Massachusetts’ WFCR adds to capital campaign with Cosby fundraiser

New England Public Radio in Amherst, Mass., got a helping hand earlier this month from a famous friend when listener and local resident Bill Cosby staged a benefit performance for the station’s capital campaign. Cosby’s March 2 show at Symphony Hall in Springfield, Mass., raised $140,000 for the station, drawing more than 2,000 attendees who each paid from $37.50 to $75 to see the comic. The event stemmed from relationships between Cosby and various station staff that developed over the past few years. Cosby first got in touch Tom Reney, host of the station’s weeknight jazz show, says General Manager Martin Miller. Cosby and his wife then began donating money by sponsoring challenge grants during on-air fund drives, for which they were credited as “Dr. Bill and Dr. Camille.” The comedian visited the station in 2011 for an interview, and when he came back for a second interview, Miller discussed the station’s capital campaign with him.