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Local Business Spotlight: WDBX 91.1 FM

My name is Marshall Anderson, and I am the Station Manager at WDBX 91.1 The business is WDBX 91.1 Fm, the community radio station for Carbondale and surrounding areas.

What does your business do?

WDBX FM provides community-based radio programming ranging from music shows curated by local DJ’s to serious talk shows, to comedy review shows, to the occasional syndicated favorite.

What was the inspiration behind starting your business?

In 1992, founding board member Tom Egert was driving back to southern IL listening to St. Louis’ Community station KDHX.  When he got within 20 miles of Carbondale, he lost the signal, and nothing locally at the time could compare, so he knew he had to start his own station if he wanted to hear the kind of programming he wanted.

What do you love most about doing business in Southern Illinois?

While it may sound crazy to many people, I truly believe that Southern Illinois and Carbondale, in particular, is on the rise. As someone deeply rooted and invested in the music scene of the region, I see an area with a staggeringly high number of talented artists for its size, venues and resources that provide a space for live music (including our own broadcast studio), and a generation of musicians and community organizers just now coming of age and starting to shape the scene and the town into what they know it can potentially be.  As the Station manager at WDBX, as well as in other jobs I perform such as sound engineer at the Varsity Center, and founder of Black Acre productions, I feel inspired and honored to be working with and for a truly vibrant artistic community.

What’s one thing visitors to your business might be surprised to know about WDBX?

Something that visitors still seem surprised to learn is that WDBX has operated for going on 25 years through the efforts of only one single paid employee at any given time, and a volunteer staff of 70-100 local DJ’s. Of course, listener donations play a huge role as well, so keep those rolling in!

What do you deliver to your customers that give them a positive experience?

I’d say one of the most positive things we deliver is radio programming that is an alternative to canned top 40 music, or worn out classics on a 15 song loop. We feature local artists from the area. We also play deep cuts, European only releases, live albums, and in-studio performances.  We have programming dealing with important issues like climate change, and community concerns, and we even offer listening options for those without access to the radio through our live stream, our archived shows, and now through a podcasting program.

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