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Released October 21, 2003

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HATTIESBURG - WUSM-FM wants to give you its very best.

The University of Southern Mississippi's public radio station is offering up its finest programming for its annual fund-raiser, which will run from Oct. 27-31. In return, WUSM-FM is asking for contributions and comments to help the award-winning and innovative station keep delivering the quality for which it has become known.

"Hattiesburg and the Southern Miss campus have one of the only truly independent public radio stations in the United States and one that regularly receives acclaim from programmers, advertisers and music magazines nationwide," said WUSM General Manager Mik Davis.

"WUSM is the only station in South Mississippi to offer New Age, blues and jazz on a daily basis, and it's the only station to offer listeners alternative, world and AAA (Album Adult Alternative) music. In addition to these, WUSM also produces award-winning programs, like our children's program "Small World," in-depth interviews, and music that is not readily available in our market."

Davis said WUSM also works hard to promote on-campus and off-campus music shows, plays and events to its audience. It also provides the campus and Hattiesburg with a dependable source of information about events on campus, in the city and surrounding cities and communities.

Although WUSM is funded in part by the university and by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the station is required to raise additional funds from its listeners.

"We have to raise money ourselves because of all the budget cuts nationally, and the changes in funding," Davis said. "It is really important that people support public radio right now." Adding that a little giving goes a long way, Davis compared the annual budgets required to run public radio nationally with the nation's defense budget. "One year of what it takes to run public radio (about 700 stations) is what this nation spends on defense in just one day," he said.

The fund-raiser will occur on the air, interspersed with programming throughout the week. Davis said it gives listeners a "great opportunity to contribute to the station with a tax-deductible donation, or if that's not possible, by giving us their comments and criticisms on our programming.

"By obtaining these donations and comments, WUSM can better meet the needs of the listeners and continue to provide the campus, the city of Hattiesburg and the surrounding areas with the only truly local public radio station in the city," Davis said.

WUSM's audience is diverse. Davis said the station's eclectic programming draws listeners from across the spectrum, "students on campus, to people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and even elderly people we cater to in the retirement community."

"One of the strong points about this station is that we have a little something for everyone," he said.

Davis continued: "The WUSM fund-raiser consists of five days of the best of everything the station has to offer. All of the best music and programming, and we want to hear from all of our listeners.

"This fund-raiser is extremely important because the funding for the station from the grantor (CPB) now depends on the amount of contributions we receive from our listeners. And we're not just seeking contributions from our listeners as individuals. We're also looking for businesses to join our family of underwriters. "

To make a contribution or comment, contact the station at (601) 266-4287 or by e-mail at Pledge forms are available on the Internet at



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April 20, 2004 4:48 PM