Budget Cuts Leave “The Voice of Harlem” Speechless

Budget woes for WHCR by Nicolette Nanton

The defunding of the beloved WHCR 90.3 FM, also nicknamed “The Voice of Harlem,” has left administrators and students up in arms.

Without warning, the college suddenly eliminated the station’s $30,000 budget. WHCR is housed in the NAC and run by Angela Harden, a CCNY graduate and MCA professor who teaches radio journalism.

Senior Tiffany McKay expressed disappointment when she heard that WHCR’s funding had been stopped. “The station is a beacon in the community,” said McKay, who hosts a WHCR show called “Tiffany’s Playlist.” “So to defund something that has historical value—I can’t understand it.”

Since 1986, WHCR has provided educational and entertainment content to listeners all over Harlem, Upper Manhattan, as well as some sections of the Bronx, Queens, and New Jersey. It is also a teaching facility for City College students. Harlem’s 90.3 FM, which broadcasts live shows throughout the week from CCNY, previously received $30K in funding per semester to support part-time community based engineers and students taking CCNY radio journalism courses.

However, this semester, as state funds have dwindled, the college has had to make cuts across the board. “It is my understanding that enrollment is down and several departments here at the college have been given an advancement officer to assist with funding,” said Angela Harden. “Leslie Skyba is the advancement officer for the Arts and Humanities Division and I’m excited to work with her.”

Adding to the confusion of the abrupt defunding, the 29-year-old radio station underwent a $1.7 million dollar facelift several years ago to widen its listener reach, expand studio space and introduce video streaming capabilities. This effort also highlights WHCR’s commitment to keeping CCNY’s radio journalism students up-to-date with technologically advanced radio environments. “I am very disappointed that the radio station has lost its funding,” said Linda Villarosa, who runs CCNY’s journalism program. “It’s a community asset and offers practical, experiential learning. It’s a shame when funds are cut for something that’s successful, and creates real job opportunities for our students down the road.”

The cuts will hurt the station, but it’s still up and running. A representative from CCNY’s communications and marketing department left the door open for a turnaround. “It is my understanding that budgets for the fiscal year are being finalized and that any cuts have not been confirmed,” she said, and referred The Campus back to Professor Harden, who remains hopeful. “It will also be important for us to develop a marketing strategy to increase our listenership so that we can get more donations from our listeners and businesses in the community,” said Professor Harden.

Tags: , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

November: National Diabetes Awareness Month

Sarah Logan (top right) at the JDRF walk in Long Island

By: Sarah Logan Photo provided by Sarah Logan   Type 1 diabetes is a condition that affects many individuals in […]

PALS Club Leader Roundtable Sparks Conversation on LGBTQ+ Inclusivity on Campus

image_123986672 (1)

By: Radhamely De Leon Photo By: Will Dadario   On Wednesday November 7, CCNY’s organizational leaders met at The Towers […]

A Skin Care Regimen On a Budget

Healthy Skin

By: Deja Senna-Leslie Illustration By: Katie Herchenroeder November is finally here and had no hesitation bringing in that harsh cold […]

Boudreau Holds Town Hall to Discuss Future

_MG_3059

By: Nate Izzo Photos By: Nate Izzo   On Thursday, the first of November, CCNY President Vincent Boudreau held a […]

A Look Deeper: Birthright Citizenship and The Fourteenth Amendment

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 7.42.52 PM

By: Jaquelin Bautista Graphics By: Katie Herchenroeder   The fourteenth amendment (1868) states, “All persons born or naturalized in the […]

Harlem’s Dave East & Yonkers’ Styles P. Team Up for a Beloved Collaboration

shale briskin harlem articlw

By: Shale Briskin Photo By: Shale Briskin   Not many things in life are more complex than hip-hop, and few types of […]