WPKN
244 University Ave
Bridgeport CT 06604-7775
Contact Information
Address 244 University Ave
Bridgeport, CT 06604-7775
Telephone (203) 331-9756 x
Fax 203-331-9757
E-mail gm@wpkn.org
Web and Social Media
Web Site http://wpkn.org
Mission
WPKN’s MISSION STATEMENT
 
WPKN’s purpose is to provide a high quality, community-oriented broadcast service to the people of Southern Conn, New York’s Suffolk County and Berkshire
foothills:
  • providing a
    full-time schedule of music and culture, news and information;
  • promoting
    awareness and discussion of local issues and activities;
  • promoting
    awareness and discussion of global issues and culture;
  • presenting
    artistic, cultural, and political perspectives which are underrepresented
    in mainstream media;
  • promoting
    acceptance, understanding, and cooperation between people and cultures;
  • fostering new
    and experimental uses of radio as a medium for creative expression;
  • approaching
    radio as a dynamic medium for community dialogue, introspection, and
    expression.


  • Also, WPKN seeks to give citizens and community groups access to radio to share their interests, concerns, and talents by: 
  • providing low-cost broadcast training regardless of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, lifestyle, age, or physical ability;
  • providing opportunities for women and minorities and others who are underrepresented in mainstream media to participate in community radio;
  • encouraging two-way communication between WPKN and citizens by
    de-emphasizing the distinction between broadcaster and listener and encouraging active listener participation in all facets of radio via letters, tapes, phone calls, community events, studio visits, and performances.
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1992
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Steven J. di Costanzo
Board Chair Walter Wagoner
Board Chair Company Affiliation self-practice
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Statements
Mission
WPKN’s MISSION STATEMENT
 
WPKN’s purpose is to provide a high quality, community-oriented broadcast service to the people of Southern Conn, New York’s Suffolk County and Berkshire
foothills:
  • providing a
    full-time schedule of music and culture, news and information;
  • promoting
    awareness and discussion of local issues and activities;
  • promoting
    awareness and discussion of global issues and culture;
  • presenting
    artistic, cultural, and political perspectives which are underrepresented
    in mainstream media;
  • promoting
    acceptance, understanding, and cooperation between people and cultures;
  • fostering new
    and experimental uses of radio as a medium for creative expression;
  • approaching
    radio as a dynamic medium for community dialogue, introspection, and
    expression.


  • Also, WPKN seeks to give citizens and community groups access to radio to share their interests, concerns, and talents by: 
  • providing low-cost broadcast training regardless of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, lifestyle, age, or physical ability;
  • providing opportunities for women and minorities and others who are underrepresented in mainstream media to participate in community radio;
  • encouraging two-way communication between WPKN and citizens by
    de-emphasizing the distinction between broadcaster and listener and encouraging active listener participation in all facets of radio via letters, tapes, phone calls, community events, studio visits, and performances.
Background

 In 1963 WPKN FM began broadcasting as a 100 Watt station on 88.1 MHz licensed to the University of Bridgeport. The station carried news from United Press International (UPI) and also had an AM signal that broadcast directly to the University.

A contest was held to determine the call letters of the new station. WPKN was chosen to represent the “Purple Knights”, the name of the UB sports teams, and the “Purple Knight Network” (WPKN) was born.

In 1965 the addition of a new wing to the Student Center was planned. WPKN’s students consulted with Jeff Tellis, who had started at WHUS at UCONN in Storrs and had worked at several commercial stations and the ABC Radio Network in New York City. Tellis contributed his expertise to the design of WPKN’s new studios and was subsequently hired as its first paid General Manager by the University.

Jeff Tellis’ tenure included a change in frequency to 89.5 and an increase to 700 Watts in 1967, 2400 Watts in 1972, and the application for 10,000 Watts. The new broadcast area encompassed most of CT except lower Fairfield County and New York City (to protect the antenna pattern of WSOU in New Jersey), as well as significant portions of Long Island.

In 1969, Bill Nolan became the first “non-student” to become a programmer, and he paved the way for increasing reliance on community members. Bill can still be heard broadcasting his show “Antique Blues” on Sunday nights. Subsequently the all-volunteer staff began to be populated by a mix of UB students and community members.

