Bob Bloom didn’t know exactly what he was doing when he came to Havre de Grace in October 1988 looking to start a radio station.
Thirty years later, 103.7 FM WXCY is still on the air and Bloom and general sales manager Lisa Layne were recognized by the Havre de Grace City Council Monday night.
Bloom manages the county radio station, which has 23 full- and part-time employees. It has been in the same building on Revolution Street for 30 years, beginning with 1,500 square feet and eventually taking over the entire space, including the Country Chrysler Performance Stage, which hosts country singers in an intimate venue that holds about 100 people.
When Bloom came to Havre de Grace, two people took him under their wings — the late Clovis Bolen and Jay Bautz, who worked with permits and zoning codes for the city of Havre de Grace.
“They walked me through the entire process,” Bloom said.
Radio has certainly changed a lot in 30 years, mostly in the digital world, Bloom said.
“Radio tends to be a very traditional type of advertising, it’s been around forever and ever,” he said. “But when we go talk to clients, they want to know about digital, both social media and radio.”
He’s proud that WXCY is still owned by a family company and hasn’t been bought by one of the larger corporations that bought station after station when deregulation ended, Bloom said.
Bloom said he will eventually turn over the station to Layne, who he hopes will “continue to build the legacy.”
Layne has been in radio for 25 years, she said.
Local advertisers such as Canby Motors and Level Heating and Air are what keep the “blood flowing through the station,” Layne said.
“This community is greatly reflective of how great the radio station is,” she added.
She praised Bloom’s work over 30 years.
“He gives his heart, he gives his all,” Layne said. “I hope to carry his legacy on, but I hope not for a long time.”
Erika Quesenbery-Sturgill, the city’s director of economic development, said she worked for the radio station as a reporter when it started in 1989.
“Now it’s come full circle, and we’re both still in Havre de Grace,” she said.
WXCY is active in the community, Bloom said, in such events at the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, the Fire and Ice Festival and others.
“There are great events in this city and county that we love to be part of,” Bloom said. “We love to give back to.”
Havre de Grace Mayor William T. Martin thanked Bloom and everyone at the station for being a pillar of the community for 30 years and on behalf of the 14,000 residents in Havre de Grace who can’t get a radio station except WXCY.