WRIR: Hyper-local radio station still going strong after 12 years

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — One of the strongest supporters of the local art scene is Richmond’s low-power FM radio station, WRIR.

At 97.3 on the FM dial, WRIR is the city’s official emergency services broadcast station.

But the station offers quite a bit more.

The only clue to what’s inside this building, above The Camel on West Broad Street, is an antenna.

The station runs 24-7 and is staffed by 200 passionate volunteers.

“Our mission is to bring underrepresented news, music and views from the City of Richmond to the City of Richmond,” said Carol Olsen, who works at the station.

The station offers sharp political reporting, while also supporting local arts and artists.

“Like when we do our local fund drives, we have local artists design our t-shirts twice a year,” Melissa Vaughn, who works at the station said. “We have live bands in here every week. We have live rappers come on to our hip-hop shows. We also support people who are trying to make a difference around here.”

Maddie Theiring, who just moved to Richmond from Charleston, South Carolina, said she just began volunteering at the station.

“It’s just, it’s inspiring to be surrounded by all these people just giving their time,” Theiring said.

Vaughn explained the station’s Do-it-yourself ethos.

“Nobody gets paid for changing the toilet paper. We’re all here because we love it,” Vaughn explained. “We absolutely love and believe in the message that this station puts out: underrepresented news and views in the City of Richmond.”

And they do all this while not accepting money from larger, national organizations.

“We take no corporate or federal money. We are truly a community radio station, powered by you,” Olsen said.

WRIR has been around for twelve years now. If you’d like to get involved with what happens on air, or behind the scenes in marketing, events, production or public affairs, you can do so here.

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