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WZBC Holds Annual Fund Raiser, Hosts Fall Concert

Heights Editor

Published: Monday, October 29, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

On Sunday, WZBC, Boston College’s student-run radio station, finished its 2012 Biennial Fundraiser. The event, which started Friday Oct. 17, ran for 10 days and raised over $26,000, surpassing WZBC’s initial goal of $25,000.

Donations were made by an estimated 400 donors by phone and online. The fundraising will continue online until the end of the semester. Those who donated to the fundraiser will receive premiums, such as a WZBC mug, t-shirt, canvas tote, duffle bag or grab bag, as a thank you for their contributions. The money raised by the Biennial Fundraiser will help fund WZBC for the coming two years.

“Though we receive funding from the school, it’s really not enough for what we need,” said Samantha Tilney, general manager of WZBC and A&S ’13. “The budget we’re given is barely enough to get us through a year on a skeleton stage, and that doesn’t account for unexpected breakages in any of the equipment. We need to have money in the bank account in case something unexpected happens. Though the fundraiser is over, people can still donate online. It will be on a rolling basis until the end of term. We try to keep the window open for donors as long as possible.”

“It’s kind of a rainy day fund,” said Pat McHanon, WZBC operations director and CSOM ’13. “In case something unexpected was to happen, we’re covered.”

In the past, the WZBC’s Biennial Fundraisers have been extremely successful. In 2010, during the midst of the recession, the radio station raised $30,000. Four years ago, before the recession hit, it raised $40,000. Since its last fundraiser, WZBC has felt the impact of the changing music industry.

“The climate of radio has drastically changed over the past two years because of the popularity of streaming online,” Tilney said. “There are so many more outlets for people to listen to music. If they know what they want to listen to, they can find it somewhere more immediately accessible than an online radio station. Still, we’re so happy with the money we’ve raised this year.”

The Biennial Fundraiser donations were predominately made by local Boston community members. While WZBC is a college-based radio station fully operated by BC undergraduates, it is host to over 40 local DJs with no connection to the school who attract a wide range of listeners. These listeners have tuned in to WZBC shows for years, and often donate out of their commitment to the DJs.

“Our typical donor profile is someone who lives in the Boston area and is very active within the community,” said Erin Furlong, program director of WZBC and A&S ’14. “A lot of them are a little bit older. They’ve been listening to the shows for a long time now.”

WZBC runs both AM and FM streaming, with AM exclusively used by BC undergraduates and FM used by both BC students and local community members. The FM stream broadcasts from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., seven days a week, and is broadcasting 80 different shows this semester. Roughly half of these shows are hosted by community members.

“Community members are the group of DJs that have no affiliation with Boston College or are alumni or faculty members,” Furlong said. “Most are people that live in the Boston area with previous DJ experience before coming here.”

While WZBC gains most of its listeners from outside the BC campus, the radio station is still intent on making BC students its first priority.

“ZBC is an extremely malleable resource for students interested in radio, broadcasting, or even equipment setup,” Tilney said. “And since we’re fully operated by undergrads, it’s a great place to learn the business. In terms of bringing it back to the BC community, we’re really excited for this weekend’s partnership with Nights on The Heights and Art Club. If all goes well, the concert will definitely be something we would like to put on again in the future so that kids can have a fun weekend alternative.”

WZBC co-sponsored a Halloween Concert with Art Expo and Nights on the Heights this past Saturday night in the O’Connell House. The event is the first of many that WZBC hopes to host for BC students in the coming years. As part of WZBC’s 40th Anniversary on FM frequency, the radio station plans to host a festival this coming spring.

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