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Support community radio

By Jackie Helvey
I have a natural inclination toward nosiness, which is basically why I started carrboro.com back in 1997. The world needed to know about Carrboro! I’ve always wanted to know what’s going on around town and made it my business to find out, especially about arts-related stuff. So when the wonderful Audrey Layden approached me in 2007 with the idea of doing a radio show on the arts at WCOM, Carrboro’s all-volunteer radio station, it seemed perfect.

Before WCOM began broadcasting in 2004, I was involved with fundraising efforts to get the station off the ground. I also redesigned and maintained the WCOM website for several years, taking over from original designer Chris Frank, one of the founders of WCOM. Even so, I had never been a show host or been on the radio as anything other than an occasional interviewee.

Gratefully, my terrible stage fright didn’t get to me here. Behind the microphone I had no fear. I walked through the radio station door a week after the show was proposed and broadcast my show for the first time. It was at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 2, 2007, from beautiful downtown Carrboro, at the radio station’s original location on the corner of West Weaver & North Greensboro streets. My first guest was Billy Sugarfix. I had found my thing.

The Wacqueline Stern Show is now on TV on The Peoples Channel, highlighting local talent throughout the Carrboro/Chapel Hill/Durham area – all from my radio show, originally called the West End Report on the Arts.

WCOM is Carrboro’s crown jewel, allowing anyone with an idea for a show and the dedication to show up once a week and do it the opportunity to do just that! Imagine it! What’s your passion? Showtunes? Hard rock? Rap? Classical? Got an idea for a talk show? Propose it. You too can have your own show.

Not only that, you or your business can underwrite a show for a mere $10 a month, getting a shout-out during each show for your sponsorship. Check out WCOM at wcomfm.org for an amazing schedule of over 70 locally produced shows, something for everyone.

If you haven’t discovered Carrboro’s all-volunteer radio station, WCOM, at 103.5 FM, check it out. We have live streaming and many shows are available as podcasts. In January, Citizen columnist Valarie Schwartz became my new co-host. She runs the board for me and contributes with insightful comments and questions. Together we have a blast as we interview guests, have them perform or whatever else we decide we want to do!

This is our fundraising time at WCOM 103.5 FM. The radio station has expenses (such as rent, utilities, etc.) year-round, and during the holidays we encourage you to give yourself the gift of TRUE public radio. WCOM is your true voice in the community. Support it now at wcomfm.org.

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