WERU Community Radio Celebrates 25 years
People have listened to WERU Community Radio Station for 25 years. When the founders began, they wanted to fill the airwaves with a new kind of sound.“We wanted a station that maybe spoke to a little … the things that were missing from other commercial stations and so on at that time in Maine or for the country. Something that involved community, something that was more personal radio,” says George Fowler. Fowler started volunteering on the air in the station’s first year. “To me it was sort of like watching a child grow up you have that beginning stage where to I have lots of energy and it may not always be direct just the way you might want to have it that way and eventually you mature a little bit out become a teenager and rebellion takes place you’re getting uses to what you feel strongly about and I think you’re young adults now,” Fowler said.The WERU vision has gone unchanged over the years. The biggest adjustment was a move from the ‘Old Henhouse’ in Blue Hill to their current location. Like for so many others, WERU became a home for now General Manager Matt Murphy, “I was looking for community when I arrived here and I found it on the radio,” Murphy said. Years later, the station is still serving the community, and seeking to stay relevant. “If we were starting the station from scratch, right now, what would our purpose be? What would we try to do? What would the station sound like?” Murphy explained.They operate on a $500,000 budget, the majority of which is supported by listeners. Throughout the station’s past, 1500 volunteer have come through its doors.“The listener support and the volunteer power, work hand in hand and they’re both very necessary for what we’ve done here at WERU over the years,” Murphy said.Mark Dyer hosts a weekly three hour show. He says the variety of programming they support is very unique. “You know everyone brings the love of what they do whether is spoken word whether it’s music whether it’s news we all have that love of the station,” Dyer said. From year 25 and on, the station plans to stay true to its name. “The WERU really is more than just our call letters it really does kind of signify that we’re a community radio station,” Fowler said.