieved condition commenced.
• Step One: A programmer must submit their dispute or complaint in writing to the Program Director for discussion and action. Volunteers, who are not programmers, must contact the Communications Coordinator in writing for discussion and action.
• Step Two: If the complainant finds the outcome of Step One unsatisfactory, or was unable to engage in Step One because the complainant was uncomfortable raising the issue with the specified contact, the written dispute or complaint should be submitted to the Station Manager for discussion and action.
• Step Three: If the issue has not been resolved by Steps One or Two, the complainant should submit their written dispute or complaint to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will alert Wave Farm’s Board of Directors to the situation, and may choose to convene a meeting with the complainant and relevant parties. The Executive Director shall respond to the complainant in writing with a final decision.
In all instances, a thorough and fair investigation will take place, giving careful consideration to the rights and dignity of all of those involved in a complaint or dispute.
transom.org has a tools section about equipment you can use to make radio, and lots of how-to guides.
Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for download on Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and other operating systems.
A Pacifica Radio affiliate, WGXC can access public programs produced by other Pacifica stations and independent producers. On this site, you can browse some of the available programs. Let the Program Director or Station Manager know if you want access to a particular audio file.
Radio 4 All A place for grassroots broadcasters, free radio journalists, and cyber-activists to share radio programs. The archived material here is available to everyone.
PRX “The Public Radio Exchange” is an online library/marketplace of independently-produced radio content. You can listen to the full-length stream of any piece. For broadcast, most of the programs cost money – but you can often contact the producers directly.
Trans X: Transmission and radio art conference in Toronto in late May.
Third Coast International Audio Festival: Radio conference in Chicago in the fall.
Grassroots Radio Conference: Annual conference in different U.S. locations.
NFCB Community Radio Conference: National Federation of Community Broadcasters hold their conference in a different U.S. city each year.
Allied Media Conference: Activist media conference in the summer in Detroit.