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This summer, WCRS FM will celebrate ten years of broadcasting from the Free Press Carriage House in Olde Towne East. While the physical WCRS Studios have been closed for the last two months, there is reason to celebrate how far WCRS has come from its humble beginnings.

WCRS FM began broadcasting in 2007 at 102.1 FM, a low-power frequency which was accessible in the East and Northeast Parts of the Columbus Metropolitan area, and translated on 98.3 FM, a translator frequency reaching the Central parts of Columbus.

When describing what the programming that WCRS has to offer, then-Simply Living Director Marilyn Welker said in a 2008 Short North Gazette article on the purpose of WCRS, “There is such a lack of voices of different perspectives relative to community service and ethnic issues and cultural celebration. It’s not on the Columbus radio stations.”

Part of WCRS’s mission has been “to serve underrepresented communities and alternative points of view.” Some of the early local WCRS programs included Cranksters, a show about bicycling and public transit; Starshine and Clay, a show about immigrants; Simply Living Healthy, a program produced by a local chiropractor; and Talk of the Town, a live public affairs program.

Other long running WCRS staples, such as Conscious Voices, a locally produced news program; The World Party, an international music show, and Yesterday’s Top Secrets, a show featuring rare musical gems from the 1960s through the 1980s, were all hatched during the early years of WCRS. Youth Beat Radio is one of the few radio programs nationwide produced by youth. Each of these shows has had their niche audience.

The Station’s first home, in Clintonville at 2931 North High Street, above Aladdin’s Restaurant, was in one room, about the size of a walk-in closet, that was part of a loft apartment that was shared by non-profits Local Matters and WCRS’s then-parent non-profit, Simply Living.

Inside the one small room, there were two computers – the Main Computer, which controlled the scheduled playlist, and a secondary computer to do any recording or editing once WCRS went on the air at 3 P.M. each afternoon. Even the Grammy Award-Winning North Carolina-based African-American Bluegrass Group, Carolina Chocolate Drops dropped by the studio and were recorded live in that room in the group’s first ever appearance on local Columbus Radio in the Fall of 2007.

Local Matters moved out of the shared office first, in January 2010 to the Jones Mansion in Olde Towne East, before moving to its current location one mile south on Parsons Avenue. By the end of May 2010, WCRS and Simply Living went their separate ways, physically. Simply Living moved their offices to a church in the Old North neighborhood, and WCRS moved into a Carriage House, owned by the Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism (CICJ) at 1021 East Broad Street.

When WCRS moved to its new homes, growing pains hit, literally. First, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reduced the WCRS broadcast schedule to five hours a day, 3 P.M. to 8 P.M., eliminating programming to the bare minimum. After negotiations with Bexley Public Radio in regards to their timeshare agreement, more hours were added to the WCRS Broadcast schedule in 2011. Among the new shows that was launched onto the schedule is the long-running Variety show, The DJBC Happy Hour. Other popular long-running shows like the Award-winning Podcast Street Fight Radio also debuted during this time, along with The Other Side of the News (originally named Fight Back), hosted by Free Press Editor-in-Chief Bob Fitrakis.

The next big leap was the move from 102.1, of which WCRS signed off of in November 2016, to 92.7 FM, a tower located in Worthington, in the Summer of 2017. WCRS FM now broadcasts 24 hours a day, with a mixture of locally produced shows and Pacifica and Syndicated Programs.

Among its honors through the years, WCRS has been named as a “Community Organization of the Year” by Comfest, where the Station has had a presence annually during the three-day festival in Goodale Park.

Community Radio does not end with WCRS as there are other community radio stations in Columbus. Radio 614 is an internet radio station that was started by Pat Leonard, a former WCRS volunteer and host of Pat Radio. Select Radio 614 programs air in the overnight hours on WCRS, which is Midnight to 6 A.M. on most nights. WGRN, operated by the Green Education Fund, broadcasts at 94.1 FM, and is similar to the early days of WCRS, airing programs that have alternative points of view and promote sustainability and thoughtful living. WGRN first went on the airwaves on Earth Day 2016.

WCRS relies on listeners and volunteers to keep the station on the air. For more ways to contribute to WCRS, including donating to WCRS, go to, where you can also listen to the station online.

NOTE: The Author of the Article is the Host and Executive Producer of The DJBC Happy Hour, which airs on Monday evenings at 8 P.M. on WCRS-FM 92.7 and 98.3.