Community Radio WRFI | 88.1 FM Ithaca, 91.9 FM Watkins Glen

Why RFI?

Community Ethos

  • WRFI Community Radio is volunteer-run, listener-supported, non-commercial, local radio.
  • We are streaming at wrfi.org. Our schedule is there. Our mission statement is there. Details about our budget and operating costs are there. Click the DONATE button.
  • We have a dedicated News Team that broadcasts local and national stories and in-depth interviews each weeknight at 6:00 PM.
  • Our website features news stories and recordings from our News team.
  • We are always expanding local programming, training volunteers, and finding new ways to extend our outreach in the community. WRFI Community Radio is still a young station. All kinds of growth and training are necessary. Everyone can help. There are many roles and ways to contribute.
  • Through our various local shows and news programs, we are keeping the community informed through live coverage of social, cultural, and political events of local importance.
  • A community radio station is a valuable and rare asset in any area. We are very lucky to have it, and we must take care to support it and improve it.
  • As always, we invite you to come on down to the station to learn what’s involved in making radio and how you can help. Please visit our website to learn more and get in touch.

Improvements and Operation Costs

  • WRFI has thrived under the leadership of our Station Manager, Felix Teitelbaum, who has turned our Clinton House offices into a hive of activity since his hiring in October of 2014. He has organized, motivated, and coordinated our volunteers and helped improve communication amongst the staff in order to build upon the robust collaborative spirit that makes WRFI so special.
  • In the last month WRFI has made several improvements to our broadcasting infrastructure:
  • There’s a new transmitter in Ithaca, which leaves our old one to serve as a backup in case of failure at either location.
  • We have a “new” studio-to-transmitter link (STL). This 33-year-old setup of classic broadcast technology providing an analogue signal chain in Ithaca.
  • We’ve updated to a new airplay computer, making the work of our daily programming team MUCH more efficient.
  • We have many ongoing expenses to keep the station running::
  • Utility costs for transmitters
  • Tower and transmitter site rentals
  • Engineering fees
  • Studio rent
  • Online streaming services
  • Equipment upgrades for better sound quality and broadcast stability
  • Equipment maintenance and repair
  • Lawyers
  • And…our part-time general manager position!

Community Radio vs. “Normal” Radio

  • The station is operated by listener contributions. We receive no money from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting or other federal sources. We do not use underwriters for financial support, and you’ll never hear an advertisement for anything other than WRFI.
  • We are non-commercial. On other radio stations, YOU are the product, and you are sold to advertisers. Our station exists to entertain and inform, not for profit.
  • Remember, you can always listen to commercial radio with programming determined by corporate advertisers who try to sell you something every fifteen minutes or so on. But, if you value an alternative, we hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity to pledge your support to your very own local community radio station, WRFI.