AMR Welcomes New Board Members
Marlinton, WV – The Pocahontas Communications Cooperative Corporation Board of Directors, the group that oversees Allegheny Mountain Radio, welcomed three new members and one returning board member at the annual dinner on March 6th. Velma Waddell was re-elected to her position on the board. The new members are Elwood Groves, John Trees and Melanie Hornsby.
Elwood Groves is from Hillsboro, WV and is the head librarian at the Hillsboro library.
“I got involved with the effort in the last year or so to make Radio Hillsboro a reality” says Groves. ” From the time they had the first meeting and all through 2010, we were engaged in many fundraising activities. We worked very closely also with the Hillsboro library; so we were very supportive of seeing Radio Hillsboro come in effect and that’s how I got involved in it.”
He says they’re also working on putting a small radio production studio at the Hillsboro library.
“Well, we think it’s quite a unique project” he says. “It’s a collaborative effort between Hillsboro library and Allegheny Mountain Radio. And we felt if we had a radio production facility there in Hillsboro, we could encourage the local people to have a more direct involvement in the radio station.”
Jon Trees is a member of the Bath County Board of Supervisors. Like Groves, he’s excited about the opportunity to serve on the board.
“Well Heather, I’ve certainly enjoyed the radio station for many years; it’s a tremendous asset and value to the people of Bath County, especially for emergency services” says Trees. “The benefits and assets of the radio station are endless, quite frankly. When I got the letter requesting that someone from Bath County to be a part of it, I put my name in the hat.”
Trees says he saw just how important the radio station is to Bath County when the WCHG tower was recently felled by strong winds.
“When the tower came down a couple of weeks ago, many people were lost” he says. “They’d become so dependent on our little local radio station.”
Fortunately, AMR’s Chief Engineer Chuck Niday was able to get WCHG back on the air within a week of the tower collapse, albeit at reduced power. Trees says a new tower, housing Bath County’s emergency services transmitters as well as WCHG, should hopefully be in place in the next four to six weeks. The other new board member, Melanie Hornsby was unable to attend the meeting due to illness.
Amid the mirth of the meeting, AMR’s General manager Cheryl Kinderman also shared some less joyful information.
“The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is under attack right now, all public radio, to try to cut funding” she says. “I don’t know how many people realize how dependent Allegheny Mountain Radio is on Corporation for Public Broadcasting funds. We get about half of all our funding from them.”
Kinderman says a loss of CPB funding could mean drastic changes in programming for AMR.
“It would mean a complete different ball game as far as our community radio stations go” she says. “It would mean big cutbacks in staff, and it would mean a reduction in services. It would be real tough to keep a good news department going; and a lot of the folks in our area really appreciate and rely on the news that we are able to do; it’s one of the only local sources of news.”
To learn more about keeping the Corporation for Public Broadcasting funded, you can visit 170millionamericans.org.