Steve Di Costanzo, a resident of for 12 years was recently named the general manager of listener-supported WPKN 89.5FM in Bridgeport.
WPKN is 10,000-watt alternative, freeform public radio station that is largely volunteer and plays many genres of music. It streams at wpkn.org.
Prior to WPKN, Di Costanzo was involved in trade publishing as the founder of Golf Range Magazine and the Golf Range Association of America (GRAA). In 2011 he sold both to a media group that publishes PGA Magazine.
Di Costanzo had been a volunteer board member for the past five years in charge of press and publicity. He still hosts the music show Radio Base Camp.
"I believe in the arts, music and giving back to the community. This is part of WPKN's mission. I love the eclectic and sometimes quirky nature of the diverse individuals that make up the WPKN community," he said. "The programming that we produce ranges from reggae to rock, blues to bluegrass to public affairs and the local arts and cultural scene."
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"This is a crucial time for WPKN. We are going into our 50th year of operation and need to ramp up our fundraising efforts to insure that we will be here for another 50. We need to continue to seek funding for our day to day operations and also initiate a capital campaign for technical improvements."
WPKN is one of the largest non-commercial signals in Connecticut. It’s listening area includes most of Fairfield County, New Haven County and parts of Litchfield County, and New York’s Suffolk County (including the North Fork and the Hamptons).
They are active as a media partner for a variety of musical events in the area including: (Bridgeport), The International Festival of Arts & Ideas (New Haven), Blues, Views & BBQ’s (Westport) to name a few.
Di Costanzo sees his role as entrepreneurial in nature.
"In this economy it is necessary that nonprofits embrace an entrepreneurial spirit," he said. "To be a true community radio station we must be engaged with the community and we have many ‘communities’. WPKN is also launching its underwriting program to help diversity its funding base.
“We need to take this next step to remain independent and sustainable. We have a number of benefit concerts, on-air fund drives and a major donor mail effort, but we need to find like-minded companies and usinesses who value our listener base to financially support us as well.
Thanks to listener support and staff dedication, WPKN turns 50 next year. To become a member, make a donation or find out about upcoming fundraisers where you can meet fellow WPKN listeners and staff go to www.wpkn.org