Downturn hits WBCR

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"We were down slightly in the number of pledges, but severely down in the amount of the pledges," said Paul Rapp, president of the nonprofit station's board of directors. "The standard $50 pledge is now a standard $20 pledge."

The station's semiannual fundraiser ended on Friday, said Rapp.

Rapp said the shortfall will not affect programming at the station.

"There's something remarkable about having the entire operation run by volunteers," he said. "We have more than 100 programmers putting on shows every week. That won't be affected.

"That said, we would also, at some point, like to be able to pay people," he said. "That is still a few years down the road."

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Rapp said that if the gap isn't made up, possibly by adding smaller fundraisers this summer, the principal impact will be that the station will not be able to complete a buildout of its community room or kitchen.

The radio station's annual budget is about $45,000, said Rapp, which is made up of pledges and donations.

On another note, Rapp said the station's move from cramped quarters off Main Street to its new home in the Granary Building on Rosseter Street has been "extremely successful." The space is the former home of the Berkshire Co-Op Market.

"The new space is fantastic," he said. "We have more space and the studio is now accessible to the handicapped, which is big."

There is now room for board meetings at the station. Previously, Rapp said, the meetings were held in various locales, including private residences.


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