By Art Hunter
WOBO radio has been broadcasting from its studio in Clermont County for 34 years, and the all-volunteer, noncommercial station is still going strong.
Billing itself as “the station with something for everyone,” the listener-supported radio station plays music that is not typically heard anywhere else on the radio dial.
Listeners tuning in to 88.7 fm might find a classic country music or a bluegrass program. They might tune in and find big bands, jazz, rock and roll, or even a blues program. The station also has programs featuring German, Scottish, and Polish music. And WOBO now plays an expanded schedule of gospel music.
Station president Gary Strong said the preferences of the listeners who donate to the station have a direct effect on the station’s programming.
The station recently increased its gospel music programming from six hours per week to 13 hours based on feedback from listeners.
“When people make their donations to the station, we ask them to comment on what they like and what they don’t like,” he said. “We read every one of their comments, we look at what they listen to, and this determines how we program our shows.”
Unlike commercial radio stations, program hosts bring their own music to play, and are free to play what they choose on their shows.
“All of our programs are very unique,” Strong said. “Each of our 36 on-air volunteers bring their own library. We don’t tell them what they have to play, which makes us really unique.”
Strong said that the station has been branching out from its music format and has been conducting more interviews. Program hosts have been conducting interviews with musicians, and interviews with people in the community are being planned.
“We’re going to try to conduct interviews with different people from the community, from the sheriff’s office, fire departments, chamber of commerce, or highway department,” Strong said. “We want to be part of the community. We want to be the voice of Clermont County.”
The station is also expanding its studio facilities. An additional on-air studio and a studio for live music and interviews are being added the station’s current on-air studio and production studio.
Strong said that the additional on-air studio will make transitions from one program host to another smoother, and the live music studio will enable the station to bring in bands.
“We’ll be bringing live acts in,” Strong said. “We’re hoping to help the local musicians in the area.”
For a program schedule and more information about the station, visit www.wobofm.com.