Commentary & Opinion
2:19 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

The Heart Of The Operation

If there’s one thing I know about our WAMC listeners, it’s that you’re there for us when we need you.  Over 30 years worth of fund drives have proven that.  You know that when we ask, it’s because we truly can’t do it without you.  Sometimes we find people who really love the station and can afford to do more, and such is the case now.

Bob Norris, a dear friend of WAMC and the major catalyst behind our capital campaign to buy and renovate The Linda, our performing arts venue, has challenged us again.  His family foundation, the Lennox Foundation, has offered up an incredible gift -- $25,000 – to help upgrade our antiquated and, frankly, unreliable, Master Control Suite.  If you, our listeners, are our life-blood, then Master Control is our brain.  Without it, no radio.  It’s how we get our signal to you.  Before our programming hits any of our twenty-six transmitters and translators, it has to pass through Master Control. To give you a hint HOW antiquated our equipment is, the last time Master Control got a renovation was around 27 years ago.   Ronald Reagan was President.  A postage stamp cost 22 cents and you could get yourself a nice little Honda Civic for around $6,000.

We’ve staggered along with the old stuff because, up until recently, it was “good enough.”  Now, fast moving technological advances have us up against a wall.  Pat Cooney and his crack engineering team have done everything humanly possible to keep the ball rolling but now it’s time to upgrade and get with the 21st century.  The total cost of building a new Network Operations Center to replace our old control room and adjacent studios, is around $183,000.  This is money that hasn’t been budgeted and we’re looking for it, high and low.   That’s where you come in.

As I said, the good people at the Norris Foundation are kicking in the first $25,000.  They are challenging us to raise at least another $50,000 from our listeners who, when all is said and done, will be the final beneficiaries of the new studio.  If there’s anything you can do to help – and I mean any amount will help – I’m asking you to take a moment to consider how much WAMC means to you and how you would feel if you turned on your radio and we weren’t there.

You can send a check in any amount to WAMC, 318 Central Avenue, Albany, NY, 12206, and enclose a note mentioning it’s for the Lennox Challenge.  Or, if you’d rather pledge online, just write Lennox Challenge in the comment line.

Last time we met the Lenox Foundation’s challenge in just 3 months.  Let’s show ‘em how it’s done.