Best Student-Run Radio Station
WHFR 89.3 FM (Henry Ford Community College)
“Every week when the Billboard charts come out, we look at what music is on them and then make sure we don’t play any of it. Seriously,” states WHFR station adviser Jay Korinek.
Using this formula, along with its self-proclaimed “mission-driven” philosophy and programming that includes everything from jazz to heavy metal to hip hop, Henry Ford Community College’s WHFR-FM (89.3) has already staked its claim as a beloved Detroit-area treasure (even though it’s only been on the air since 1995).
WHFR took on part of that mission —the addition of European classical music to its format — after Detroit’s only classical radio station, WQRS-FM, changed to an alternative-rock format. WHFR currently plays 62 hours of classical music each week, making it Detroit’s leading classical outlet.
WHFR is also on a mission to promote the blues here in “one of America’s top three blues cities,” according to Korinek. Blues programming features 60 percent local music, and the folks at the station have released two volumes of blues compilation CDs, Uncut Detroit. They’re available from the station directly and at select independent record stores.
A rarity among school stations, WHFR is on the air live 24-7. If you don’t live within the main broadcast area (about 12 miles from the station’s Dearborn locale), you can log onto whfr.hfcc.net/index.html, where all broadcasts are presented live in Real Audio or MP3 format.
To create all of these quality noncommercial programs, the students, faculty and alumni running WHFR rely heavily on listener donations and local businesses underwriting shows. March 18-24 will bring this year’s annual on-air pledge drive. Pledges can be called in to the station’s request line, 313-845-9676.