Ken Freedman is the General Manager and the Program Director of WFMU, a free form community radio station in Jersey City, New Jersey that prides itself on it’s live, in studio sound from every one of it’s DJ’s. So this particular crisis, the Pandemic and the Lock Down, is a unique challenge.
“This disaster is so completely different from any disaster we’ve ever had before such as 9-11, or Hurricane Sandy,” Ken told us on this week’s episode. They are running the station with a small skeleton crew and for the first time ever, they are relying on a lot of rebroadcasts of archived shows. Although Ken is still requiring all of his DJ’s (many of whom do not yet have the gear at home to produce live radio) to participate in the live online chat forum that WFMU had already had built. It’s a compromise Ken is calling “half live.”
The crisis has also increased the radio’s online audience. “Our streaming traffic and online traffic has gone through the roof,” Ken said.
WFMU also has three online-only channels with about 50 volunteer DJ’s who have always been broadcasting live, from their own home studios. Now those remote DJ’s are the online experts who Ken Freedman plans to connect with his WFMU DJ’s that need a little help to learn the ropes of home broadcasting. All of this though, is something that Ken hopes is only temporary. Getting back to live, community radio where everyone uses the same studio and interacts inside the same building is an important part of WFMU’s culture.
This interview was recorded in the morning of April 2, 2020. Careful lovers of radio and sound will note the occasional whine of Ken Freedman’s puppy, who is a very good puppy.Show Notes:
The post Podcast #240 – WFMU is Still On the Air During the Pandemic appeared first on Radio Survivor.
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