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Jonathan Perlman, founder of Tradition Senior Living in Houston & Dallas, TX.

I grew up listening to WRR with my Grandmother every Saturday at breakfast.” 

Jeremy Hays

What is an attorney dealing with employment issues doing as Chairman of the Board of the Friends of WRR—the only commercial classical music format radio station in TexasRead on.  This multi-faceted man has earned the right.

I grew up listening to WRR with my Grandmother every Saturday at breakfast,” said Jeremy.  “She would also often take me to the symphony and opera—when they were still performed in Fair Park.”  (We like such “traditions” around here.)  

He subsequently became a professional classical pianist, performing around Dallas, the Eastern United States, and Spain.  Later, he received a degree from Yale in Musicology—the history of music.  

After realizing that a career in academia wouldn’t appeal to him, he became an attorney, graduating cum laude from New York University School of Law.  He had been looking for ways, however, to stay involved with music when a friend asked him if he would consider being on the board of the non-profit Friends of WRR.  “Would I!” was his response.  Since then, he has served on the general Board, then on the Executive Committee, and last year as President prior to his being Chairman this year.

The station is owned and operated by the City of Dallas. So what does the Friends of WRR do for the station? “Our mission,” he says simply, “is to secure WRR’s future.” The station operates off advertising revenue and not through tax-payer dollars.  To aid revenue, the Friends purchase, through tax-deductible donations from listeners, two hours of commercial-free music every day.  

What is an attorney dealing with employment issues doing as Chairman of the Board of the Friends of WRR—the only commercial classical music format radio station in TexasRead on.  This multi-faceted man has earned the right.

I grew up listening to WRR with my Grandmother every Saturday at breakfast,” said Jeremy.  “She would also often take me to the symphony and opera—when they were still performed in Fair Park.”  (We like such “traditions” around here.)  

He subsequently became a professional classical pianist, performing around Dallas, the Eastern United States, and Spain.  Later, he received a degree from Yale in Musicology—the history of music.

I grew up listening to WRR with my Grandmother every Saturday at breakfast.” 

Jeremy Hays

After realizing that a career in academia wouldn’t appeal to him, he became an attorney, graduating cum laude from New York University School of Law.  He had been looking for ways, however, to stay involved with music when a friend asked him if he would consider being on the board of the non-profit Friends of WRR.  “Would I!” was his response.  Since then, he has served on the general Board, then on the Executive Committee, and last year as President prior to his being Chairman this year.

The station is owned and operated by the City of Dallas. So what does the Friends of WRR do for the station? “Our mission,” he says simply, “is to secure WRR’s future.” The station operates off advertising revenue and not through tax-payer dollars.  To aid revenue, the Friends purchase, through tax-deductible donations from listeners, two hours of commercial-free music every day.  

TLL_web_ad (1)

WRR

The first radio station in the nation to offer a streaming signal on the Internet, giving it a world-wide reach.

The second-oldest radio station and the oldest same-owner station in the U.S. 

The only commercial classical music format radio station in Texas.

With a tower in Cedar Hill, the station’s 100,000 watt listening area spans 100 miles in any direction.

The Friends was founded in 1978, when the City considered selling the station, and there was a concern that it wouldn’t remain a classical station if they did.  The first leaders of the Friends focused on that threat, and WRR has remained with the City as a classical station ever since.   Last year with COVID-19, however, the very existence of the station was touch and go.

“At the beginning of 2020, our plan was preparing for WRR’s 100-year anniversary in 2021—with events!” said Jeremy.  When Covid came during March and April, however, revenue from WRR’s advertising plummeted, and the Friends wasn’t sure how the station was going to make ends meet.  “We didn’t want to present that negative picture to the City,” said Jeremy, “but how could we stay afloat?”

They developed a multi-pronged approach.  One actual advantage of Covid, he thinks, was that people were at home more, listening to the gorgeous programming of WRR.  “We had the General Manager, Mike Oakes—a master—record a plea for donations that ran multiple times,” said Jeremy.  “We received many pledges from that. Also, the tea and coffee retailer, the Cultured Cup were true heroes, offering a special tea—the “WRR Classic Blend”—to donors. It was a huge success.” The WRR Classic Blend is still on sale at the Cultured Cup, and half of the proceeds go to the Friends.  

