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
103.3 Asheville FM