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Once upon a time, a couple of years ago, a group of the Wilson and Carol Trueblood

Performing Arts Center staff members and volunteers asked a question: “What could the Island

do with its very own local, independent, non-commercial radio station?”

The answer? A lot.

This group imagined a platform where local music, creativity, information, history, news and

much more would flow freely and be accessible to all. They rolled up their sleeves and got to

work on the intricacies of FCC licensing, grant writing, fundraising, organizing and learning

about radio broadcasting methods and equipment.

Surveys were performed, a few more folks were recruited to the radio committee and on

February 12, 2024, Washington Island Radio launched! Being a radio station by the Island

community, for the Island community, what better time than during Fish Derby week?

Interviews with Washington Island Lions Club members, a Radio Roundtable interview, an Ice

Party show, an Album Breakdown produced by Kevin Jones and featuring Ed Sheehy and much

more were in the inaugural lineup. The response from Islanders and Island-lovers was

overwhelmingly positive.

Tune in at

The committee decided to start by streaming programming online and developed their website.

Online streaming services are easy, cheap and accessible, and a good way for producers to

build experience, content and an audience.

Shortly after launching, Tom Pratt produced Main Road Blues, and Island Scoop debuted. The

Scoop is a biweekly local news show co-hosted by Matt Kokes and Emily Small. The Scoop

also produced a series of interviews with local candidates for town supervisor and school board.

In the spirit of DIY and true egalitarianism, the radio committee put out a call for volunteers.

Aspiring and experienced deejays, voice actors, broadcasters and techies came forward.

John Alderfer brought his extensive collection of music from the 1940s through the 1970s, and

started “Boomer Radio”, a daily three-hour music show. Talya DeYoung started The Local

Writers Show, reading and featuring Island authors, writers and literature.

The radio committee is working under the TPAC’s non-profit umbrella, but has its own dedicated

fund for radio operations. Funds and donations are being raised for …

… the ultimate goals of Washington Island Radio: a brick-and-mortar recording studio and

station, as well as a tower and antenna to broadcast via low power FM airwaves.

A station building will be a hub for deejays, producers, musicians, broadcasters, sound editors,

audiophiles and anyone who wants to participate and send some Island magic out on the


An FM broadcast signal and antenna will be a way to get news and information out besides the

internet. Battery power backup and the accessibility of radios will mean, in the event of

emergencies or natural disasters, information can be disseminated more readily.

Washington Island Radio hopes even more people will get involved, including local nonprofit

organizations. Any nonprofit can submit content or ideas to use airtime. The radio committee

also continues to fundraise, look for grant opportunities and come up with great ideas to keep

listeners informed, entertained and connected to the Island.

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