Firehouse Broadcasting: A look inside the WFHB station
WFHB, Firehouse Broadcasting, is Indiana’s first community radio station located in the streets of Bloomington. With an endless list of programs available for audiences to listen to, WFHB has something for all audiences. However, taking an inside look into the WFHB studio, I discovered some fun details most listeners may not know about life in the studio.
- The station is located in a building, which was formerly the old fire station, hence the name Firehouse Broadcasting. In 1959, the town of Bloomington decided to convert an old garage into the second town fire station, which had 46 members. When the building was no longer used for fire station purposes, Cecilia Waldron and Herman B Wells helped the station acquire the space for the station’s office use, in 1994.
- The station has over 100 volunteers that produce segments and programs of their own. When the station first started operation in 1993, it only had around 40 volunteers, but expanded quickly and vastly, having a very diverse repertoire of shows every week. Most of the volunteers at the station aren’t paid but, students can find opportunities to do radio work with WFHB.
- People from all over the world send in CDs to WFHB. “We probably get close to 100 promotional recordings per week,” said Cindy Beaulé, volunteer coordinator at WFHB. After these recordings reach the station, each CD is listened to and reviewed by a volunteer staff member. Then, the CD will find it’s place on the numerous shelves in the station, and will sit on a shelve that corresponds to the color coded organization system that splits the CDs up by genre.
- Unfortunately, due to the extensive amount of new music the station receives, not everything gets listened to and reviewed right away. Some CDs end up in the stations “black hole box.” Once a volunteer listens to one of these CDs, they can find their way out of the black hole.
- The station has more than just CDs, but a various collection of vinyl records. Vinyl records are sold in various shops are the Bloomington area, so WFHB, includes them in their collection of music, too.
WFHB’s full program schedule and more can be found at their website, http://wfhb.org/, where you can also listen to the station live, if you don’t live in the Bloomington area.