525 Kumquat Ct
Suite A
Sarasota FL 34236
WSLR is an innovative, listener-supported nonprofit, noncommercial FM radio station dedicated to serving the Sarasota community.  WSLR features locally produced programming and events that feature cultural, artistic and political perspectives currently underrepresented in the media.  Our goal is to inform and empower listeners to play an active role in WSLR and in their community.  WSLR promotes equality, peace, sustainability, democracy, health, and social and economic justice.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. David Beaton
Board Chair Mr. Tom Walker
Board Chair Company Affiliation Watson and Walker, Inc.
History and Background
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Awarded a competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years?
Incorporation Year 2005
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $108,000.00
Projected Expenses $104,500.00
Additional Documents
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of Determination
State Info
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Nov 2014
State Registration Yes 0

Top three accomplishments from the past year:

1.    WSLR presented over 55 cultural and educational community events in 2013. This was a notable increase in the the number and diversity of events sponsored by WSLR.

2.  WSLR documented station operations – administrative, technical and fundraising – and implemented a plan for an efficient transition to a new station manager in 2014.
3. Listener-support during our Spring and Fall on-air fund drives successfully met our goals for station operating funds. In Spring 2014 WSLR Placed 5th in the Giving Partner Challenge for highest number of individual donors to a small non-profit organization.
4. Partnered with Sarasota County Educational Television to produce a regular half-hour program featuring the artists, authors, and speakers that WSLR brings to town. 

Top five goals for this year:

1.   Organize a community festival to celebrate WSLR's 10th anniversary on the air.  This event will become WSLR's annual signature event.

2. Install a 5 KW Solar System to generate 1/3 of the energy needs of the radio station

3. Form a partnership with the Sarasota County Government Channel to share content.

4. Diversify WSLR's audience and leadership.

5. Provide support to other local and regional organizations that were awarded construction permits for low power stations in 2014.


In 2000, five non-profit groups filed applications for low power radio station frequency 96.5 during the FCC’s four day window.  In 2003, Bo Bentele and Sarah Kell, acting on behalf of the New College Student Alliance (NCSA) negotiated a settlement agreement with David Beaton, acting on behalf of the Gulf Coast Sanctuary.  In this agreement, the Gulf Coast Sanctuary agreed to withdraw their application in exchange for creation of a governing Board that would consist of community members and student representatives.  This settlement agreement allowed the NCSA application to prevail. 

In February 2004, the NCSA was awarded a construction permit for a low power station. An interim board was established consisting of community representatives and New College representatives.  A new 501c3 organization, WSLR, was formed to govern the station.

WSLR applied for and received 501c3 status in June 2005.   At the end of July 2005, with the help of 20 volunteers and Prometheus Radio, the studio and the transmission site were constructed in one weekend.  

In August 2005, WSLR tested their first live broadcast and filed for a license to cover.

From August 2005 – May 2006, we ran two studios – one at New College and one at Royal Palm.  Due to technical issues and lack of consistency and New College concerns with community members coming on campus late at night, this studio was shut down and New College students became one with community members in operating out of the same studio.   

In October 2009 the New College student body voted to transfer the station license to WSLR, Inc.  An ‘unofficial’ license transfer ceremony was held at New College to complete the paperwork and the application was filed online with the FCC.   An agreement was reached between the station and the New College students, whereby students would retain a seat on the WSLR Board and on the programming committee; the station would continue to offer student internships; and the station would remain in geographical proximity to the college.  The FCC approved the license transfer in February 2011.  In October 2011, WSLR moved its offices and studio to a new, more visible location in downtown Sarasota.

