WGXC: Hands-on Radio

WGXC: Hands-on Radio is a creative community radio station based in New York’s Greene and Columbia counties. A program division of Wave Farm, WGXC works to make radio (90.7-FM) that is a transformative platform for information, experimentation, and public engagement.

Wave Farm is a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization that celebrates creative and community use of media and the airwaves. Our programs provide access to transmission technologies and support artists and organizations that engage with media as an art form.

WGXC Staff

Lynn Sloneker, Station Manager, Managing News Editor
lynn [at] wgxc.org
Katy Donnelly, Program Director
katy [at] wgxc.org
Jess Puglisi, Outreach Coordinator
jess [at] wgxc.org
Cheryl K. Symister-Masterson, Communications Coordinator
cheryl [at] wgxc.org

WGXC Community Advisory Council

The WGXC Community Advisory Council is comprised of volunteers appointed by management that serve on the various WGXC Volunteer Advisory Committees. Management will strive for the Community Advisory Council to reflect the diversity of potential listeners served within the WGXC 90.7-FM listening area. Members of the Community Advisory Council support station management by offering a representative voice of the community and active participation on at least one and no more than two of the Volunteer Advisory Committees of Fundraising, Outreach, Programming, and Policy. The charges of these committees and any other such advisory committees are determined or subject to approval by management.

Full descriptions of each committee, as well as their regular meeting schedules can be found here.

WGXC History

On Oct. 17, 2008 free103point9 (Wave Farm) received a Construction Permit from the Federal Communications Commission for a 3,300-watt FM radio station. free103point9 is a nonprofit media arts organization cultivating transmission arts, or artists' use of the airwaves. The opportunity to run a full-power FM radio station--to make the airwaves accessible for creative, community-produced content--is a natural extension of free103point9's mission.

WGXC Online Radio began broadcasting at www.wgxc.org on May 9, 2009, live from the Catskill Community Center, with M.A. Tarpinian, Dharma Dailey, Tom Roe, and others; and from Germantown Community Farm with Kaya Weidman and others.

In September 2009, free103point9 received a commitment of $71,485 from the US Department of Commerce. This award secured 50 percent of the funding needed for the equipment (transmitter, antenna, etc.) to launch WGXC’s FM signal. On December 31, 2009, WGXC launched its capital campaign with a New Years Eve celebration that featured 60 local performers-- and by September 2010, had succeeded in raising matching funds.

From September 24-26, 2010, WGXC partnered with the national radio advocacy organization Prometheus Radio Project to collaborate with hundreds of participants for a radio conference in Hudson, NY. The event included three days of hands-on workshops, presentations, and performances, during which participants collaborated to build WGXC’s Hudson studio and prepare the station for its FM signal launch.

In December 2010, WGXC programmers began broadcasting live shows on WGXC’s webstream from our Hudson studio.

On February 26, 2011, WGXC went live on air 90.7-FM. WGXC celebrated this momentus occasion with an event at the Catskill Community Center on an afternoon filled with live performance, introductions to WGXC programmers, and an acknowledgement of the work accomplished to reach this moment, and the ambitious future that lies ahead.

WGXC currently broadcasts out of three studios in Greene and Columbia counties: Acra, Catskill, Hudson.

