88.5 Now – WMNF’s Newsletter September 2019


Are you ready for Fall fun?

40 Years

The weather is getting (kinda) cooler, the breeze at night is a relief, and at any hour of the day you can hear your favorite music, ideas and magical thinking on WMNF.

In honor of our 40th Year, Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, The City of St. Petersburg, The City of Temple Terrace and The City of Tampa have honored us for our work in the community. Some council members even remembered their time with WMNF, being on-air and volunteering.

Here are some pictures of WMNF being presented those commendations.

Hillsborough2 2 Temple terrace Tampa City


At the station, fundrive furvor is in full effect.
From October 2nd – 9th we have to raise $242,000!
We’re having ‘pitch parties’ with show hosts, getting our food vendors in line to keep our volunteers and staff full, and adding fun gifts to our site for your pledge!

Here’s a mockup of our 40th year commemorative T-Shirt!

shirt man shirt woman

You can get yours early by going to https://www.wmnf.org/support/donate/
and selecting the shirt as your gift!

Staff Profile: Shemeica Wilson

As a child, Shemeica listened to WMNF with her family. When she saw that the station was hiring she thought, ‘Oh wow, I didn’t know they were still around!’ At the time, she had two job offers on the table, but her childhood connection with the station made her apply for the Bookeeper position.Her experience with organizations such as Feeding Tampa Bay, Hillsborough Action Plan and CDC of Tampa Bay made her the perfect fit at WMNF. At work, she loves to problem solve and handle data. In her free time she likes to read and listen to her favorite podcasts.

Shemeica got her start in accounting somewhat by acccident. She was working at a construction company as an office manager when she was asked to reconcile some accounts.

“The controller said, ‘Hey, can you help me do this?’ And I kind of liked it! So after that I’d go to her and say you got something else for me to do?”

A month later, the company offered her a position as an accounting clerk.

“I wanted the job but was asked, ‘Are you sure you want to do this? That position is set up for someone to fail.’ But I said, you know what? I always go against the odds. So I did it, and I took some accounting classes, I liked it and I did well.”

Since then, she’s worked at accounting jobs and loved every minute of it. While many people shy away from data and spreadsheets, Shemeica flocks to the daunting tasks of data and finance management.

“I like problem solving. Kind of like when you’re back in grade school and you have to figure out, ‘if Sally is going this many miles per hour, how long does it take her to get here?’ I love those kinds of questions.”

Outside of her analytical work at WMNF, Shemeica has a 2-year-old daughter at home. She’s not a big music fan, but loves listening to her favorite podcast “All Tea No Shade” and has been tuning into WMNF News more often.

“It’s definitely different. It’s not like when you turn on other news and they’re running the same stories repeatedly.”

Though she’s only been at WMNF a couple of weeks, she feels right at home with the culture and work environment here.

“It’s really interesting to see everbody chiming in on decisions. I think that’s awesome. Because you know, we’re employees here and decisions that are made effect you. A lot of organizations don’t realize that, it’s ‘we’re top management, we make the decisions, you just come to work and do your job.'”

In other environments Shemeica has sometimes been an introvert, but at WMNF, she feels like she can flourish.

“I’m that type of person who often goes places and feels like I don’t fit in. At WMNF there’s definitely a different type of atmosphere and I like it. From the moment I came in for my interview, I noticed it’s very diverse. Here, I feel like I fit in.”

Newsroom Profile: Blannie Whelan


If you follow the content of the WMNF Newsroom, you’ve probably seen Blannie’s work. From live video in-studio to interviews and footage from the field, she’s there. And her hard work is not without recognition. In August she won WMNF Newsroom’s Volunteer of The Year award.

Outside of her efforts at the station she spends time with her family. Right now she’s teaching her grandsons to drive. She enjoys kayaking and tending to her butterfly garden. Before retirement, she spent 35 years as a nurse practitioner.

In 2001, Blannie moved from Gainesville to Tampa. She was at work doing charting and the radio was on.

“I was working with Francis Fuller and she says, ‘Do you know about WMNF? You need to listen.'”

She’s been listening and more ever since. For a couple of years, she just tuned in. Then, she got closer to the station through donating. Before long, she got more involved.

“The first thing I did when I came in was volunteering in the record library and during marathons. The more I got to know the station and the people, the more I fell in love with it.”

Blannie was especially hooked on the news. In the days before the app and mobile forms of listening, she’d be so interested in a story that she’d sit in her car and listen to the all of it.

“I didn’t really volunteer much in the newsroom though, until about 10 years ago. I was friends with a state senator, Helen Gordon Davis. I went to Rob, who I didn’t know other than passing in the hall and said Rob, I’ve got someone I want you to interview.”

Rob asked Blannie to take the initiative in setting it up, and it lead to a fantastic program. From then on, she worked with the news when she could. In November, she retired and her involvement in the newsroom leaped to new heights.

“The more I’m here, the more I want to help. It’s a station of love.”

Her favorite time of year is during marathon, when “oodles of people” are running around making the magic that gives life to WMNF.

“During marathon, we all get to know each other a little bit more. But everyday is an adventure here.”

During WMNF’s volunteer appreciation party last month, Blannie won the Newsroom’s Volunteer of the Year award.

“It was a shock and an honor. I started crying.”

Beyond her work in the news, she also helps out some music shows. She’s served on the Volunteer Committee for four years, and is hoping to continue her efforts there.

“I love that WMNF is a volunteer powered station with a fantastic staff. There’s nothing like it. It’s bringing back my creative side which isn’t as easy to tap into when you’re working and paying the bills. I wish I had known about it sooner.”

Blannie sees a bright future for WMNF, so long as the new generations get involved.

“I would love to see an expansion of our message to the community. I want to help all I can with that. And we are looking for younger people to move in, who have the same feelings about our mission. With what’s going on in our country now, we need WMNF.”

To see some of Blannie’s video work and interviews, visit the WMNF News Facebook page:

WMNF Events:

What is Democracy? Film Screening at WMNF – October 24th, 7 pm – 10 pm – @ WMNF Studios, 1210 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Tampa, FL 33603

On Broadway: The WMNF Tribute To Musical Theater – November 2nd, 6 pm – @ Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa, FL 33613

Vanessa Collier, Plus Legendary JCs – December 13th, 8 pm – @ Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa, FL 33613

Donna The Buffalo New Year’s Tribal Celebration – December 31st, 8 pm – @ The Cuban Club, 2010 N. Avenida Republica De Cuba, Tampa, FL 33605

Todd Snider –  January 24th, 2020, 8 pm @ Centro Asturiano, 1913 Nebraska Ave. Tampa, FL 33602.


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