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WXNA powers up, launching Nashville’s newest independent radio station in five years

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“We did it! We got the air waves! We are on the air- LIVE!” chanted those who came to celebrate and witness the official launch of Nashville’s the brand new independent radio, 101.5 WXNA fm.

WXNA FM LAUNCH 6/4/16

All rights held by Sarah Strasinger
WXNA FM LAUNCH 6/4/16

Scheduled and launched without interference  on Saturday, June 4, 2016, WXNA board members, their family friends, supporters, including key “kickstarter” investors joined Pete Wilson as he welcomed the inaugural listeners to the stations airwaves.

Being one of the group, if only to document the “launch” offered a rare opportunity for the Bobcat Beat.

What could have been a passing moment was nothing of the sort and was  not the least bit anti-climatic.

From the children to the press, everyone in the brand new WXNA studio was visibly emotional as the official first words spoken as 101.5 WXNA fm.

The moment that Pete Wilson welcomed the listeners who tuned in at exactly 10:15 am to hear 101.5 was a moment many in the studio won’t forget for a long time.

One minute friends are visiting in a music studio, swapping stories of how they arrived at the moment that is about to happen, and then the energy suddenly changed.

WXNA FM LAUNCH 6/4/16

All rights held by Sarah Strasinger
WXNA FM LAUNCH 6/4/16

Like the birth of a child, everyone gathered as close to the sound panel as possible, counting the seconds down to the official time.

Then that moment, when Pete Wilson welcomed those who tuned in, a very palpable, real energy that could be felt by those there to witness the launch.

The energy in the room was as live, kinetic, electric if not electrically frenetic when the crew and WXNA Board witnessed a dream come true for another person. It was universal, timeless and poignant .

It is even more inspiring to witness a group of people who have devoted many years and uncountable hours knowing the sacrifice made to make it happen. Hugs, dancing and ‘thank you’s’ were shared over a champagne toast following the launch.

WXNA FM LAUNCH 6/4/16

All rights held by Sarah Strasinger
WXNA FM LAUNCH 6/4/16

Board of Director member, Ashley Crownover described the moment and well the whole day “as an out of body experience.”

The Beat asked those in attendance to share three thoughts about the moment of turning on the power of the airwaves and Crownover immediately said she was “ecstatic. I am ecstatic because for 5 years I, we (gesturing to all the people in the room) have had this dream and frankly it seemed impossible. But when you realize a dream, when it is brought to fruition, and not just for yourself but for others also….”

Crownover let the sentence hang, unfinished, and it seemed a metaphor for the yet unfinished business before all of the board members of WXNA and the DJs who will be entering and exiting the studio in the coming hours, days and 3 weeks.

WXNA FM LAUNCH 6/4/16

All rights held by Sarah Strasinger
WXNA FM LAUNCH 6/4/16

Pete Wilson, the self proclaimed worrier of the group, welcomed listeners, but is immediately moving on to the task of organizing and annotating (think old programing) music.

Yet even his tendency to worry about what needs to be done next could not take away from how “exciting and hopeful” a new independent radio option offers Nashville.

Wilson continued to explain why his pessimism was ebbing. “I tend to be a pessimist, so, today was very exciting.  That we did it today, was incredible. You see, it seems that for so long we wouldnt ‘t be here, today with everything as right as it is, as much as it possibly could be it very hopeful.”

The members of the WXNA Board of Directors, in addition to Crownover and Wilson are Roger Blanton, Randy Fox Jonathan Grigsby, Heather Lose, and Laura Powers.

WXNA FM LAUNCH 6/4/16

All rights held by Sarah Strasinger
WXNA FM LAUNCH 6/4/16

Heather Lose spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony which was held minutes prior to the official launch. If the power of the airways, was a metaphor of the moment to come, Lose’s speech was a bolt of energy that was both inspiring and deeply thoughtful at the same time.

Lose thanked those who had contributed both in small and large was, making each spectator feel as if he or she were an intimate member os a special group about to take an adventurous voyage together.

Fox went on to explain that the community is the key to the success of the station. “We will need the support of our you, our community,  to stay on the air.

Without the support of those who donated to the kickstarter project, without those who donated time and money over the last years we would not be here. Your continued support is vitally important so we can provide Nashville with music not heard on air anywhere else in Nashville”

Goals for the Week: Be revolutionary and community responsive, stay on the air, and make a lot of new friends!”

— Board Member, WXNA Media, Laura Powers

The bonds of love and appreciation felt for each other was a gut felt as the airwaves about to carry sound across the city. The community radio station was about to grow from seven to infinity, and everyone there knew it.

WXNA FM LAUNCH 6/4/16

All rights held by Sarah Strasinger
WXNA FM LAUNCH 6/4/16

The chance to be a part of a growing community is exactly why Jonathan Marks, a DJ who will be airing his show on Monday nights from 6-8 pm came to the Launch.

WXNA is officially an independent community radio station. One way it will engage the community is that the community will be directly participated in the programing.

Jonathon Marks is thrilled by “the possibility to form a community radio station that will engage overlapping communities of Nashville, via what WXNA airs. I believe it is important to the city Nashville at this point in time,” to off “alternatives in programing.”

When asked what his goals were for his show which will air for the first time Monday, 6/6/2016, he said, “I hope that my radio show will engage people and that I will get to engage with people through my obsessive love of music in a way that will get people excited about what the state, WXNAfm has to offer.”

And the did engage, they community immediately. The feedback via social media was glowing. Posts like, “I feel like everything is alright in Nashville again. Thanks for the glorious return!” and “Comes in over in Woodbine! Sounds like we have a real radio station in Nashville again!” are indicators of what is most likely to come.

Even if we connect for one minute, that will be a start. ”

— The Jam

“Over the next few weeks we will be meeting with DJs, training them on operations and making preparations to announce our on-air debut date,” Randy Fox stated.

WXNA fm- Nashville’s Low Power, High Voltage Radio will debut its weekly programing beginning Monday, June 6th. If you aren’t near the traditional radio dial and prefer to stream the programs, fans can find them on the app TuneIn.

WXNA FM LAUNCH 6/4/16

All rights held by Sarah Strasinger
WXNA FM LAUNCH 6/4/16

Listen in for the eclectic and varied programing that community and independent radio is known for programming.

Nashville will now have more access to R&B, newly released music, talk radio and even live studio jams.

“We’re very excited to bring this diverse and eclectic slate of programs to Nashville’s airwaves,” WXNA programming director Randy Fox says.

“This is the next step in our mission to provide listeners with programming as exciting, varied and unique as Nashville’s music, art and cultural scenes.”

“Each week, WXNA will deliver 82 original shows and over 120 hours of locally crafted, independent programming,” WXNA president Heather Lose says. “To be creating this station in the town we love, for the people of Music City, is a thrill beyond measure, and we can’t wait to go live.”

Powers summed up the moment best with her three “thoughts on the moments with words that really captured how it seemed most everyone felt at the inaugural moment of the launch. “Frenetic, Awestruck, and Revolutionary.”

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WXNA powers up, launching Nashville’s newest independent radio station in five years