The overall result? The Friends received a record number of new members and now has more supporters than ever. The non-profit subsequently had the biggest income from donations in its history.  The Friends were able to offer almost double their usual support to the station in 2020, and they plan to purchase an additional hour of advertising every day in 2021, beginning this month. Now, the Friends can focus, albeit in limited fashion due to Covid, on the 100th Anniversary celebration of WRR this year.  

Jeremy is uniquely aided by the Executive Director of the Friends of WRR—Cody Cosmic.  She happens to be his wife.  Jeremy, while already on the board, recommended her when the need for a new Executive Director arose. Cody was in a position to work at that time, with their young son in pre-school three days a week.  Also, she was trained in non-profit management. “I have no say in her salary,” said Jeremy about the above-reproach set-up.  Actually, this seems like an ideal situation—synergy!

Regarding WRR’s upcoming anniversary, the best way to promote it, in my view, is just to find ways to encourage people to turn on the dial at 101.1 FM.  Listen to Mozart, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, Chopin, Copeland, and the king, Bach—and so many more!  According to Jeremy, the brilliant programming by Mike Oakes and the extraordinary hosts make WRR the best classical music station in the country.

Thank you, Jeremy Hays, that your passion for great music fuels your volunteer work at the Friends of WRR, so that this treasure of Dallas, of Texas, of the world is secure in its future.

For more information, see friendsofwrr.org.

By Linda Faulkner Johnston—Tradition Senior Living  

The Friends was founded in 1978, when the City considered selling the station, and there was a concern that it wouldn’t remain a classical station if they did.  The first leaders of the Friends focused on that threat, and WRR has remained with the City as a classical station ever since.   Last year with COVID-19, however, the very existence of the station was touch and go.

“At the beginning of 2020, our plan was preparing for WRR’s 100-year anniversary in 2021—with events!” said Jeremy.  When Covid came during March and April, however, revenue from WRR’s advertising plummeted, and the Friends wasn’t sure how the station was going to make ends meet.  “We didn’t want to present that negative picture to the City,” said Jeremy, “but how could we stay afloat?”

They developed a multi-pronged approach.  One actual advantage of Covid, he thinks, was that people were at home more, listening to the gorgeous programming of WRR.  “We had the General Manager, Mike Oakes—a master—record a plea for donations that ran multiple times,” said Jeremy.  “We received many pledges from that. Also, the tea and coffee retailer, the Cultured Cup were true heroes, offering a special tea—the “WRR Classic Blend”—to donors. It was a huge success.” The WRR Classic Blend is still on sale at the Cultured Cup, and half of the proceeds go to the Friends.  

The overall result? The Friends received a record number of new members and now has more supporters than ever. The non-profit subsequently had the biggest income from donations in its history.  The Friends were able to offer almost double their usual support to the station in 2020, and they plan to purchase an additional hour of advertising every day in 2021, beginning this month. Now, the Friends can focus, albeit in limited fashion due to Covid, on the 100th Anniversary celebration of WRR this year.  

TLL_web_ad (1)

Jeremy is uniquely aided by the Executive Director of the Friends of WRR—Cody Cosmic.  She happens to be his wife.  Jeremy, while already on the board, recommended her when the need for a new Executive Director arose. Cody was in a position to work at that time, with their young son in pre-school three days a week.  Also, she was trained in non-profit management. “I have no say in her salary,” said Jeremy about the above-reproach set-up.  Actually, this seems like an ideal situation—synergy!

Regarding WRR’s upcoming anniversary, the best way to promote it, in my view, is just to find ways to encourage people to turn on the dial at 101.1 FM.  Listen to Mozart, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, Chopin, Copeland, and the king, Bach—and so many more!  According to Jeremy, the brilliant programming by Mike Oakes and the extraordinary hosts make WRR the best classical music station in the country.

Thank you, Jeremy Hays, that your passion for great music fuels your volunteer work at the Friends of WRR, so that this treasure of Dallas, of Texas, of the world is secure in its future.

For more information, see friendsofwrr.org.

By Linda Faulkner Johnston—Tradition Senior Living  

WRR

The first radio station in the nation to offer a streaming signal on the Internet, giving it a world-wide reach.

The second-oldest radio station and the oldest same-owner station in the U.S. 

The only commercial classical music format radio station in Texas.

With a tower in Cedar Hill, the station’s 100,000 watt listening area spans 100 miles in any direction.

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