In 1976, the University of Bridgeport threatened to sell WPKN’s license to a private corporation. The station, however, had already established a loyal and active following and a blue-ribbon panel was established to study the potential sale. It concluded that WPKN was a valuable community resource that ought to be left alone and the offer was withdrawn.

Soon after, in 1978, Jeff Tellis left his General Manager position in order to become the full-time President of Intercollegiate Broadcasting System. Harry Minot, who had a background in commercial radio and was then a producer at Compton Advertising in New York, was hired by UB as his successor.

However, in the mid-1980s the University of Bridgeport began to experience severe financial difficulties. It had failed to anticipate a decline in enrollment and embarked on an ambitious and expensive pair of construction projects. In July of 1989 Minot was informed that WPKN would have to become self-supporting.

WPKN, now having to become a self-funded entity, altered its structure to draw community people (“non-students”) into its governance. At the same time it resolved to adhere to funding principles which would preserve the freedoms that its programmers enjoyed and the resultant unequivocal nature of its programming. Accordingly it refused to accept underwriting, government funding, or “restricted” grants which might favor one program or genre over another.

In 1991 there were ownership changes at UB and severe financial hardships followed.

In 1992, the WPKN staff, fearing loss of the station’s independent voice, hurried to effect a transfer of the station’s license from the University of Bridgeport, and a filing was made with the FCC. It included the transfer of the license and all of the physical assets to WPKN, Inc. a 501 c-3 non-profit corporation.

WPKN continued in its evolution and listener support. It sought to add a satellite, full-facility transmitter at Montauk, NY, simulcasting at 88.7 FM.

Minot departed as General Manager as of June 2008, having served almost thirty years in that capacity. He was succeeded by interim GM Jeep Ward and then by Peter Bochan, who came from WBAI, a Pacifica Network station in NYC. In 2011 Steve DiCostanzo became GM after an intensive search process.
Starting in 2010, a decision was made to renovate and update the studios. Much of our broadcast equipment was 30-40 years old, and technology was fast going digital. The middle studio was cleared out to create a dedicated performance space, and the production room was modernized. Computerized systems are still being installed and connected, but the main broadcast studio has yet to be renovated.

WPKN primarily funded itself through its traditional on-air drives. In 2011, after intensive debate, the WPKN constitution was amended to allow underwriting, within guidelines that maintain the integrity of our commitment to freedom of expression, diversity of programming, and the mission to serve and educate our community.

WPKN persists in its mission to stand apart from convention and to serve diversity. Its volunteers and programmers have created an institution with depth, importance, and passion. Its listeners have made its continued existence possible. WPKN’s next fifty years are certain to be as exciting and provocative as those which have already occurred.


 
Impact
Accomplishment #1- Narrowing our operating deficit;  Accomplishment #2: forming media partnerships with events/organizations such as International Festival of Arts & Ideas (New Haven), The Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University, Gathering of the Vibes (Bridgeport); Accomplishment #3- broadened our community programming to include additional multicultural/multi-ethnic programming including Haitian, Portugese/Brazilian, Latin, Native American and Caribbean shows.  Also, additional Youth Radio CT that invites high school students to participate in the design and development of the show; Accomplishment #4-  WPKN Music Mash '13 Record Fair.  Accomplishment #5- launched a community underwriting effort to diversity funding sources.
 
Goals #1:  continue to grow listenership;  Goals #2- WPKN2 internet station development to complement 89.5-FM.  Goals #3- endowment fund development.
 
 
Needs
Need #1:  More office employees 
Need #2:  Finances- need to close deficit
Need #3: Increase listenership 
Need #4- Increase grant writing 
Need #5- Replacement/repair of broadcasting equipment.
CEO Statement
WPKN is one of the treasures of Connecticut broadcasting. As a community radio station, few can match the depth and variety of programming and community engagement exhibited by WPKN. In fact, WPKN has a national profile given the wide geographical coverage as well as the nature of our strong listener-supported business model.  With the changing media landscape, WPKN is faced with many technological challenges.  We have been attempting to beef up our digital delivery through online streaming and the development of Smart phone apps.
 
