I view Columbus as a collection of collaborative, creative, supportive upstarts. There is a culture here that breeds a unique kind of DIY spirit—we aren’t just do-it-yourselfers, we are also fiercely loyal and supportive of anyone else who’s trying to jumpstart their own grassroots effort.
This attitude permeates every sector of our society from the arts, to social causes to business. An example that I am paying close attention to right now is the CD102.5 Indiegogo campaign to purchase their broadcast license.
If you are not familiar with CD102.5, or perhaps you don’t pay much attention because they don’t play “your kind of music,” here is what you need to know about this 25-year-old station.
- They are an independent, stand-alone, locally owned radio station(an almost extinct entity in our country). Everyone involved in the radio station lives here and has a stake in our community.
- They invest heavily in Columbus by supporting nonprofits, sponsoring numerous local events and causes, and raising funds for local charities.
- They support local artists. Bands that are signed with independent labels and/or may not have hit national recognition yet still find a home at CD102.5 through airplay and local concerts.
- They raise Columbus’ profile by bringing up-and-coming acts to our city and engaging with them in memorable ways. Grammy-award winning bands that now fill major venues, once played the big room and are now supporting CD102.5’s drive to stay independent.
Unlike public radio, CD102.5 does have traditional advertisers and there may be some people who wonder why they should give money to a for-profit enterprise.
It’s simple. Everything that CD102.5 does that makes it wonderful, also makes it less profitable than a mega-media conglomerate. Don’t get me wrong, they pay their bills and their staff, they aren’t struggling to exist. However, giving air time to nonprofits, means less airtime for revenue generating ads. Hiring local DJs and doing actual programming instead of having a computer select music from a narrow playlist of “top hits” costs more to produce. Offering low-dough shows, means letting go of a profit stream in order to serve the community and support artists.
CD102.5 operates like a symbiotic part of our community, and if we want to keep that relationship it’s time for us to invest. They are not seeking operating costs, they are raising funds to purchase their broadcast license so they can remain independent and get out from under an exorbitant rent.
I believe CD102.5 is one of the many things that make our city special. I am supporting their drive to remain independent.
— Tom Katzenmeyer Keep up with Tom’s adventures on Twitter: @tomkatzenmeyer