Press
"Senate Joins House in Passing the Local Community Radio Act!," Prometheus Radio Project, 12/20/2010
"Thousands of community groups rejoice at new opportunity for locally owned media WASHINGTON, DC – Today a bill to expand community radio nationwide – the Local Community Radio Act – passed the U.S. Senate, thanks to the bipartisan leadership of Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and John McCain (R-AZ). This follows Friday afternoon’s passage of the bill in the House of Representatives, led by Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Lee Terry (R-NE). The bill now awaits the President's signature." Read more...
"WGXC stars in NPR story on the fight for community radio," Lissa Harris in Watershed Post, 12/14/2010
"The future of community FM radio is currently being plotted in the back rooms of the US Senate, in the form of a bill that could dramatically increase the number of licenses available to community radio stations. The bill has broad support from both the left and the right, but it's being held up by procedural moves from anonymous opponents. NPR's All Things Considered reports:" Read more...
"Bid To Revive Community Radio Stalls In Senate," Rick Karr for All Things Considered, NPR, 12/13/2010
"For the past decade, a coalition of advocacy groups has been asking Congress to let hundreds of new community radio stations go on the air. Supporters of the idea — from the Christian Coalition and Sen. John McCain, to Move On and Sen. Maria Cantwell — say the new stations would do wonders for communities from coast to coast. But the bill to expand community radio is currently stalled in the Senate, the victim of anonymous holds by two or more senators, and supporters worry that even with bipartisan support, the bill may once again die without an up-or-down vote." Read more...
"Grants and groundbreakings for Catskills radio," Julia Reischel in Watershed Post, 11/19/2010
"Big radio news across the Catskills today. In Delaware and Schoharie counties, full-power WIOX station has won a $129,712 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). The funds have been a long time in coming. WIOX's managing consultant, Joseph Piasek, said that the station had expected to receive funds from the grant almost a year ago, well before its on-air launch in August. "The fact that we got on the air without it is a testament to all the hard work that so many people have done in providing equipment, using Band-Aids and gum, and borrowing stuff," Piasek told the Watershed Post this morning. "The station is such a community effort that it actually launched without funding. Now, we can try to replace some of the Band-Aids and gum with some bells and whistles." WIOX will use the funds to improve its technical systems, to beef up its signal in places where there is interference, and to establish remote studios that will allow hosts to broadcast their shows from outside the studio. "We'll be experimenting with remote broadcasting," Piasek said. "[The grant] will allow us to cover the baseball games and events at schools." Meanwhile, in Columbia and Greene counties, proto-full-power FM station WGXC..." Read more...
"Breaking the Airwaves," Knut Aufermann in The Wire: Adventures in Modern Music, 10/2010
"The past decade has seen a boom in the diversity and quality of international radio art. In this special report, Knut Aufermann surveys a wide range of rogue transmissions... radio stations that covertly influence public space; subversive programming and flash mob events; broadcast sound art and wireless festivals. Read more...
"Building a Radio Station, Building a Movement," Libby Reinish in New Public Media, 10/4/2010
"When WGXC-FM took to the airwaves on September 26th, they did so literally. To mark the community radio station’s launch, a tiny transmitter carried by dozens of balloons was released into the air above the city of Hudson, NY..." Read more...
"Prometheus and WGXC heat up the participatory radio movement," Gavin Dahl in Radio Survivor, 9/28/2010
"People-powered radio is buzzing in upstate New York thanks to the dedicated volunteers launching WGXC in Greene and Columbia counties. The twelfth barnraising organized by the mighty Prometheus Radio Project took over forgotten factories, a youth center and a Catholic academy in downtown Hudson as hundreds of radio activists gathered throughout the weekend to learn and build and geek out." Read more...
"New radio voice set to broadcast," Deborah Gilbert in The Columbia Paper, 9/10/2010
"WGXC, a new community radio station with studios in both Columbia and Greene counties is poised to go on air this fall. With a 3,300 watt signal it will have the potential to reach some 78,000 people spread in this part of the Hudson River Valley, with its primary coverage stretching from Windham in Greene County to the Taconic Parkway down to northern Dutchess County and up to Kinderhook and Coxackie. “It will be all about our community in the river valley,” said Hudson Talbot, an artist and author of numerous children's books and director of the Catskill Community Center." Read more...
