Volunteers man WRLR FM

March 11, 2009 8:19:58 AM PDT
A radio station in far north suburban Round Lake Heights is like many of their competitors-- except the staff and management are all volunteers.WRLR-FM calls the low-powered station true community radio. DJ Mark Shanahan hosts the Do Wop Hour at 98.3 FM. Bish Krywko is the station's founder.

"I went in front of village boards. I went in front of park district boards and library boards and all sorts of organizations and said, 'Here's my idea here's my concept will you buy into it?' And they're all like, 'Not a chance in hell,'" said Krywko.

Three and a half years later, WRLR-FM is the only low-power FM station in Illinois not affiliated with a school or church.

"I'm not only a dj here, I'm the treasurer of the radio station, on the board of directors. I wear a lot of hats," said Allan Bergh, volunteer, DJ.

A low power station signal can reach 15 to 20 miles away. Many of Rich Kingsley's listeners are veterans.

"We all touch lots of peoples lives. I do a lot for the military. I have shows playing on Iraq, Afghanistan. I do lot at the VA hospital at North Chicago and Hines," said Rich Kingsley, volunteer DJ.

When the police moved out they left behind an empty jail cell which now houses the transmitter. Carolyn Howard oversees the scheduling of commercials as the station's traffic manager. She also co-hosts a show.

"I really enjoy what I do here. I love giving Carolyn a hard time," said Clark Edwards, volunteer DJ.

"And I bring all my talents and all the skills that I have, anything I can do for this station," said Carolyn Howard, volunteer DJ.

"They allow me total freedom to do what ever I want on the air as long as its within FCC guides. It's just amazing," said Dan Labuda, volunteer DJ.

Check out the radio station at wrlr.fm/ .