A chart on the station website
Ever since “Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello (Petrol)” by the Ireland-based band Something Happens kicked things off nearly 25 years ago, the station known as WWCD has, in one form or another, been bringing alternative rock to its listeners in and around Columbus, Ohio, reveling in its personality as an indy station.
Now WWCD Ltd., formerly known as Fun With Radio, has announced an IndieGoGo campaign with a goal of purchasing the license of the signal it currently rents.
The organization leases the frequency 102.5 in Baltimore, Ohio, under a time brokerage agreement with licensee Southeastern Ohio Broadcasting, which is affiliated with the WHIZ Media Group. WWCD pays $20,000 per month, according to its website. Now it is looking to raise a minimum of $1 million in hopes of purchasing the license outright, increasing cash flow and ensuring the station’s long-term sustainability. Once the license was purchased, the station would look into options to move the tower.
WWCD was once heard on 101.1 in Grove City until a migration in 2010. (There is an interesting history of the brand and frequency changes.) Randy Malloy, who has worked with the station since he was a college intern in 1991, now is president, GM and owner of WWCD Ltd. While this is the organization’s first venture on a crowdfunding website like IndieGoGo, he said seeking help from the public to raise money for the station isn’t really unusual.
“Public radio asks public funding all the time for station operations,” said Malloy. “We are a commercial station, so it seems weird, but you try to borrow millions from a bank or financial institution with no real collateral or 20+ percent down and they tell you to hit the bricks.”
With its time brokerage agreement, which is public (PDF), up for renewal in November of 2016, Malloy believed now was the perfect time to drum up support for WWCD. “It is time to renegotiate now, and with us celebrating our 25th anniversary we decided almost a year ago that the summer of 2015 would be a great time to do this.”
According to Malloy, discussions with Southeastern Ohio Broadcasters have taken place and the licensee would be willing to sell the Radio Broadcast license. Southeastern Ohio Broadcasters did not reply to a request for comment from Radio World.
If WWCD is able to reach its goal, IndieGoGo told Malloy that this would be not only the largest crowdfunding campaign in Ohio, but the largest in the country for an “intangible product.”
WWCD’s IndieGoGo campaign launched Monday and will run through Sept. 3.