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Underwriters are businesses, individuals, or organizations that support the station through donations or in-kind trades and are acknowledged for their contributions with on-air announcements. Accounts for approximately 45% of the annual budget.
Generally, WDBX holds two membership drives per year. Accounts for approximately 43% of the annual budget.
Throughout the year, WDBX presents a number of fund-raising events. Accounts for approximately 7% of the annual budget.
The rest of our income comes from CCHS sports broadcasts, Community Shares of Illinois contributions and merchandise. Accounts for approximately 5% of the annual budget.
On a sunny, spring afternoon in 1992, Tom Egert drove home to Carbondale from St. Louis propelled by the sounds of reggae and salsa on his car radio. This enlivening musical mix broadcast by KDHX, St. Louis’ community radio station, brought Tom happily within 20 miles of his home before he’d driven out of range of the station. Scanning the local radio dial, he could find no comparable musical programming and in that moment of frustration the idea of creating an invigorating, culturally diverse, community radio station in southern Illinois was born.
Heterodyne Broadcasting Company, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization was founded and files the paperwork with the FCC to create a community radio station.
Gene Turk, Paul Runge, Tom Egert and Neil Dillard participate in a ground-breaking ceremony Tuesday at 224 N. Washington to initiate the construction of WDBX 91.1 FM.
The first Volunteer recruitment meetings were held February 6, 1996. Over 100 people attended the two meetings that day; from those, 40 completed training and began regular operations about two weeks later. At first the station was on the air from 4-10 p.m. daily and grew quickly from there.
Volunteers Beth Tryon and Ted Petith hold a Valentine Ball and auction at the Carbondale Civic Center to mark the station’s first anniversary and raise funds. The $10,000 raised was used to buy a broadcast-quality mixing console for the studio. The ball becomes an annual event.
WDBX launches an “Adopt a Watt” campaign to raise $60,000 to expand its coverage area by upgrading the broadcast signal.
Thanks to the efforts of our founder Tom Egert, the late US Senator Paul Simon, and the generous contributions of our listeners, we increased our broadcast power from 700 to 3,000 watts. WDBX now covers all of Jackson and Williamson counties, as well as most of Perry and Franklin, and parts of Union, Johnson and Saline counties. In all, our signal can reach over 100,000 southern Illinoisans.
With help from James Throgmorton, WDBX begins streaming live online.
The stations gets a major upgrade in the studio, with most of the remodeling done by DJ Mike Lescelius. (Pictured: David “Freakshow” Odum)
With key planning from Special Events Committee members Genie Schropp and Matt Decker, the first WDBX Summer Street Festival is held July 13. The day-long block-party style event featured live music from Wingtips, Burning Hotels, 7 Day Weekend, Skank, HighHorse, and The Flowers of Evil, as well as games and a DJ Dunk Booth. A unanimous decision makes this an annual event. (Pictured: Jason Ross, of “Gypsy Nation”)
Staff gathered to discuss the changing future of WDBX, helping to create a plan that would eventually culminate in a $32,000 “Save Our Station” pledge drive, reversing a downward trend at WDBX.
With the help of station volunteers Stan Drake and Darby McGrann, WDBX gets another major remodel, expanding the office into the music library to create a larger studio space. The new “Studio B” features upgraded equipment and more space for live musical guests.
In cooperation with the Hangar 9 and the City of Carbondale, WDBX hosts a live-DJ event for high schoolers. Live sets from ‘The Nocturntable,” “Style City,” and key planner Paris Siulua (“Labkids”) make for an amazing evening.
Currently, about 125 volunteers cover a broadcast schedule 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The schedule is a mirror of the diversity of our community, representing nearly every major American musical genre; international and ethnic music; and with an emerging section of local talk programming, local sports and more. (Pictured: “Isn’t It Queer” hosts Jonny Gray, Stacy Calvert and guest)