"Desde Hudson, la radio WGXC será para toda la comunidad," Jackie Thomas in La Voz, 09/2010
En 90.7 FM, también tendrá programas en español. Los condados de Columbia y Greene van a tener muy pronto una estación de radio para sus comunidades, WGXC en la frecuencia 90.7 FM. Esta radio va a ser manejada por voluntarios locales y presentará varias horas con programas de comentarios y música. En español también se cubrirán temas sobre los derechos de los trabajadores agrícolas, las culturas hispanas, y también entrevistas con residentes locales sobre recursos para la salud, entre otros. Habrá también bastante programación en inglés con noticias locales, nacionales e internacionales, música en vivo, conversaciones, programas para niños y mucho más. Read more...
"New community radio station sets Sept. air date," Ariel Zangla-Girard in The Daily Freeman, 8/10/2010
"Community radio station WGXC will “go live” Sept. 26, but whether it will broadcast on the FM dial depends on whether it can raise the remaining funds it needs to match a $71,486 grant. To date, the station has raised about 65 percent of the funds needed to match the grant, said staff volunteer Sara Kendall. She said the station also needs to raise an additional $20,000 for other start-up costs, including labor and supplies. Kendall said WGXC is working hard to raise money and is focusing on selling underwriting to local businesses." Read more...
"Radio Heads," The Hudson Valley Chronic, July 2010
"The city of Hudson is brimming with new and exciting initiatives, not the least of which is WGXC: Hands-on Radio, a fledgling soon to be full-power 3,300-watt community-run radio station." Read more...
"Waves along the Hudson," Paul Smart in The Woodstock Times, 12/23/2009
"That wild buzz that we've been hearing in the air of late has to do with a radio signal not expected actually to hit the airwaves until late next summer. It has to do with the piles of volunteers, young and old, who have been scuttling up to the City of Hudson waterfront to build stages and bars and balloon-drops over the past weeks." Read more link (coming soon)...
"Catskill radio station raising funds to match grant," Ariel Zangla in The Daily Freeman, 12/2/2009
"Efforts are under way to help community radio station WGXC get on the air by matching a $71,486 grant to purchase necessary equipment, such as a transmitter. Tom Roe, program director for the station, said fundraising to match the grant began two weeks ago and has brought in about $8,000 to date." Read more...
"People to Watch: Galen Joseph-Hunter & Tom Roe Radio Entrepreneurs," Shannon Gallagher in Hudson Valley Magazine, December 2009
"Though the days when the family would gather ’round the radio for their evening entertainment are long gone, community radio is alive and well in the upper Valley thanks to Galen Joseph-Hunter and her husband Tom Roe, among the founders of WGXC: Hands-on Radio." Read more...
"WGXC: Change in the Air," Peter Aaron in Chronogram magazine, December 2009
"For a region known worldwide for having an incredibly rich and varied music scene—one that’s home to fans and players of styles ranging from folk to jazz, hip-hop to classical, world music to experimental, indie rock to, yes, jam bands, Americana, and classic rock—the Hudson Valley is lacking a radio station that reflects our diversity." Read more...
WGXC - hands-on radio," Ann Bartgis in Hudson Valley Business Journal, 11/23/2009
"Free103point9 is the group and 90.7 FM is the frequency, but no matter which “numbers” you use, the radio station is WGXC. Free103point9 was founded in 1997 as an artists’ collective, specifically geared towards transmission mediums; in 2002 it became a non-profit." Read more... (pdf, scroll to page 5)
"Homegrown Radio: An all-local station prepares to hit the airwaves in Columbia and Greene counties," Greg Ryan in Hudson Valley Magazine, June 2009
"When it comes to media share, it’s obvious Columbia and Greene counties have received the short end of the broadcast antenna. To the north is the Capital Region, the state’s populous political epicenter. To the south is the mid-Hudson Valley, a segment of the gargantuan New York City media market. That doesn’t leave much airspace for the two mostly rural counties in between." Read more...
"New radio group hopes you'll listen to this," Parry Teasdale in The Columbia Paper, 5/8/2009
Coming soon...
"Arts group ready to hit the air waves," Danielle Furfaro in Albany Times-Union, 4/26/2009
Coming soon...
"Into the ether: Radio resurgence is making noise," Paul Smart in Woodstock Times, 2/12/2009
Coming soon...
"Radio station representatives seek ways to serve community," Susan Campriello in The Daily Mail, 2/20/2009
"Free103point9 Program Director Tom Roe and representatives from the organization met with residents of Greene and Columbia counties Saturday to explain how the new station will work and represent the needs of the community. “We are trying to reach out to people like you to find out what you want,” Roe said." Read more...
"Greene County community radio planning for launch," Chris Churchill in Albany Times-Union, 2/9/2009
