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Brian Bethke Launches HWHR, Inspired by ‘Old-School Radio’

new local media company only broadcasts local music, podcasts

Cade Fisher |

TUNING BACK.
TUNING BACK. Brian Bethke launches new radio station highlighting local music. (Background photo via Unsplash)

Supporting local musicians and artists is part of what forms a community, but how can you find these crucial artists? Hawkweed House Radio (HWHR), a new media company for and by local artists, has launched an online radio station for these musicians to get their voices heard.

Brian Bethke, local musician and the owner and operator of HWHR, said the station is a media company based on old-school radio. The company currently offers a radio station as well as podcasts only involving local artists and community members.

The radio station currently plays acoustic and folk music during the day. According to Bethke, some local coffee houses and the Chippewa Valley Middle School currently use the station for ambiance. However, heavier music can be found on the station after 5pm.

"I grew up when radio was a big part of our lives. ... To be on the other side (of radio), that is my favorite part, to get to be on there and use my skills as a radio DJ and my skills as a musician to bring something to people."

BRIAN BETHKE

OWNER OF HWHR

“Each one of the songs that I play on (HWHR), I have a personal connection to the person,” Bethke said. “There’s a story behind every song and it’s kind of like my personal playlist.”

The current podcasts the station offers are the Neighbor’s Podcast, which interviews community members about the modern day, and Broken Wrist Records, which discusses the production company of the same name. Founded in 2020, the Broken Wrist Records company is artist-operated and helps manage and produce local creative projects.

HWHR has been on the air for over a month. In the beginning, the station was live during business hours Monday through Friday. The station has since grown to be live 24/7 and currently has eight hours' worth of local music constantly playing. According to Bethke, they are hoping to build an in-house studio to start conducting interviews on air.

The radio station is located within the Hawkweed Hemp LLC building in Osseo. The name HWHR is an homage to the company, standing for Hawkweed House Radio. To help get the station running, Bethke sold his car to help purchase the internet needed to run the station.

“I grew up when radio was a big part of our lives. To bring back how the radio made me feel as a kid, sitting by it and listening for my favorite songs,” Bethke said. “To be on the other side of that is my favorite part, to get to be on there and use my skills as a radio DJ and my skills as a musician to bring something to people.”


Brian Bethke welcomes any and all local musicians to submit their projects to HWHR, able to submit them straight to his email. Listeners can find the station at hwhrmedia.com.