|City of license||Medford, Massachusetts|
|First air date||1970|
|ERP||125 watts, Stereo|
WMFO (91.5 FM) is a radio station licensed to Medford, Massachusetts. The station is owned by Tufts University and is run by students. WMFO is funded by the Tufts Student Activities Fee as allocated by the TCU Senate and through community donations.
Prior to the licensing of WMFO, the station was home to the AM radio station WTUR. In the late 1960s Tufts University students ran a wire from WTUR's 20-watt transmitter to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Commuter railroad tracks that run directly behind the studio building. The signal could be heard clearly as far as Quincy, Massachusetts 15 miles to the south, and as far north as Nashua, New Hampshire, more than 30 miles beyond the station's permitted broadcasting limits. This stunt drew the attention of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which promptly shut the station down.
On April 2, 1977, Curtis Hall, the building that WMFO resides in, had a major fire. The station was knocked off the air for a short time, but was up and running within a few hours when student DJs plugged a portable broadcasting board directly into the station's transmitter.
In March 2009, the station left the airwaves for a week, replacing its aging analog equipment with an all-digital system including a Rivendell Radio Automation server that houses much of the station's rock and pop music collections in a lossless format.
WMFO occupies the entire third floor of Curtis Hall on the campus of Tufts University. Studio A houses the main broadcast room, which features three vinyl turntables, three standard CD players, two CD turntables, two auxiliary jacks for laptops, a cassette deck, and microphones for up to four guests. Studio Dee, named for late Boston music writer and WMFO DJ Mikey Dee, is used for live performances that undergo professional mixing, recording and effects processing in the adjacent Studio B. Studio C is a secondary broadcast and production studio. An extensive collection of vinyl records is housed throughout the station. Much of WMFO's vinyl collection was destroyed during the 1977 fire, but appeals to the Tufts community and local residents resulted in donations that replaced some of the lost albums.
The transmitter is atop Ballou hall, has a directionality of due east and is rated for 125 watts.
WMFO is a freeform station that imposes no content restrictions on its air staff, apart from FCC requirements for content, station identification and public service announcements. Programming ranges from rock, punk and hip-hop shows to political talk, sports talk and community issues.
As a condition of the station's FCC license, a portion of the weekly program schedule must be allotted to volunteers from the local community. There are no financial requirements for community members, but they share the same on- and off-air responsibilities as student DJs and must volunteer additional hours each year for station maintenance and upkeep to remain in good standing with the station.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WMFO
- Radio-Locator information on WMFO
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WMFO
- Info on the stunt that shut down WTUR