Needs 1. Install a wireless back- up antenna system to maintain WSLR's on-air broadcast when Comcast is experiencing technical difficulties. ($3000) 2. Establish a part-time volunteer coordinator ($8000 - 10 hrs/week) With only one full-time paid employee, WSLR's operation depends on dedicated volunteers. A Volunteer Coordinator will ensure good and timely communication with volunteers, effective volunteer appreciation, and volunteer recruitment to fill important roles at WSLR. 3. Upgrade the computer in the broadcast studio. ($1100) 4. Funding to complete installation of 5 KW Solar System on Roof at 525 Kumquat Court. $2500
5. Establish a part-time local WSLR news director ($20,000 - 20/hrs week). We currently have 2 part-time paid interns that collaborate to produce our local news broadcast. A news director with previous radio news experience would enhance our local news coverage and provide mentoring to develop the skills of our interns and our volunteer talk shows hosts. We will also be able to train additional news volunteers and provide better local news coverage.
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director WSLR provides access to the airwaves for students and community members who support our mission.  The station provides a forum for the gathering, exchange and transmission of ideas in a cooperative environment.  Everyone on the air at WSLR is a volunteer from the community and they all bring a special passion for what they do - whether it be music or talk programming.  The station is committed to the principles expressed in our mission statement, especially as they relate to issues involving the various ethnic groups in our community, women, the economically disadvantaged, and other groups who may be disenfranchised in our society.  We offer safe haven for expression by members of these groups and through our activities hope to promote peace, goodwill and a sense of community beyond the walls of the radio station.
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

Being on the board of WSLR is probably the most enjoyable job of my life, and maybe the most important. Starting as a computer professional in 1965, I have been on corporate boards continuously since 1972 and on various statewide non-profit boards for the last decade or so. But the people who volunteer here at WSLR are some of the most imaginative, hard working, and dedicated people I’ve ever encountered.

Remember, we have only one full-time paid position – the station manager. The rest of the work is done by people who just love what they’re doing. They play the kind of music they love, music not to be found on the mass media stations, or they create talk shows focused on our community of Sarasota. Although we may be heard worldwide on the web at WSLR.ORG, our reach over the air extends only a mile or two past Sarasota city limits. Local radio is important and rare, because, as you know, these days most radio stations have absentee corporate owners and no knowledge of or concern for our local community.

The mission of our board, besides the normal board governance and oversight, is to make sure we continue true to our mission, which is

“… locally produced programming and events that feature cultural, artistic and political perspectives currently underrepresented in the media. Our goal is to inform and empower listeners to play an active role in WSLR and in their community. WSLR promotes equality, peace, sustainability, democracy, health, and social and economic justice.”

In other words, we try to foster community. We hold community events, lectures, discussions, interview shows and live music events to inform, entertain and bring people together so we may all get to know one another, solve problems and learn from each other. We give airtime to many local nonprofits, helping them to reach a wider audience. We offer free training in the techniques of broadcasting and reporting. Often our interns go on to professional careers in other media outlets.  Our national news and talk shows cover stories you won’t find explored in corporate-sponsored media. And our board has a permanent seat for a New College student and a high school student so we can help train future leaders.

We invite you to visit our station, to contribute, and to help us continue to make Sarasota a vibrant and caring community!
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type Public & Societal Benefit
Tertiary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities

WSLR-LP has been broadcasting for over nine years in Sarasota focusing on local issues.  We  produce over 112 hours of locally produced programming each week at the station – much of it is music programming, but we are proud of the 1.5 hours of local news and 6.5 hours of local public affairs produced at the station covering issues like the local environment, politics, community arts, food & nutrition and minority issues.   We have in depth interviews with movers and shakers, but we have also covered stories that don’t receive much attention from other media outlets – the voices of the homeless, stories of police abuse, minority perspectives on local issues, gentrification, and more. 

WSLR is steadily growing into a vital community resource for independent news, views, art, and culture.  We are connecting people and organizations through access to the public airwaves, and we are helping to build a more local, diverse and participatory media.

