Local radio comes to the high peaks

Bob Ackershoek, the owner of Cassie's Cafe in Roxbury, in his role as the co-host of a '70s rock show on WIOX.

Right before Labor Day, a corner of Delaware County will be getting its very own radio station.

WIOX, which will be heard on 91.3 FM, will begin broadcasting from a class A transmitter housed in a garage in the town of Roxbury, NY on Friday, August 27. The station was granted a rare full-power FM permit by the Federal Communications Commission in 2008 to fill an FM void in the region.

WIOX's signal is expected to reach a radius of 20 to 40 miles from Roxbury, which will cover the towns of Margaretville, Andes, Fleischmanns, Stamford, Grand Gorge, Prattsville, and Gilboa. Nobody knows for sure who will hear it, however, because the actual coverage will be determined by how the signal bounces around the hills.

Joe PiasekJoe Piasek

Joe Piasek, a media educator and producer living in Roxbury, is the managing consultant for WIOX on behalf of the town of Roxbury.

“This is definitely an under-served area as far as media go," he said. "Occasionally you can pick up some radio stations, but they’re all from elsewhere."

WIOX's mission is to create common ground, Piasek said.

“With so many different interests in the area that sometimes seem to clash, a radio station has the potential to fill some of the communications and information gaps and provide a platform for those interests to meet — not to clash, but to foster understanding.”

The station, which is being structured as a nonprofit with assistance from the Greater Roxbury Learning Initiative Corp (GRLIC), Roxbury Arts Group (RAG), and the MARK Project, plans to fund itself with grants, donations, and something called "enhanced underwriting."

“Enhanced underwriting is the way non-commercial stations advertise for local businesses,” said Glen Pedersen, the station's development director. “We will talk about our local businesses and sponsors in factual terms, we will interview them, so consumers can get to know who the businesses are and why they should be patronized."

The station is relying on local talent of all kinds, including students from area schools, who are enthusiastically invited to be interns. WIOX's programming schedule is still being finalized, but a long list of shows in a variety of genres are in the works:

  • Peg Ellsworth of the MARK Project will have a show that features local development issues
  • John Riedl is hosting a Health and Wellness program supported by Margaretville Hospital
  • Ann Epner will host a Roxbury Arts Group show featuring interviews, music, and radio plays that promote the arts is a variety of ways. Ann is also producing a literary program with Writers in the Mountains and various playwrights in the area
  • Jenn Schuman, President of the GRLIC board (Greater Roxbury Learning Initiative Corp, an educational non-profit dedicated to providing kids with science and technology-based learning opportunities) will do a weekly science show and produce the morning show with kids 
  • Eric Wedemeyer from Coldwell Banker will host a real estate program 
  • Video producer Kent Garrett will host “Word-Up,” a weekly show with a locally relevant theme similar to national shows such as “Radio Lab” or “This American Life”
  • “Glenn & Barbara,” an “oddly interesting program” on Saturday mornings
  • Dave & Tammy’s “Local Motion,” a show featuring music and local gossip
  • Author Mike Teitelbaum will do double duty hosting a rock show and doing play-by-play for some of the Roxbury Nine baseball games
  • Internationally renowned indie rock provocateur Jezz Harkin will host a music show
  • Metalworker Rick Neblung
  • The anonymous “Music Geek”
  • Local radio legend Terry Doyle will host a daily show and provide production expertise 
  • Cassie’s own Bob Ackershoek and pianist Justin Kolb will host a ‘70’s rock show 
  • Pastor Peg is planning an inspirational show called “Life Is…”
  • Shakespearean actor Albert Verdesca will host a classical show
  • Miles Davis’ former neighbor, Joel Bregman, will host a jazz program
  • Local magician Artie Martello will host a daily folk music show 
  • Mark Birman Sports
  • John Bernhardt’s show
  • Clark Shah-Nelson’s (a/k/a Clark O’Saturn) space music
  • World Music aficionado Bill Feldman 
  • Big time drummer “Joey D” Damone
  • Simona David is hosting a weekly show featuring music from Romania and France, among other cultures

Live in 3, 2, 1: Mike Teitelbaum and Bob Ackershoek practice their on-air routines.Live in 3, 2, 1: Mike Teitelbaum and Bob Ackershoek practice their on-air routines.The entire WIOX schedule will be ready for publication in a couple of weeks. There are still a few openings for anyone with the time and a good idea. Training will be provided. Call (607) 326-9313 if you are interested, or email [email protected]. Other donations, from cash to office equipment, are also accepted.

On Friday, August 27, WIOX will host a launch party live and on the air at 91.3 FM. Starting at noon, everyone is invited to tour the studios, say “hi” on-the-air, and attend a ribbon-cutting at 5:00 p.m. Some of the show hosts have already recorded promos for their shows -- you can get a sneak preview by clicking the links below.