Why we help: Inspiring radio listeners to build connections

KP Whaley

103.3 Asheville FM is a nonprofit, volunteer-programmed, community radio station with a mission to keep Asheville thriving by producing diverse and eclectic programming that inspires our listeners to build connections across our communities and to discover new music and ideas.

We have been around since 2009, when we started as an internet-only station with a couple of dozen volunteers in the back of a coffee shop on Haywood Road in West Asheville. Today, we have over 100 volunteer DJs producing over 70 local programs featuring local news, arts and political talk shows, and the best free-form music you can get here in Western North Carolina.

I’ve been involved in community media for nearly two decades. I started as a volunteer news team member at a station in Wisconsin and eventually became the news director. I left that job to come to WNC in 2009 to help manage WPVM back when it was being run by Wally Bowen of Mountain Area Information Network. Although the job didn’t last long (budget), I fell in love with WNC, bought a house and held onto it as I moved around working in community TV in Vermont, public radio back in Wisconsin and then back here in 2017 to be the first paid manager at Asheville FM.

I’ve lived in many places, and I’ve found that communities that have a strong community radio station are better informed, more cohesive and committed to building a better place for all of us to live. And that’s why I was hooked 20 years ago. When programming is directed by community members, you get to hear about new music, ideas and news that you don’t hear in the mainstream, and that’s invaluable.

Running a station isn’t easy. There is always more work to do, more money to raise and more great ideas that need a little more traction, but I continue to be motivated because of what I hear from our DJs. They are the most passionate and creative group of people in town, and I want to do everything I can to keep them and this station on the air. Asheville FM is a resource for this community, and I think more and more people are beginning to realize what hundreds of us have known for years.

— KP Whaley
General manager
103.3 Asheville FM


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.