The Ithaca Watkins Glen Morning Show was the very first live, local, and independent radio program born at WRFI. At 7 a.m. on September 17, 2012, Jim Murphy began the pioneering effort to broadcast live and local radio from a cobbled-together studio on the third floor of the Clinton House. Members of the community immediately recognized that this show filled an important niche in local media. Jim learned right off the bat how much fun (and hard work) it was going to be to have daily discussions with the community members who work to make this region a healthier, happier place to live.
The show was designed from the very beginning to be a discussion show where social justice advocates, environmentally aware citizens, and activists from various fields could communicate their information and insights. Initially there was a daily theme but, rather than the original rigid format, the themes are now not day-specific. The themes are Social Justice, War and Peace, Politics, Local Music and Agriculture, Sustainability and Environmental Issues.
The show’s guests are often activists in their respective topics: Jennifer Pacanowski and Nate lewis from Veterans’ Sanctuary, Ryan Clover-Owens from Earth First, Mary Ann Grady, James Ricks, John Hamilton from Upstate Drone Action, Daniel Burns and James Ricks on their travels in support of a peace mission in Pakistan (against the Drones), Suzanne McManus, Art Weaver, Guillermo Metz, Bob Nape, Francis Vanek on the need for sustainable energy, Guillermo Lec and Tim Shenk on sustainable/permaculture agriculture in Central America, Shirley Way, Susan Wolf from Alternatives To Violence, Kristi Taylor from The Advocacy Center and Joseph Campbell and Yvonne Taylor from Gas Free Seneca and many, many more.
In addition to the work Jim has done on the Ithaca/Watkins Glen Morning Show, he has also taken on the role of mentor and educator with new volunteers. Quite a few of the station’s volunteers first spoke into a live microphone when guest hosting on Jim’s show, and many more have had Jim’s guidance and encouragement in developing their own shows. Jim’s perennial advice “no one ever died from doing radio” may be hard to prove, but the thought helped many new DJs and anchors through their first shows.
Jim has been at the studio at 6:30 a.m. nearly every weekday since the show started, so he was more than happy when accomplished afternoon anchor Sharon Clarke offered to step in to take over on Fridays. Jim broke the ice for local programming at WRFI and now, exactly seven months later, there are 25 distinct locally-produced shows featuring more than 60 volunteer anchors in a newer and very much less cobbled-together studio. Jim’s goal moving forward is simply to improve as a host and, he says: “It wouldn’t break my heart if someone as special as Sharon Clarke asked me if they could do the Monday show.” If you are that person, or if you would like to join Jim at 7 a.m. on the Morning Show, you can reach him at email@example.com.