"The Greene County group planning a new radio station is holding public workshops as it gears up to begin broadcasting. The group – free103point9 – is one of the first Capital Region organizations to get a radio license under the FCC’s plan to expand the reach of non-commercial radio. The arts group learned last fall it had been approved for the station." Read more...
"Podcast Interview with Tom Roe of free103point9," Mike Janssen for Future of Music Coalition, 1/12/2009
"Back in October 2007, the FCC opened a brief licensing window for full-power, non-commercial stations. FMC and our friends at Radio for People thought this would be the perfect (and rare) opportunity for community arts organizations to get on the dial. We worked to identify qualifying groups, letting them know about the possibility and assisting interested parties with the application process." Read more...
"Occasionally there is justice: free103point9 receives an FM license," Paul Riismandel in Mediageek, 11/8/2008
"There are so few open frequencies for new full-power noncommercial radio stations in the US, so it’s all the more exciting to learn that the great folks at free103point9 have received a license from the FCC to start a 3,300 watt FM station in New York’s Hudson Valley." Read more...
"free103point9 to return to the airwaves, pt. 2," Paul Riismandel in Mediageek, 11/20/2008
"The live broadcast of mediageek goes for a full hour, although only 30 minutes is posted for syndication and podcast. I’ve posted the 2nd half of a few shows, but I’ve got a pretty good backlog going on right now. Here’s the 2nd half of last Thursday’s show featuring Tom Roe, program director for free103point9. It’s not a full half-hour because the show only ran about 45 minutes due to a Northwestern Women’s Basketball broadcast running a little late." Read more...
"free103point9 to return to the airwaves, pt. 1," Paul Riismandel in Mediageek, 11/20/2008
"free103point9 is a transmission arts organization that started as a micropower radio station, moved online and broadened its horizons to become a sponsor and creator of sonic art. Now the group is poised to return to the broadcast airwaves after receiving a full-power non-commercial FM broadcast license from the FCC. free103point9 program director Tom Roe joins to talk about the station and transmission arts." Read more...
"Occasionally there is justice: free103point9 receives an FM license," Paul Riismandel in Mediageek, 11/8/2008
"There are so few open frequencies for new full-power noncommercial radio stations in the US, so it’s all the more exciting to learn that the great folks at free103point9 have received a license from the FCC to start a 3,300 watt FM station in New York’s Hudson Valley." Read more...
"Catskill radio," Colin DeVries in The Daily Mail, 11/6/2008
"....Catskill radio? Free103point9 Program Director Tom Roe also showed his support for the community center at the budget hearing, as well as announcing that it could potentially become a space for his newly awarded license for a commercial FM radio station, 90.7-FM. “We’re putting one of the studios in the Catskill Community Center,” Roe said. “I just want to urge you to keep funding up for the community center as it’s very important..." Read more...
"Radio network expands reach," Chris Churchill in Albany Times-Union, 11/4/2008
"....An arts group in Greene County, meanwhile, has received FCC approval for a station it intends to launch at 90.7 FM. The Acra-based group, called free103point9, says the station will be heard in most of Greene and Columbia counties, along with southern Albany and Rensselaer counties. It primarily will broadcast community news and arts programming." Read more...
"New Yorkers to get a jolt of experimental music and more," Mike Janssen in Scanning the Dial, 11/3/2008
"Last week Marty wished for a few more classical stations. Shortly thereafter I received an e-mail that in part answered her prayer. It announced the impending arrival of a new FM radio station that, although not devoted entirely to classical music, will certainly be unlike any other now on the air. This new station in upstate New York is the offspring of free103point9..." Read more...
"FCC grants license to Acra radio station," Billie Dunn in The Daily Mail, 11/1/2008
"CAIRO — There’s a new radio station coming to Greene and Columbia counties, and free103point9 Program Director Tom Roe says it’s going to be for the community, by the community. “We want to give members of the community a chance to take the microphone, go to the air, and talk about what is going on in Greene and Columbia counties,” says Roe." Read more...
"Making Waves," Dick May in Seeing Greene, 10/31/2008
"NEW VOICE? Permission to operate a new community radio station for Greene and Columbia County listeners has been granted by the Federal Communications Commission. The license, authorizing a 3300-watt station occupying 90.7 on the Frequency Modulation dial, was granted to the non-profit arts group called free103point9, whose envisaged home is a 29-acre property in Acra called Wave Farm." Read more...