It is with great sadness that tonight we are letting you know that our community radio station 88.3 WQNA FM and home to The Black Sheep Radio Show / Dumb Records Radio Show is coming to an end. WQNA has been on the airwaves in Springfield for forty years coming up this month since 1979. We have been lucky enough to host our own Dumb Records / Black Sheep Radio Show out of the station for the past six and a half of those years.
There is an article in The State-Journal Register that was posted online today and will be in tomorrow’s print version – “Career Center Confirms WQNA Is Up For Sale.” After dwindling to absolutely no student interest in TV and radio in recent years, the Capitol Area Career Center which houses the station’s base and supplies most of the funding to keep things going was left with a tough choice to no longer continue housing the station and putting it up for sale. From the article:
“When you’re serving zero students, you can’t justify pouring $30,000-$40,000 into the station,” Ferriell said. “It’s not a decision that we’ve taken lightly. It was a difficult decision. It’s a great station.”
This does mean that our weekly radio show on Fridays from 4:00 to 6:00 pm on the airwaves as we know it will be soon coming to an end, as well as a great number of other local weekly programs featured on the station of all different genres.
Some WQNA DJs will be getting together for a meeting soon to discuss any options of any type of contingency, or the possibilities of online streaming or podcast-type shows for the future. We are open to hearing these options out for The Dumb Records Radio Show, but are uncertain as to what the future holds for us right now. We have been recording more recent episodes of our radio program and have a few of them streaming on Mix Cloud.
A definite end date to the station is uncertain now, at this point any episode of our radio program could be our last.
We are thrilled to announce this afternoon that our community radio station WQNA – 88.3 fm which hosts The Black Sheep Radio Show / The Dumb Records Radio Hour is back on air after nearly a month-long hiatus! A few dedicated volunteers to the station have been hard at work to make sure a new computers to power the station are up and running and also managed to get a damaged / frozen transmitter fixed. The station still isn’t coming in completely full power just yet – but it soon will. You can also stream the station (in full power) online at wqna.net. We have been told that the station schedule listed on the site is also getting updated today. Find an online article in the SJ-R about WQNA being back on air right here.
Yes, this means “The Dumb Records Radio Hour” will be back on air this upcoming Friday at our normal time of 4-6pm.
The situation over at WQNA (which is currently off-air) has made the news big – some of you may have noticed articles in both The State Journal-Register AND the Illinois Times both published yesterday. Both articles included quotes from station manager Jim Pemberton about the current situation and the future of the community radio station. The paper also talked to Larry Turnbull, a DJ for the “Friday Night Free For All.” From the article:
“WQNA is Springfield’s hometown station and people love the station,” said Turnbull. “No one is getting paid to do any of the shows.
“We want to put it back together and come back (on the air). It’s great that people have offered equipment and monetary donations. It says something, that people love the station.”
″(After the station went off the air), all of my volunteers were like, let’s work on this,” Pemberton said. “Let’s do a fundraiser. Let’s start a benefit.
“No one wanted to give up on it. That’s what’s driven me.”
Check out the full article online right here. Also check out the Illinois Times article “WQNA Off The Air” right here.
Dumb Records is more than willing to offer our new space up for a benefit show for WQNA of some sort… however we are still awaiting approval from the city and a door to get replaced in order to host events. We are really hoping all of that can come together soon. There is also talk of a GoFundMe campaign for WQNA to be launched. All of WQNA volunteers are meeting together here soon in the next few days to discuss the future, and we will report back when more is known!
Some of you may have noticed that local radio station WQNA (88.3 fm) is currently off the airwaves and has been since last Thursday, meaning the Black Sheep / Dumb Records radio show also did not air. It seems a number of difficulties have caused this to happen, and the volunteer-ran radio station is going to have to reach out for help of the community to get back on its feet:
“We have suffered what we can best describe as a perfect storm of simultaneous technical disasters. In addition to losing all of our computers and files to a Cryptovirus, both our main transmitter and our backup transmitter have failed. The main transmitter is down, because our 300 foot antenna is covered with ice. Unfortunately, we can’t really do anything about that until it thaws, and that’ll probably be a while. When we tried to fire up the backup, we discovered that a major part called the Exciter had crapped out, and that we would have to replace it. If we had a working transmitter, we could at least broadcast the old fashioned way for a while, with CD’s, vinyl, and our own I-pods and laptops, but at the moment, we can’t even do that.”
– Jim Pemberton, Station Manager
Currently it seems that the station which is based out of the Capital Area Career Center needs to be raising money for new computers to replace those affected by a cryptovirus that got to multiple computers in the facility, also to get a working transmitter up and running. In addition to that the station is going to be needing to raise money to cover licensing fees for the next year once the available parts are ready for it to get back up and running.
We are very much crossing our fingers for our show space at the new Dumb Records to get up and running very soon so we can host a benefit show (or more) to help get WQNA back on its feet! There may also be a GoFundMe campaign launched at somepoint soon. We are also considering donating a percentage of Dumb Records store sales to WQNA for a given timeframe if we do not get approved for events in the new space soon. In the meantime, WQNA can take donations in the form of checks made out to “WQNA Activity Fund.” Anyone who wishes to donate can also drop off checks with us at Dumb Records and we will be sure to deliver them to CACC or the station manager. Those checks can also be mailed to 2201 Toronto Rd, Springfield, IL 62712.
We will be sure to keep you all updated on the situation over at WQNA- it is likely that online streaming will be back up and running at some point before normal radio is. The Black Sheep Radio Show has been running as a weekly radio program on WQNA for over six years now, since the start of 2013.