88.5 Now – WMNF’s Newsletter May 2018

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Our Summer Fund Drive is right around the corner!

We know you love cruisin’ and rockin’ with WMNF and being a part of the action. But we can’t get down the road without gas in the tank.  We ask that you help keep the party going by fueling us up for another summer of fun!  Make your donation now at https://www.wmnf.org/support/​ or get in on the party May 30th – June 6th.

And tell your friends to get in on this groovy ride.  The more passengers the better!


Have you explored all of the eclectic programming WMNF has to offer?  Check out our programming schedule and look through the wild variety of shows.  At WMNF, we have something for everyone!


Our Circle of Friends – Amplifier Appreciation Party is coming up on August 14th from 7-9pm at Red Mesa Cantina in St. Petersburg!

WMNF hosts this annual event to show our most generous supporters, like you, just how much they matter to us.  

Did you know that donating on a monthly basis helps your supportgo further? It allows us to see how much money in donations we’ll be receiving each month, and how best to use our resources to serve youour friend.

You can become a Circle of Friends member here: https://www.wmnf.org/support/
Or contact Gene Moore at: 813-865-8264


Production Profile: Jeff Stewart


If you search for “Jeff Stewart WMNF” on Google, the first page that comes up contains a biography which includes Jeff being gambled away as a child during a poker match; picking tobacco and strip mining to survive, then hitch-hiking to Tampa to host a show on WMNF.  He wouldn’t confirm how much of that is true.  He wouldn’t send an image of himself for this profile. But he did confirm that he hosts Morning Show Wednesday and was drawn to the airwaves by, “The mystery and imagination of radio.”

Jeff fell in love with WMNF when he was living in Sarasota. When he moved to Tampa in 1987, he immediately visited the station and let it be known that he was interested in doing a show.

“Randy Wind said that I could do a rhythm and blues show during the afternoon, but we just have to wait for the Iran-Contra hearings to finish. At that time WMNF was carrying the hearings live in the afternoons.  I remember listening to that every day and waiting for my chance.”

After the scandal left the airwaves, Jeff began hosting his r&b show and did so for many years. A few years ago, he had the opportunity to host the Wednesday Morning Show, and decided to try something a little different.

“I’ve always enjoyed all kinds of music, which is the reason I was always a WMNF listener.  So, my current format for the Wednesday Morning Show is very different than what I did before.  It’s more of an open format and playing a lot more contemporary music.  That’s been a challenge and a real blessing.”

Jeff is up for the challenge.  He spends lots of time searching for the best new music out there, from any genre.  His preparation shows itself in the form of three hours of curated morning show bliss.

“We have the greatest listeners in the world.  And when you find a song that really resonates with folks, where they have to know what it is, or when someone is moved to tears by a song and will call you up, every week you get a chance to reach people like that.”

Jeff has the opportunity to make all kinds of friends and meet many personalities throughout his decades with WMNF. Late WMNF DJ Kenny K even introduced him to Greg “Shock G” from Digital Underground a year before they made it big.

“Another year later and the whole world was doin’ the Humpty Hump and they’re still doing it today! Kenny K was really one of the greatest people I ever met, we were about the same age and we both were crazy about music. I was a huge fan of his show before I even met him. He was truly one of a kind.”

People like Jeff put so much effort into WMNF because it was there for them, and they want to see a new generation exposed to community conscious radio.

“I grew up on WMNF.  I’ve been on the air more than half of my lifetime.  You realize how vital and crucial the station is when you see what kind of connections we make with our listeners.”

Find out more and stream Morning Show Wednesday here: 

Newsroom Profile: Daniel Ruth

Daniel Ruth

Daniel Ruth brings his decades of journalism experience to WMNF on MidPoint Fridays.  Though he remains humble, Ruth is extremely accomplished in his field.  In 2013, he received the Pulitzer Prize, the highlight of his career.  When he’s not winning prestigious awards and gracing WMNF with his on-air presence, Ruth enjoys “golfing badly”, spending time in his garden, and of course, reading.

Ruth is one of those writers who knew what he wanted to be from a young age.  His inspiration to write was not without a hint of rebellion.

“When I was a little boy growing up in Akron, Ohio I would sit there on Sundays and watch my father, who was very conservative.  My father would read the editorial in the Beacon Journal and start to crinkle the paper up in his hands and say things like, ‘Damn communists.’ And I’d watch that and think: that looks like fun.”

His career as a journalist began at the Tampa Tribune in 1973.  He covered the courts and general assignment reporting before becoming the paper’s film and TV critic.  But there came a point where he had to part ways.

“I got sideways with an editor and words were exchanged.  I think every reporter should be fired for insubordination at least once.  In those days, being fired by The Tribune was almost a badge of honor.”

Ruth moved on to write for the Chicago Sun Times for seven years.  In 1991, he returned to The Tribune after, “All the people that had fired me had been fired themselves.” He wrote a column for several years before moving on to the Tampa Bay Times, and hosted talk radio on WFLA and WQYK.

Now in semi-retirement, Ruth teaches at the USF Honors College and hosts MidPoint Friday.  Invited to WMNF by Rob Lorei, his friend of over 40 years, Ruth hosts the show because he loves radio and his listeners.

“I like the people, Frank and Patty and everybody, they’re a joy to work with.  And let’s face it, it’s fun and kind of cathartic.  There’s a woman named Elizabeth who calls in.  And she’s 93 years old.  She’s sharp and with it and funny.  I always look forward to seeing her name on the call screen because I know she’s just a delight to talk to.”

The pinnacle of Ruth’s stellar career in journalism was receiving the Pulitzer Prize.

“The Pulitzer was never in my field of dreams.  I remember the night that I found out I was home and the phone rang.  It was my editor Tim Nickens and he told me that we won, and I think the first words out of my mouth were ‘Holy sh*t’.”

Ruth’s hard work has paid off.  He has achieved one of the highest honors in his field and lives a life of learning, informing the public and educating a new generation.  He enjoys dedicating his time to WMNF because of what it means to people.

“It’s an important conduit to the community, it gives voice to so many people who would not ordinarily have a venue to have their voice be heard.”

Find out more and stream MidPoint Friday here:

Event Notes:

US Too: The WMNF Tribute to the US Festival – May 25th & 26th 6 pm-11:55 pm – May 25th at Skipper’s Smokehouse 910 Skipper Road Tampa, FL 33613. May 26th at Jannus Live 200 1st Ave. N, St. Petersburg, 33701

The WMNF 70th Birthday Tribute to Todd Rundgren – June 22nd 8pm – 11:50 pm- Skipper’s Smokehouse 910 Skipper Road Tampa, FL 33613

Songs From the Attic 2 – June 23rd 7pm – 11pm – The Attic 1510 E. 8th Ave. Ybor City, FL, 33605

WMNF’s 2018 Americana Fest – July 14th 4 pm – 11:40 pm – Skipper’s Smokehouse 
910 Skipper Road Tampa, FL 33613

Click here for details: www.wmnf.org/wmnf-events/ or call 813-238-8001
Don’t forget to share the love.  Tell a friend about WMNF!