Budget $47,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Media & Communications
Program linked to organizational strategy? Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified
Short Term Success WSLR empowers members of the community by letting them 'be the media'.  People with no broadcasting experience can be trained to host their own radio program.  Each year, new volunteers complete the WSLR Programmer Training and Mentoring program and join the staff at WSLR.
Long Term Success WSLR-LP began broadcasting at 96.5 FM in Sarasota in July 2005. We have received recognition from Creative Loafing "Best DJ and Best Event" and SRQ Magazine "2012 Finalist in Best of the Southwest".  Ultimately, success is measured by the impact we have on the community. We hope that listeners will be better informed and more engaged in the community and that there will be increased awareness about the local music/art scene.  
Program Success Monitored By The Programming Committee provides ongoing feedback to programmers about the quality and the content of their program.  Management completes a bi-annual review of all programs.  WSLR conducts an annual listener survey to get listener feedback on programming.
Examples of Program Success
We have over 100 community volunteers successfully producing programming at WSLR.   Our listener survey shows that we are appreciated: 
"WSLR is a voice for the people and our community."
"The new Maternally Yours show that was recently added is fantastic! The women are so knowledgeable about the topics and have really helped open many people's eyes."
"Love the diversity"
"WSLR is a small volunteer station.  I love it.  There's nothing like it.  It's my favorite station hands down." 
Description WSLR strives to educate the community to 'be the media'.   We have a three hour training that all new programmers must complete before going on the air.  This is in addition to sitting in with experienced program hosts and fulfilling volunteer requirements.  We have facilitated two week-long Radio Summer Camps for middle school students where the students actually produce and broadcast a radio show.  We have welcomed interns from area High Schools and Colleges to learn more about broadcasting.  We frequently provide tours to local school groups and other community groups (e.g. cub scouts).  We also offer media classes in audio editing, citizen reporting and podcasting.  
Budget $15,000
Category Education, General/Other Tutorial Programs
Program linked to organizational strategy? Yes
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Adults
Short Term Success Giving students a real-world experience in broadcasting.  Providing people with the skills they need to produce a finished audio product. 
Long Term Success More people involved in producing independent reports and stories for the station will result in a more democratic and participatory media. Young people exposed to making media at a young age are more likely to pursue media as a vocation later in life.  Two of our previous New College interns have pursued careers in media.  
Program Success Monitored By Program success can be measured by the number of people that actually continue to participate at WSLR after completing training and those that go on to future education in media.  
Examples of Program Success During the course of an internship you can see a student find their voice, begin to generate story ideas, conduct interviews, and finally broadcast their pieces.  
Description WSLR seeks to promote broad participation in civic and cultural life by presenting live concerts, sponsoring screenings of independent films, hosting community conversations, facilitating workshops, and hosting speakers that further our goal of promoting peace, justice, sustainability, equality and social and economic justice.  Concerts feature nationally-touring independent artists in different genres often with a local opener to give our local musicians added exposure in a listening room setting.  We often partner with other local non-profits to present events of interest to the community.
Budget $27,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Musical Performances
Program linked to organizational strategy? Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified
Short Term Success Short term success is measured in the number of participants that enjoy the live events that WSLR presents.
Long Term Success WSLR will become a nationally recognized venue for independent artists and activists.  
Program Success Monitored By The WSLR Event Planning Committee meets monthly to review all of our sponsored events.  We consider attendance, quality of the performance, as well as ways to improve the event.  We track attendance, income and expenses for all events.  Our concerts and other presentations are fundraisers and generate approximately $30,000/year for the station.
Examples of Program Success Since moving into our new location in 2011, our audiences have been very supportive of our new performance space.  We have an outdoor patio for larger events and an indoor space for more intimate shows.  This year we sponsored our first Media Education Film Series.  One of the attendees at the film "Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising's Image of Women" was moved to screen the film at her daughter's school and start an ongoing conversation at the school around issues that affect our youth.  We held our first World Music Summit with three regional bands - ska, soukous and latin - in an attempt to reach a more diverse audience.  We seek to continue to expand our offerings to reach beyond our already committed supporters.
Program Comments by Organization As a small grassroots organization with only one full-time paid staff, WSLR faces the challenge of ensuring that we have the organizational strength and resources to fulfill our Mission, live by our Core Values, and achieve our Vision in the years ahead.  To address this issue, we are developing Board Selection Criteria that will ensure that future Board members are committed to the mission of the station, we are improving our Volunteer Orientation program to give new volunteers a better grasp of who we are and what we do, and we are providing advanced training to current volunteers so that they can take on additional responsibilities.  We also face increasing competition - satellite radio, internet radio, etc.  So another challenge is how to keep radio relevant and keep listeners tuned in.  We feel the best way to do this is to keep it local - provide information that is relevant to Sarasota and include local musicians in our programming.  This is also one of the reasons we feel it is important to expand beyond our radio broadcast and offer additional services (media education workshops) and events to the community.  These events reach people that our broadcast does not and help us build a stronger community.  We look forward to opportunities to increase participation in WSLR, to expand the diversity of our programming and our leadership, and to fund a news department that can provide better coverage of our community.
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Mr. David Beaton
CEO Term Start Jan 2014
Experience David Beaton graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Communication. He started Media Process Group, a professional video production company in 1985 that focused on corporate, public relations and campaign media work. His role was as a producer and sound engineer. In 1992 he began work at the State College of Florida in the capacity of Educational Support Staff/Film Adjunct Professor until 2004. One of the founders of WSLR, Beaton previously served as Board Chair and Program Director. He worked for the Pacifica Radio Network in 2007 helping low-income communities file for FCC radio licenses. Beaton also spent one year as a VISTA Digital Arts Corp member at WSLR.
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 3
Volunteers 160
Contractors 1
Staff Retention Rate % 0
Professional Development Yes
Management Reports to Board Yes
Organization Plans
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 2
Strategic Plan Adopted Oct 2012
Management Succession Plan No
Policies and Procedures No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Former CEOs
Ms. Arlene Sweeting July 2005 - Dec
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
NonManagement Formal Evaluation Yes

