I will do my best to stick to one topic this month. But, there is so much new happening that it is hard to contain in a simple cohesive message. Be prepared for oodles of gushing over my excitement and all the accolades that must be shared.
WMNF as a station, as well as many of its community members, have been recognized by Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay. WMNF was one of two finalists for Best Radio Station – congratulations to “The Bone”! There’s always next year. A few folks were nominated, both Chris Gorman and Esme Russell of WMNF’s Big Gay Radio Show for Best Radio Personality. The BIG winner was JoEllen Schilke for Art in Your Ear as Best Aural Art Magazine. In addition to being recognized by Creative Loafing, JoEllen gets accolades from me for her decades of service work as a host, volunteer, board member, and all around WMNF fan. Thank you!
Another Best of the Bay winner award went to WMNF for the Best Tribute to Hip Hop, which was the brainchild of Dwaine “DT” Terry with so much support from the vast WMNF hip hop community and local DJ icons, like DJ Spaceship of WMNF’s Monday Morning Show. This six-hour event was chock full of music, interviews, and good vibes that memorialized 50 years of hip hop and WMNF’s Kenny K for their contributions to music and culture. We’re prepping a video for replay, as well as a special of the whole event on HD2, Urban Café. Stay tuned for that announcement.
A WMNF community member who won a Best of the Bay award is Bob Seymour of WMNF’s Jazz in the Night, for Best Righting a Wrong. When the public radio station up the road let Bob and all night jazz go to make way for BBC, we saw an opportunity to keep jazz alive and put one of the best radio announcers EVER on 88.5FM. Thanks to Bob for saying “yes” to the invitation!
Finally, Mario Nunez of WMNF’s Down N’ Dirty won for being Best Native Son. Mario won this honor for his campaign to make sure everyone knows about the history of Tampa and the joyful things that surround us each day. We at WMNF are delighted that he shares that love on the radio.
We opened our doors for an Open House on Sunday, November 5th. The station was bustling with over 60 guests, who were able to learn what WMNF is all about and take an up-close tour of the station. We all enjoyed fantastic food catered by Petra and had the chance to get to know one another. If you missed it, you can always schedule a tour of the station. It is one of my personal pleasures to show folks around.
The Development team led by Shari Akram earned a $44,000 grant from the Hillsborough County Arts Council to provide financial assistance for our next Tropical Heatwave. YES! Tropical Heatwave! We have already signed the contract with the Cuban Club for Saturday, May 4, 2024. That grant along with sponsorships will also help us bring you another eclectic musical extravaganza with more smiling faces and tapping feet.
The new website has been launched! There are still plenty of details that we are working out. The new app is about a month away from completion. Thank you so much for your feedback and patience as we make our way towards developing a better user experience for those of you who listen online.
I’m looking forward to sharing more good news with you in December. See you on the radio!
Randi M. Zimmerman
General Manager, WMNF 88.5FM