- "WMNF" may also refer to White Mountain National Forest.
|City of license||Tampa, Florida|
|Broadcast area||Tampa, Florida|
|Branding||WMNF Listener-Sponsored Community Radio|
|First air date||1979|
|Format||eclectic (program guide)|
|Callsign meaning||Member-sponsored Non-commercial FM|
|Owner||Nathan B. Stubblefield Foundation|
WMNF is a non-commercial, community radio station operating in the city of Tampa in the U.S. state of Florida that broadcasts at the FM frequency of 88.5 MHz and streaming live. The station has been on the air since 1979, and has an Effective Radiated Power of 7,000 watts from antenna 1,539 feet height above average terrain.
The radio station is listener sponsored, relying on some 11,200 (as of June 2007) supporters for a majority of required funding which is raised in two or three semiannual pledge drives. The station has paid operations staff, but the daily programmers and pledge drive workers are volunteers. The station is licensed to the Nathan B. Stubblefield Foundation, a non-profit organization established solely for this purpose. The Board of Directors comprises programmers, volunteers, staff, and community members.
WMNF hosts many concerts, speeches, films, and festivals, most notably the annual Tropical Heatwave festival.
In 2005, WMNF moved into a new state of the art broadcast facility. 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 noon. The music library is capable of storing approximately 100,000 CDs. The landscape is made up of native Florida plants.
In 2007, WMNF moved to a higher antenna tower and started to broadcast a Hybrid Digital signal.
Programs and personnel
WMNF has from the beginning aired a wide variety of programming, including special interest music shows including bluegrass, polka, gospel, Celtic, Latin and experimental. In 2007 the major music styles on WMNF are rock, folk and blues. WMNF's progressive news and public affairs programs have steadily increased since the nineties and are now amongst their most popular programming. While the schedule has constantly changed, the station has a number of long-running programs including the Sixties Show and community affairs programs such as The Women's Show, a show touching on feminist issues that first started running in the 1980s, and Out in the Open, a show dealing with gay and lesbian community issues that has aired since 1993. Many of the programs, including Out in the Open, are available via podcast at the station's web site and most shows are archived there as well. In February 2013 WMNF also introduced to Tampa-area listeners the weekly music, arts and culture program "Life Elsewhere" hosted by veteran radio personality Norman B. (Batley), a venerable brand that dates back to the 1970s in the Pacific Northwest. While some of the on-air talent changes on a regular basis the station's personnel has remained fairly constant, including programming director Randy Wynne, news director Rob Lorei and business manager Mercedes Skelton. Other notable personnel and alumni of the station include Pat Chamburs, Dorothy Abbott (co-creator of The Women's Show), John Chambrone, Bob Pomeroy, and Mary Glenney.
WMNF broadcasts four HD Radio channels:
- HD-1 simulcasts the main WMNF signal.
- HD-2 carries Bulls Radio, the student radio station at the University of South Florida.
- HD-3 carries The Source, which airs news, public affairs, and arts programming.
- HD-4 carries Hawk Radio, the student radio station at Hillsborough Community College from 8am to 2pm, and a mix of music and select HCC sports broadcasts the rest of the time.
While providing extensive public affairs programming to the greater Tampa Bay area, and perhaps because of it, WMNF has at times become the focus of controversy.
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. 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.
- 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.
- Official website
- Bulls Radio HD-2
- The Source HD-3
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WMNF
- Radio-Locator information on WMNF