We have collaborated with the following media organizations: The Pelican Press, The Florida Independent, The Bradenton Times, WMNF, the Sarasota News Leader, and the Florida Channel to provide content for our local news report and for special programming.  

We have an ongoing collaboration with New College students.  There is a position reserved for a New College student on our Board and on our Programming Committee.  We have had a number of New College Student Interns work at the station - both paid and unpaid.  WSLR has an active internship program with local middle and high schools – we have hosted Student Interns from Pine View and Booker High School, New Gate Montessori School and Lighthouse of Sarasota. 

WSLR has also partnered with community organizations to raise awareness about important issues in the community including the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, the ACLU, SPARCC, the Florida Veterans for Common Sense, the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness, and more.

 We work with numerous non-profits to run Public Service Announcements and schedule interviews to discuss upcoming events or volunteer needs.  We have also been a sponsor of the Sarasota Film Festival for three years.

Edward R. Murrow AwardRTNDA2008
Best of SRQ Local FinalistSRQ Magazine2012
Best Radio Show - Maternally YoursSRQ Magazine2014
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government? Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Tom Walker
Company Affiliation Watson and Walker, Inc.
Board Term Nov 2013 to Oct 2015
Board Members
Board Members
Mr. David Beaton WSLR
Mr. Jason Boehk Lumina Health Products
Miss Raquel Cartaya STAR Student Representative
Ms. Michele Demperio Totems Architecture
Mr. Edward Ericsson Community Volunteer
Mr. Wayne Genthner Wolfmouth Charters
Ms. Pam Marwede PamDesigns
Ms. Julie Morris New College of Florida
Mr. Zane Plattor New College Student
Mr. Tom Walker Watson & Walker, Inc.
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development? Yes
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Board Orientation Yes
Board Meeting Attendance % 91
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 10
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Board Making Monetary Contributions 88
Percentage of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Program / Program Planning
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Financial Info
Fiscal Year 2013
Projected Revenue $108,000.00
Projected Expenses $104,500.00
Spending Policy Income Only
IRS Form 990s
Historical Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201320122011
Program Expense$81,503$119,840$67,373
Administration Expense$20,804$1,075$44,310
Fundraising Expense$16,870$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.200.961.21
Program Expense/Total Expenses68%99%60%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue55%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Assets$171,334$157,411$151,954
Current Assets$111,615$92,939$137,593
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$171,334$157,411$151,954
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201320122011
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountMembership dues $69,312Contributions, gifts, grants $79,536Membership dues $54,684
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram service revenue $36,994Program service revenue $30,160Program service revenue $37,485
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $30,763Other $6,261Contributions, gifts, grants $30,395
CEO Compensation
Co-CEO Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the Federal 990.  Financial figures were taken from the 990s.
Nonprofit WSLR Inc
Address 525 Kumquat Ct
Suite A
Sarasota, FL 34236
Primary Phone 941 894-6469
CEO/Executive Director Mr. David Beaton
Board Chair Mr. Tom Walker
Board Chair Company Affiliation Watson and Walker, Inc.
Year of Incorporation 2005