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Sunday November 11th, 2012

Posted at 12:00pm

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CJAM 99.1 FM, Windsor-Detroit’s campus community radio station, kicked off its’ annual pledge drive on Friday at noon.

The week-long event is hoping to raise $25,000 to keep CJAM running for another year. As of the time of writing, 12 per cent of the goal,  $3,000, has been raised.

“If you want to hear something new, great, and beautiful, we’re the only place you’re going to get that,” says Vern Smith, CJAM’s station manager.

Every year at about this time, CJAM’s volunteer radio announcers take to the airwaves to remind listeners of what the station brings to the area. With a variety of music, talk, and ethno-cultural programming, CJAM is unlike any other FM station Windsor radios are likely to pick up.

“We say it over and over again, but it’s programming you literally can’t get anywhere else,” Smith continues, “The FM dial, there’s no more space on it in Windsor-Detroit. You couldn’t start another radio station…But at the same time, there are so many stations playing the same thirty, forty, fifty songs.”

Thanks to CJAM’s no-hits policy, listeners are never going to hear the same tracks here as they will on other stations.

“We are doing ground-breaking things all the time,” Smith explains, “We are the only media outlet that when Windsor had municipal elections a couple of years ago, actually invited all the candidates to participate. We’re the only media outlet were you’re going to find news for the LGBT community. We’re certainly the only media outlet where you’re going to get a show about vegan living.”

In an attempt to bring their one-of-a-kind programming to more people, this year CJAM is fundraising not only to keep the lights on, but to strengthen its’ broadcast signal.

“The main thrust this year,” says Vern Smith, CJAM’s station manager, “is we’re trying to power up to 2,084 watts, from just under 500.”

The power increase incentive was first announced during pledge drive 2010, and since then the station’s staff have been working tirelessly towards this goal. It is expected that in the first half of 2013, CJAM will have finally achieved this objective.

But there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, and for this reason the station is asking the community to help out.

CJAM is also offering a variety of incentives to those who pledge, including CD packages, passes to the DIA, and the always-fashionable CJAM t-shirt.

For anyone interested in donating, you can do so on CJAM’s website, by visiting the station, (located in the basement of the CAW Centre at the University of Windsor), or by phoning in at 1-855-DIG-CJAM in Detroit, or 519-971-3630 in Windsor.

 

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