--Jim Jarmusch, American filmmaker
from the station manager...
WFMU a remarkable, unique institution that reminds people why they loved radio in the first place. As we approach the 50th anniversary of our first broadcast (April 24, 1958), we're most excited about the next fifty years, and especially about the next five.
That's why I'm writing to ask you to support WFMU's 50th Anniversary Fundraising Marathon with a tax deductible contribution. A lot hangs in the balance for us this year, including two incredible opportunities which I hope you'll help us fulfill.
First, the FCC, in its divine wisdom has granted WFMU permission to build a booster FM antenna in Manhattan. This could finally give WFMU the coverage that our broadcast license has long promised but which local geography and buildings have always denied us. The booster antenna could greatly improve FM reception in all of New York City, as well as Hudson County. But the booster will cost us over $100,000, and this tantalizing possibility comes at a time when our finances are falling short of covering our present operations.
Our second project for 2008 concerns the growing problem of exorbitant music industry royalties for playing music on the web. To address this issue, we're spending more time getting permission from independent artists and labels for the right to broadcast their material without risking bankruptcy. Later this year, WFMU will launch a new website called the Free Music Archive which will act as an unrestricted online goldmine of music, and also as a licensing collective to combat recent efforts by the record industry to tax webcasters (and eventually broadcasters) dry.
These are both ambitious ideas, but they're also essential to WFMU's long term health. Whether we can carry them out is up to you, and will be decided by the outcome of our 2008 Marathon, our annual fundraising festival that will not only help us realize these opportunities, but also fund the station for another year.
That's why we have a lofty goal for our Golden Anniversary Marathon--raising One Million Dollars (as measured in Australian Dollars, or Aussies).
If you're new to our unique brand of fundraising, these pages lays it all out, where you'll find info on this year's swag, our 2008 DJ tag-teams, and the return of the WFMU Marathon Map! You'll also find the various ways to pledge, special appeals to our most dedicated listeners, and this year's line of handcrafted DJ premiums.
So please join us from from February 25th to March 9th, either by making a donation online, or by giving us a call during the Marathon at 800-989-9368.
Don't forget--donations made to WFMU are not only tax deductible (in the U.S.), but any time spent listening to WFMU is redeemable at the end of your life, and that's an offer that's good worldwide.
Hope we'll hear from you during our 50th Anniversary Marathon!
-- Ken Freedman