WDIY celebrating 25 years on the airwaves
Twenty-five years after joining the airwaves, WDIY has evolved into more than just a radio station.
Yet the station’s grassroots, volunteer-driven approach and commitment to community has not changed.
“It shows just how strong the station is going forward,” says Shamus McGroggan, Development Director for WDIY.
“[WDIY] allows people to have their voices amplified who otherwise may not be able to do that.”
WDIY is in the midst of a year-long 25th anniversary celebration, including a March 7 sold-out concert at the Charles A. Brown Ice House, 56 River St., Sand Island, Bethlehem.
The event features a headlining performance by blues-rock outfit Craig Thatcher Band, as well as a silent auction, craft beer, catered food by Cafe the Lodge, Bethlehem, and more.
Other anniversary events and programming are scheduled throughout the year, according to a press release.
“Craig [Thatcher] has been featured on the station a number of times and is a friend of the station. He’s bringing a great lineup of musicians with him,” McGroggan says.
“We know it’s going to be a great show and we’re excited to get our listener audience together in one place.”
Though WDIY is marking its 25th anniversary, the station’s history goes back a decade further. A group of radio enthusiasts formed the Lehigh Valley Community Broadcasters Association (LVCBA) in 1984, according to the press release. On Jan. 8, 1995, the LVCBA’s dream became a reality when WDIY aired its first broadcast.
Today, the National Public Radio Affiliate reaches listeners throughout the Lehigh Valley, as well as Reading, Jim Thorpe, Quakertown and Clinton, N.J. WDIY received a Federal Communications Commission-approved signal boost in December 2015.
“This was sort of their [LVCBA] dream, their passion. The past 25 years have been a fulfillment of that dream,” McGroggan says. “There’s a core public radio audience out there and that really is a confirmation for us.”
McGroggan says WDIY continues to adhere to the Do It Yourself (DIY) mantra of its namesake while adapting to changing technological trends. That means utilizing social media while expanding WDIY’s online presence through its website. The Bethlehem-based National Public Radio affiliate has become a multifaceted public media outlet, McGroggan says.
WDIY offers listeners more than 40 programs that run the gamut from national and local news to the arts, business news and a diverse and eclectic mix of music: classical, jazz, alternative, Americana, blues, folk and more. McGroggan hosts the biweekly “Tape Swap Radio” show on WDIY, which showcases independent music from regional musicians, including the Lehigh Valley.
“It’s great WDIY has given me a platform to air ‘Tape Swap Radio,’” McGroggan says.
“The goal is to continue as we have with our mission and that’s serving the community and continue to hopefully grow WDIY and hopefully bring it to more people. We’re reaching more people now than ever.”