We are also unique because we have a high degree of programmer freedom- allowing WPKN to achieve a unique sound with wide diversity.
 
 
Board Chair Statement n/a
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Radio
Secondary Organization Category Unknown / Unknown
Tertiary Organization Category Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy / Censorship, Freedom of Speech and Press Issues
Areas Served
Ansonia
Bethany
Branford
Cheshire
Derby
East Haven
Guilford
Hamden
Lower Naugatuck Valley
Madison
Milford
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
Orange
Oxford
Seymour
Shelton
Shoreline
Wallingford
West Haven
Woodbridge
Other
WPKN (89.5 FM) is a regional non-commercial radio station that serves multiple communities in New Haven, Fairfield, Litchfield and Suffolk (NY) counties.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments n/a
Programs
Description   WPKN's Radio Vibes produces a 4-day broadcast LIVE.  Hard and soft costs come to $15,000
Population Served / /
Description It costs roughly $40 an hour to broadcast WPKN
Population Served / /
Description 5   1-hr. "Community Shows" per week. Total expense $10,400
Population Served / /
Description WPKN's "in-house' production of public affairs broadcasting is roughly $30,000 a year
Population Served / /
Description Between 40 and 50 hours per week of multicultural/multiethnic and multilingual broadcasting runs to $104,000
Population Served / /
Program Comments
CEO Comments n/a
CEO/Executive Director
Mr. Steven J. di Costanzo
Term Start July 2012
Email gm@wpkn.com
Experience Radio Management; Trade Magazine Management, Financial Services Management
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 130
Number of Contract Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate 100%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 0
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs and Terms
NameTerm
Mr. Peter Bochan June 2008 - June 2012
Mr. Harry Minot Jan 1975 - June 2008
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Collaborations
n/a
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Arts Endowment GrantState of CT Department of Economic and Community Development2013
GrantNewman's Own2014
Mayor's GrantBridgeport Arts & Cultural Commision2013
GrantThe Trico Foundation2013
GrantFrederick A DeLuca Foundation2012
Comments
CEO Comments n/a
Board Chair
Walter Wagoner
Company Affiliation self-practice
Term June 2013 to June 2014
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
David DellaPietro
Doug Echols
Anthony Ernest
David Golden
Simon Hunter
Hazel Kahan
Mark Mushin
Valerie Richardson
John Rivera
Kyle Starkey
Pete Stewart
Bruce Swan
Annette Szczesiul
Howard Thompson
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 15
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 11
Female 4
Governance
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 3
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 30%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
CEO Comments
n/a
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2013
Fiscal Year End June 30 2014
Projected Revenue $252,000.00
Projected Expenses $290,475.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Revenue Sources ChartHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201220112010
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$218,093$232,537$161,185
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified------
Individual Contributions------
------
------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$2,522$1,823$4,411
Membership Dues------
Special Events----($5,773)
Revenue In-Kind------
Other$14,476$63,831--
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201220112010
Program Expense$148,426$152,065$237,487
Administration Expense$63,422$62,950$79,686
Fundraising Expense$64,282$58,433--
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.851.090.50
Program Expense/Total Expenses54%56%75%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue29%25%0%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201220112010
Total Assets$301,878$342,917$318,172
Current Assets$263,334$313,785$276,942
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$301,878$342,917$318,172
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201220112010
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201220112010
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201220112010
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
CEO Comments n/a
Foundation Staff Comments

This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.

Address 244 University Ave
Bridgeport, CT 066047775
Primary Phone 203 331-9756
Contact Email gm@wpkn.org
Website http://wpkn.org
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Steven J. di Costanzo
Board Chair Walter Wagoner
Board Chair Company Affiliation self-practice

 

Related Information

Support Arts & Culture

Greater New Haven is home to a thriving arts community that includes theatre, music, dance and the visual arts. It is invested in its museums, historic preservation and the celebration of its members’ ethnic and cultural diversity.

Promote Civic Vitality

Greater New Haven’s vibrancy is linked to its communities’ support of its neighborhoods, public gardens and sports, as well as its commitment to the protection of its people and pets.