Meet Your Makers: Joanna Thomas, radio station builder

JoannaI joined the outreach committee at 99.3 WBTV when fellow committee member, Llu, reached out the WRUV group last year. I’m currently an international music DJ at WRUV and I love doing radio. I think it’s a really positive and fulfilling way to engage in the community and dig into my passions but also share something educational and interesting with people at the same time. Llu mentioned in her email that there would be a new radio station starting up in the VCAM location in Burlington and they needed help raising awareness and pulling things together. It seemed like a good place to put some of my time and energy because it’s something I believe in and I know first hand how much work and heart it takes to sustain a radio station. I was also interested in learning about the step by step process to put a station on air and thought it was a really unique opportunity to witness a radio station being built from scratch. I have a background in human resources and volunteer coordination so the outreach committee seemed like the best fit for me. I’ve been attending outreach meetings for about six months and have met some really cool media who love media and have so much to offer in terms of getting the word out about WBTV.

I’m a music lover, I’m comfortable being on air, interviewing artists, talking about music and current international events and concerts but I don’t have a lot of experience with audio, video and storytelling in general. I’m lucky to be involved with the outreach folks at WBTV who bring these skills and more to the station. We have such a vibrant media community and they’re all so invested in making this station great.

Right now we’re tabling at events around Burlington, recording video PSAs and station IDs, handing out promo materials and having introductory conversations with our neighbors to let them know what’s going on with the future of community radio in Burlington. I’m pumped to be on air next year and see what types of diverse programming we can bring to Burlington but right now we’re just focusing on the vision, message and brand of the station and how we can spread the word.

I’m proud to do radio in Burlington, VT.

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