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Remembering Erik Möllberg

Amidst the conference, on Friday morning, July 14, 2017, came the horrifying news that our colleague and friend Erik Möllberg had died in a motorcycle accident in Indiana.  Erik had just been with us at the conference to talk about the work he had been doing to build WELT, the low power community radio station in Fort Wayne, and to catch up with folks.  

I had known Erik for only the last dozen or so years, as I worked more on the national level with ACM and traveled to regional events more and more.  We’d talk about work and life and all our interests: he was a skilled archivist who was trying to preserve the history of access television; he loved the perspectives of international community media work, and traveled through Europe to learn from colleagues throughout the continent; he was THE person to talk to about Indiana telecom legislation and media organizing; and in the last few years, he had been up to his ears in building community radio in Fort Wayne.

Erik Möllberg and Mike Wassenaar at the 2017 ACM Conference

I asked him how he was, and he told me with a smile on his face how busy he was and how every day was filled with the enthusiasm of people who wanted to express themselves and build community through WELT.  Sure, the radio station was bringing new people to community media in Fort Wayne by the dozens to volunteer and to create, but I knew most of that was Erik.

The man hated bureaucracy and BS with a passion, and yet he served on the National, Regional and state chapter Boards of ACM over the years with dedication and what I liked to call his Scandinavian common sense. He disliked drama and wanted to work on what was important and fun.

I’ll remember the late nights we spent in 2012 in Tucson with him on guitar and me pitifully plucking my ukulele.  He tolerated a lot to have a good time.  I’ll also remember moving from Minnesota to DC in 2013 and staying overnight at his house on the lake in Indiana. I had driven some 14 hours to get there, and it was late but we stayed up talking into the night. I had a long drive the next day and decided to get some much-needed sleep.  When I woke up the next morning, Erik had hot coffee and was making me hash browns from scratch.  He loved a good breakfast but how did he do that?

Erik Möllberg was station manager for WELT-LP FM in Fort Wayne

There are so many of us who have been touched by Mr. Möllberg.  He embodied the best of us.  I will let you know what we hear from his family in the days ahead about remembrances and support.

Mike Wassenaar
President & CEO
The Alliance for Community Media

This is an excerpt from The ACM Weekly Message from the President published on July 17, 2017.

Read Erik Möllberg’s Obituary

As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be made to Allen County Public Library Radio Station WELT 95.7. Those wishing to send a condolence or sign the guest book online may do so at www.swemchapel.com.