WFCF stays booming amid a digital age

By Lydia Corbin

As we enter a digitized world, many previous media forms are being ditched for online platforms instead. With the rise of online streaming platforms, will we see a decline in commercial and local broadcast media?

According to, weekly terrestrial radio listernership has decreased 10% since 2009. This poses a huge threat to both commerical and local radio stations and their ability to stay relevant amidst a new digital world.

Located in the heart of St. Augustine lies Flagler College’s radio station, WFCF, which is a non-commercial, educational radio station staffed by community volunteers and students in the Flagler College Communication Department..

Flagler College’s radio station first aired on Nov. 1, 1993, and the station most recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Dan McCook is the WFCF station manager and Communications and Marketing Division Director.

“Our original mission statement is an experiential learning opportunity as well as a venue of goodwill to the community at large,” McCook said.

Due to the new digital age we are headed towards, there is worry that the easy accessibility of online streaming may put radio out.

“There’s 60, 70, 80, million radio stations online, if not more. How do you compete with that?” McCook said. 

Although traditional broadcasts on radio and TV stations may have to compete with the online world, McCook has created new ways to promote the station and bring in new listener audiences.

“We’re starting to do more podcasts,” … “We are utilizing the studio for Professor Gilmore’s class, Acting for the Camera and Microphone,” McCook said.

Along with updates being made in the radio industry in order to keep listener rates up, local and college stations also act as a place for a hands-on education to communications students.

Anna Meyer is a senior studying Digital Media Production and Journalism here at Flagler, and also serves as the social media manager for WFCF. 

“Just this past week. I made a new Instagram account for the College Rock Block. The College Rock Block is from 7 to 11 am every weekday, and it’s hosted by college students. The students have two hour shows where they talk about something that interests them,” Meyer said.

Connecting the community of St. Augustine and beyond with WFCF through social media is just another way that 88.5 and other local radio stations will stay booming.

Meyer believes that since WFCF is a part of the St. Augustine community, it will stick around longer than commercial stations in bigger cities.

“I think that local stations that can properly utilize their community will stay as radio stations much longer than big commercial stations. For example, back in my hometown. I’m in the middle of nowhere, Iowa,” Meyer said. “Our only local news source is our radio station. We don’t have a TV news station, we don’t have social media, or anything like that. Our newspaper just died out, so we almost entirely rely on our radio station. For communities like that radio, will stay in business for a very long time.”

Although broadcast radio and TV may not be going anywhere anytime soon, communities like St. Augustine are able to battle threats imposed by digital streaming platforms and keep their local favorite frequencies up and running longterm.

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