WMTU-FM

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WMTU-FM
Wmtu2.png
City of license Houghton, Michigan
Broadcast area [1]
Branding WMTU Radio
Frequency 91.9 MHz
First air date 1994
Format Variety; College student station
Power 4,400 watts
Class C3
Callsign meaning Michigan Technological University
Owner Michigan Technological University
Website http://wmtu.mtu.edu/

WMTU-FM 91.9 is the student-run campus radio station at Michigan Technological University. It is located in the basement of Wadsworth Hall in Houghton, Michigan, and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Staff is constituted of a volunteer general staff featuring a general manager and six different departments as well as the air staff. Open DJ signups are held the first Wednesday and Thursday of each semester, including the summer tracks.

History[edit]

  • 1956 - WVRW (Voice of Radio, Wadsworth), the precursor to WMTU, begins broadcasting as a carrier current AM station.
  • 1958 - WVRW changes its callsign to WRS (Wadsworth Radio Service), to show that it now serves all dormitories on campus.
  • 1975 - WRS changes its callsign to WMTU
  • 1977 - WMTU begins broadcasting as a cable FM station via the local cable television system.
  • 1979 - WMTU converts to a 24-hour format, with 3-hour shows.
  • 1994 - WMTU begins over-the-air broadcasting from atop the Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics building on the Michigan Tech campus with an effective radiated power of 100 watts.
  • 1998 - WMTU begins broadcasting via RealAudio, utilizing a Helix server located in the basement of Michigan Tech's Electrical Engineering Resources Center (EERC).
  • 2004 - Renovations to Wadsworth Hall resulted in a move from the original location next to the Tri-Hall Weight Club to a temporary location near the Campus Cafe.
  • 2005 - The FCC approved a request for WMTU to move its transmitter to a university-owned tower atop Arcadia Hill. This move allowed WMTU to upgrade its power from 100 watts to 4400 watts effective radiated power, providing coverage to campus as well as many surrounding communities.
  • 2005 - WMTU returns to its original location, now sporting a new "storefront" look along with nearly triple the music storage space. Renovations have also resulted in a "commons" area outside of the station, used for small concerts and other activities, along with a room which the WMTU staff uses for weekly meetings.
  • 2009 - WMTU changes its daily schedule to 12, 2-hour shows.
  • 2012 - WMTU remodeled its DJ booth with new equipment a new look, while also providing continuous 24-hour broadcast over breaks for the first time.

Station programming[edit]

WMTU currently runs seventy programs, all of which are staffed by volunteers who apply at semesterly DJ meetings. Primetime slots are generally allocated based upon seniority, volunteer work at the station, and uniqueness of programming offered. All programming decisions are made by the Program Director and the Broadcast Supervisor, both positions elected yearly by WMTU's General Staff.

WMTU is known for allowing DJs to present an eclectic mix of music of their choice without any prescribed playlisting. Commercial free programming including metal, hip hop, techno, punk, indie, classic rock, electronica, Americana, noise, industrial, world, local, and freeform are all represented under WMTU's current programming schedule.

The Local Music Show used to air every Saturday evening from 5-7pm. This program was formed officially by local musicians and DJ's Brian Weeden and Markku Savolainen for WMTU in 2003. This program would highlights both local and touring acts in the area, often including live, in-studio performances and interviews. Local artists that have performed on air include Erik Koskinen, VSEPR, the Lumber Janes, Flashing Red Airplane, Carp, Sycamore Smith, and others. In the fall semester of the 2010 school year local music blog Mostly Midwest partnered with WMTU for an official Mostly Midwest radio show every Tuesday and Thursday from 6-8pm. This program not only highlights local midwestern acts along with promoting upcoming local area shows, but also provides information on upcoming local CD releases, interviews with out-of-town musicians, and occasional CD giveaways.

The DJ of the Week program airs each Saturday afternoon from 2pm-5pm. It allows listeners to hear WMTU's best and brightest up and comers while giving the programming and broadcasting departments the chance to evaluate the musical selections and general style of newer DJs.

Spotlight on... airs Saturday afternoon from noon-2pm. This program, usually hosted by a current WMTU DJ, presents two hours of studio favorites and rarities from one of the DJs favorite artists.

Concerts[edit]

Concert space has been provided to WMTU by the Campus Cafe (the Wads Annex), the McArdle Theatre (the Black Box), the Memorial Union Building commons, the Suburban Exchange, the ExUrban, the Level 2 Skate Park, and a commons area outside of WMTU's current location.

The Copper Country Crush-a-Thon, established 2002, is an annual metal festival sponsored by WMTU. The day-long show allows the students of Michigan Tech and the surrounding communities the opportunity to see live black, death, and speed metal alongside of punk rock and hardcore. The Crush-a-Thon has presented a number of bands from around the United States including Summon, Summer Dying, Dumah, The Chasm, Oddity, Eternal Silence, Usurper, Azrael, Autumnal Wind, Tower of Babel, Undo Tomorrow, Carnivale, Days Go By, Domain Malevolence, Off Kilter, the Miscreants, Enrapture, Forest of Impaled, AllOddsAgainst, Conceived by Fire, Sadomasochism, sah, Militionary, Dead to Fall, Teratism, And the Sky Went Red, Rellik, and the Nain Rogue.

Keweenawesomefest, established in 2007, is a two day festival sponsored by WMTU presenting a number of musicians from throughout the state of Michigan. Past performers have included Frontier Ruckus, Low, Chris Bathgate, Beep Beep, Deastro, Canada, Fred Thomas, SAH, Matt Jones, Misty Lyn, the Mahonies, Annie Palmer, Terrible Twos, Santa and Rudolph, Charlie Slick, the Betamales, Sycamore Smith, the Mighty Narwhale, Anarkinda, This is Deer Country, The Photographers, Cotton Jones, Drink Up Buttercup, The Daredevil Christopher Wright, Bear Claw, John the Savage, Millions of Brazilians and Electric Six.

Other local, regional, and national touring acts WMTU has presented live in concert include Black Eyed Snakes, The French Irish Coalition, Wesley Willis, Small Brown Bike, the Gunshy, Starlight Drifters, Poster Children, MC Juice, Heiruspecs, Great Lakes Myth Society, Chris Bathgate, Jerry Fels, Sycamore Smith, Third Coast, Deadly Waters, Pseudocell, Avert, The Blackflies, Dirty Americans, Paper Street Saints, Quixote, the Blend, the Crest, Modill, The Show Is the Rainbow, the Mae Shi, the Mercury Program, Squirtgun, Das Sücktet, Athletic Mic League, Calumet-Hecla, the National Bummer, Breathe Smoke, Kristin Forbes, the Saurus, Atombombpocketknife, Kid Brother Collective, Chiodos, Kinetic Stereo Kids, Soma 220, Liquid Sun, Erik Koskinen, Switch, Tall Drink of Water, Milton, Minus, Hell Town Trio, Fried Chinese Donalds, Old Victoria, Nobody Likes a Tricycle, VSEPR, Mustard Plug, Djiaant, Tom Berringer and the Pisst-Off Androids.[citation needed]

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Coordinates: 47°08′27″N 88°32′27″W / 47.1408°N 88.5407°W / 47.1408; -88.5407