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WMBR raises $9000 on the air but AP wire service to sign off

WMBR, MIT's non-commercial student radio station, has made little progress in soliciting corporate grants to support its operational costs, according to the station's technical director Henry N. Holtzman '85.

The station began seeking grants from companies and foundations this summer because of increasing expenses. WMBR must make major capital expenditures this year to replace aging equipment.

WMBR has resorted to raising money through other means. An over-the-air fund raiser ending Oct. 5 yielded over $9000 in pledges, according to chief engineer Jonathan S. Bernhardt '86. The station will spend the next few weeks collecting pledges.

WMBR also plans to sell advertising space in its program guides. The station now distributes one-page guides, but will enlarge them to 15 to 20 pages and release them about four times per year, Holtzman said. The guides "will contain program schedules as well as explanations of the selections," he explained. The new guides will be expensive to produce, but WMBR hopes to break even on the first issue and make about $1000 on each subsequent issue from advertising, Holtzman said.

WMBR will suspend its Associated Press (AP) news wire service to save money, Bernhardt said.

The service now costs $4000 per year, Holtzman said, but AP wants the station to switch from its 25-year-old teletype to a newer service costing $4500 this year, $5500 next year, and $6000 the year after that."The biggest loss from suspending the AP wire is the weather reports, the hourly news summaries, and the sports," he said.

WMBR has just replaced one of its 20-year-old control units and hopes to save money for a new control room costing about $10,000, Holtzman said.

The station continues to recruit new students. About half of the staff of 100 are community residents, but "our push has been to focus on students," Holtzman said.

New students are given practice time on the air when they start. They are expected to come up with their own ideas and shows after several weeks. Holtzman hopes the station will be able to recruit enough students to replace those who leave.