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WMNF (88.5 MHz) is an FM non-commercial community radio station in Tampa, Florida. It is owned by the Nathan B. Stubblefield Foundation and it airs a mix of music shows and news programming. It is supported by listener contributions and has studios on East Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Tampa.
|Broadcast area||Tampa Bay|
|Frequency||88.5 MHz (HD Radio)|
|Branding||WMNF Listener-Sponsored Community Radio|
|Format||Eclectic Music and Talk|
|Affiliations||Pacifica Radio Network|
|Owner||Nathan B. Stubblefield Foundation|
First air date
|September 14, 1979|
Call sign meaning
|"Member-sponsored non-commercial FM"|
|HAAT||469 meters (1,539 ft)|
Programs and personnel edit
WMNF has from the beginning aired a wide variety of music shows. They include programs featuring Adult Album Alternative (AAA), Blues, Bluegrass, Rockabilly, R&B, Soul music, Urban Gospel, Celtic music, Latin Jazz, Salsa and Experimental music.
WMNF airs several progressive talk and news programs. Each weekday begins with The Morning Show, a mix of interviews, news and music. Other shows are focused on LGBTQ issues, animal and environmental preservation and civil rights. Each weekday morning, it carries the nationally syndicated Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman and Juan González.
Among the long-running series are: The Sixties Show, The 70s Show, Caribbean Cruise, The Soul Party and Saturday Asylum. Past public affairs programs included RadioActivity and From a Woman's Point of View (formerly The Women's Show), touching on feminist issues that first started running in the 1980s, Art in Your Ear, Talking Animals, and True Talk, which focused on the Middle East and the global issues Muslims face. In February 2013, WMNF introduced the weekly music, arts and culture program "Life Elsewhere" hosted by veteran radio personality Norman B. (Batley).
The station signed on the air on September 14, 1979 . It was established by the Nathan B. Stubblefield Foundation, a non-profit organization started solely for this purpose. The Board of Directors comprises programmers, volunteers, staff, and community members. Its first studios were on Nebraska Avenue in Tampa.
WMNF was originally powered at 70,000 watts but on a much shorter tower. When its tower tripled in height in 2007, its power was reduced but still with better coverage.
WMNF holds periodic on-air fundraisers and seeks donations and volunteers on its website. Its supporters account for approximately 70% of its funding. There are three pledge drives each year. The station has paid operations staff, but most of the hosts and pledge drive workers are volunteers.
In 2005, WMNF moved into new state of the art studios and production space. The facility is located adjacent to the old studio which was demolished and now serves as a parking lot. The new facility is over 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) with three broadcast studios, two production studios and a live performance studio named in memory of Mike Eisenstadt, longtime host of the Sunday Simcha, a Jewish music and public affairs show that still airs on Sundays at 2pm. The music library can store approximately 100,000 CDs, and has about 8,000 record albums. The landscape is made up of native Florida plants.
In 2007, WMNF moved to a higher antenna tower at 469 meters (1539 feet) in height above average terrain (HAAT). With the new tower, the station started to broadcast an HD Radio signal. The signal stretches from Clearwater and Bradenton to Lakeland and Fort Meade.
In 1997, Florida State Senator John Grant zeroed out $104,000 in state funding from the annual budget, citing his displeasure at the lyrics of a song he had heard broadcast (Iris DeMent's "Wasteland of the Free"). In response to the shortfall, the station staged an emergency fund-raiser that took in $122,000 in a day and a half.
Then Programming Director, Randy Wynne indicated his belief that such difficulties arose after WMNF aired several criticisms against State Senator Grant's opposition to Olympic gold medalist diver, and outspoken LGBTQ activist Greg Louganis attending a speaking engagement at the University of South Florida.
In 2021, 43-year station veteran Rob Lorei was terminated by WMNF. Lorei, the public affairs director and show host said he was not given a reason. He told the Tampa Bay Times "No community radio station has been as consistently successful as WMNF. You'll have to ask the general manager why he terminated me."
The station told the newspaper that Lorei was given the reason by the general manager and a member of the board. It would be his choice to disclose this. Lorei had been the host of “Radioactivity with Rob Lorei,” which aired weekdays at 11 a.m.
HD channels edit
WMNF broadcasts four HD Radio channels:
- HD-1 simulcasts the main WMNF signal.
- HD-2 new Indie music and music shows featuring new releases.
- HD-3 The Source, which airs news, public affairs, and arts programming.
- HD-4 Soul School featuring classic soul, R&B, blues, reggae and rap.
See also edit
- Spata, Christopher (3 August 2019). "At 40, WMNF still stickin' it to the man. But does it need to change?". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
- "Flashback Friday". WMNF. Retrieved 2022-12-31.
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1984 page B-60. Retrieved November 24, 2023.
- "Needs Statement". The Giving Partner. GuideStar. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
- Deggans, Eric. "30 years later, we're still listening to WMNF". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
- "Lawmakers Race To Save Money For Adult Education". Google News Archive. Boca Raton News/Associated Press. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
- InsideRadio.com "Rob Lorei Fired by Tampa's WMNF" April 12, 2021. Retrieved Nov. 24, 2023.
- Official website
- The Source HD-3
- WMNF in the FCC FM station database
- WMNF in Nielsen Audio's FM station database