By Fred Sowder
WGOT Station Coordinator
Prior to WGOT first going on the air in January 2008, I started attending meetings about its formation back when the Civic Media Center was still at 1021 West University Avenue. We had a crazy idea to start a low power FM radio station with two missions: to be the college radio station that Gainesville and UF didn’t have, as well as to be a counterpoint to right-wing talk radio that still dominates those formats to this day.
That was well over 15 years ago. I started a one-hour show back then called Stripped, where I spoke of the issues of the day and anything else that was on my mind for a whole hour, with the exception of a song or two thrown in for variety.
CMC founding member Charles Willett gave me an unforgettable look of incredulousness when I told him that was how my show would go down. Well, 15 years later I’m still doing it, but I’ll be bringing this show to a close on its 15th anniversary (which also coincides with WGOT’s 15th birthday). My last live broadcast will be at 6pm on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2023.
I did not come to the decision to end the show lightly. There are simply too many forces at work that require my time in other areas that leave me with insufficient time to put a show of this quality together each week.
WGOT increasingly needs a behind-the-scenes individual that I hope to be after taking a hiatus from doing a live radio program. My special needs son also needs more of my time and attention and has expressed interest in getting involved in Special Olympics. I want to be there for him to assure his dreams come to fruition.
Here’s where you come in: WGOT needs you. Please consider volunteering to keep your community radio station on the air in whatever way you possibly can. You can find us on Patreon and GoFundMe for the usual financial assistance, but we need you to be part of our broadcast community. If you have an idea for a radio program, that’s fantastic. We also need assistance in other ways such as promotions, production/recording, fundraising, and more. We’d love to hear about your vision for WGOT by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for me, I plan on taking more of a backup role, mainly consisting of paying our bills and fundraising. (Our 15th anniversary is coming up in less than two months and we need ideas!)
Although I may be hanging up the headphones for now, I hope to return to the airwaves again soon with a brand new program once the fancy strikes me. And hopefully this time with a co-host so things are more easily managed. I’ve enjoyed the last 15 years of community radio and hope you decide to join us soon to become a part of it. Go low.