Budget shortfall may silence MAIN-FM, 103.5

A budget shortfall of approximately $3,500 a month may silence MAIN-FM as soon as Nov. 1.

On Thursday evening, the MAIN Board of Directors voted unanimously to consider shutting down its low-power FM radio station in order to preserve the nonprofit’s core  revenue-generating operations — MAIN’s wireless broadband, dial-up, and Web-hosting services.

“These are tough economic times for many nonprofits and small businesses, and we’ve been aware of of this possibility for some time,” said MAIN executive director Wally Bowen.

“The good news is that the board is giving our listeners some lead time to see if there is sufficient support in the community to cover the shortfall and to keep MAIN-FM on the air,” he said.

Bowen cited programming such as Democracy Now!, the Tom Hartmann Show, the Peoples Pharmacy, “and the most diverse menu of  independent music on local radio” which would cease to be heard in the Asheville area if MAIN-FM goes silent.

Donations to keep MAIN-FM on the air can be made securely online.  MAIN’s Board of Directors mandated that all donations to keep the radio station on the air will be held in escrow and returned if the station does cease broadcasting Nov. 1.

Likewise, monthly recurring donations will be held in escrow and refunded on a prorated basis if the station stops broadcasting sometime after the Nov. 1 deadline.

The possible closing of MAIN-FM will be discussed today on the weekly show, “Media Reform and MAIN” at 4:30 p.m. EDT.

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3 Responses to “Budget shortfall may silence MAIN-FM, 103.5”

  1. Barb McCampbell says:

    As an alternative to WPVM going off the air, MAIN could donate the 103.5 frequency to an eligible (local, nonprofit) group. If 103.5 shuts down, it will remain silent until the FCC opens another application window and reviews the submitted applications — a process that could take years. It would be a shame for Asheville to lose this community resource.

    Barb McCampbell

  2. Wally Bowen says:

    A volunteer-led steering committee has already begun forming to draft and implement a plan to meet the shortfall and keep MAIN-FM on the air. We hope you can join us Ms. McCampbell!

  3. sherry vaughan says:

    Since listening to MAIN-FM and shows such as Democracy Now, I feel my previous listening pattern to other area stations too ‘main stream’. My scope of understanding of information, I have not found elsewhere; the information I’ve learned on programs such as, The People’s Pharmacy, is invaluable to me. I have wished for expanded coverage in the Asheville area that can’t receive the MAIN-FM signal.
    I will make a donatation to the station, and would be glad to provide volunteer time toward keeping this valuable service to our community alive.
    Sherry Vaughan