The Vectorist

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WFMU Fundraising Marathon Begins Today

The freeform station of the nation needs your hard-earned dough!

The annual fundraising marathon at Jersey City, N.J.-based WFMU is in full-effect starting today.

wfmu_logoWFMU receives no corporate or government funding and is entirely listener-supported. According to WFMU’s “A Brief History of Freeform Radio,” its mode of broadcast is “a type of radio that encompasse[s] not only eclectic music, collage and satire, but also an intimate, live interaction with the listening audience.” The station also does not run advertising.

It’s the best thing out there. The DJs have complete control of their programs, which leads to some total anarchy over the airwaves.

I was listening to WFMU this morning and Station Manager Ken mentioned that the landlord that owns WFMU’s broadcast tower in West Orange has gone out of business, which means the station’s rent on this space could go up from $800 to $4,000 a month.

Meanwhile, WFMU’s first-floor tenant is having trouble making rent. The tenant contributes about $70,000 annually to the station.

There’s good news. The FCC has given WFMU the permission to purchase a transmitter in Midtown Manhattan. The deadline is in August. Ken says he is committed to buying it this year as it will be their only chance. “[It is] something I have always dreamed of,” he says.

Ken, though, says he feels optimistic about the station’s future and it’s ability to make its fundraising budget. So it’s not all doom and gloom. Well, maybe doom but not so much gloom.

Pledges of $10 or more can be paid off monthly. DJ pages and donation information can be found at WFMU.org. The marathon runs until March 15. There’s also a booze cruise. Tickets for that are $3,000. Donate here.

I’ll be pledging tomorrow during Tom Scharpling’s The Best Show on WFMU. A few years ago Yo La Tengo played during Scharpling’s marathon show. For pledges of $350 or more, they’d play a song of your request. Here’s the song I requested —

“Lay Lady Lay” by Yo La Tengo

I think Yo La Tengo is doing it again this year. I’ll update when I know the details.

UPDATED 3/8: The Yo La Tengo show is next Friday, March 13 from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.

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