WMUC-FM

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WMUC-FM
Wmuc-logo.png
Broadcast area College Park, Maryland
Branding WMUC FM
Frequency 88.1 MHz
First air date ca 1950
Format Freeform
ERP 10 watts
HAAT 1 meter
Class D
Facility ID 69019
Transmitter coordinates 38°58′59″N 76°56′38″W / 38.98306°N 76.94389°W / 38.98306; -76.94389
Callsign meaning Maryland University Communications
Owner University of Maryland
Sister stations WMUC-AM
Website www.wmuc.umd.edu

WMUC-FM (88.1 FM) is the student-run non-commercial radio station licensed to the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, broadcasting at 10 watts. It is a freeform radio station staffed entirely by UMD students and volunteers. WMUC reports to CMJ (College Music Journal).

Broadcast Coverage[edit]

WMUC can be heard on 88.1 FM in parts of Washington, DC, Silver Spring, College Park, Hyattsville and many of the surrounding communities. It is also streamed on the internet at wmuc.umd.edu and through the WMUC Radio app.

History[edit]

WMUC had its first beginning in 1942 when student-run Old Line Network began daily broadcasts. Gilbert Cullen, with the help of George Reynolds, built the first University of Maryland campus radio station. Broadcasts were limited to the campus, so the station did not require an FCC license to operate. This became the fifth student-run campus station on the east coast. However, the station shut down January 1943 when most of its technical personnel were enlisted in the armed forces. The station re-launched in January using the call letters WMUC. The first WMUC broadcast aired October 11, 1948, but was shut down three days later due to transmission issues. The station relocated from the Speech Department to Silvester Hall in spring 1950, but in the fall, relocated again to a renovated shower stall in Calvert Hall where it remained until 1953. In 1953, WMUC moved to the old Journalism building where it stayed for 20 years. Finally, the station relocated to the third floor of South Campus Dining Hall in fall 1973, where it currently resides.

WMUC received its FM license in 1979 after a two-year "FM or Bust" campaign, airing as a 10-watt FM station for the first time on September 10, 1979. It adopted the freeform format in 1982 so DJs could promote underground artists and music that is underrepresented by commercial radio. The WMUC-AM 650 remained top 40.

In the 1960s and 70s, WMUC gained credibility in the Washington, D.C. radio broadcasting job market and generated revenue by featuring local advertising. In this era, WMUC "acquired its first news network affiliation, saw Anne Edwards appointed as the first female station manager and, in 1965, was selected by the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System to receive the "All-American College Radio Station" Award". In the mid 70s, programming broadened to include shows aimed at black and minority students and promoting feminism.

In 2012, the University Libraries' establishment of the Digital Conversion and Media Reformatting Center (DCMR) facilitated the process of archiving and digitizing the station schedules, staff lists, policies, forms, flyers, zines, photos, awards, correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, and manuals. The WMUC Collection is now a "permanent and growing part of the University Archives" and is available for public research. "Saving College Radio: WMUC Past, Present, and Future" was exhibited in Hornbake Library September 2013 to July 2014. [1]

Programming[edit]

WMUC-FM is true freeform radio, where the DJs themselves determine the programming of the station. An elected student Program Director assigns weekly timeslots on the station to individual DJs, who are then responsible for programming, hosting, and promoting their respective shows. The schedule changes each semester, with the goal of offering a fresh perspective and diverse lineup of music and talk shows created by students at the University of Maryland.

In 2008, WMUC launched WMUC-2, a separate internet-only radio station which, like WMUC-FM, features freeform music and talk programming. Intended as a "proving ground" for new DJs, WMUC-2 also features programs which may not be appropriate for broadcast under FCC rules.

WMUC also has an active Sports department, which maintains its own website and internet stream at wmucsports.com. WMUC Sports features a regular schedule of talk radio shows as well as on-air play-by-play and color analysis of Maryland sporting events. Calling 10 different sports, WMUC Sports is the primary carrier of Maryland men's soccer, women's basketball, baseball, women's lacrosse, field hockey, and softball.

In the past, WMUC had an active News department, which was integrated with the former Radio Television and Film department at the University of Maryland. WMUC's news programming is now coordinated by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, via the student-produced news segment, Terp Weekly Edition.

Live music[edit]

WMUC has a weekly live music program called Third Rail Radio (named after the electrically charged third rail of the DC Metro system), started in 1996 by Eric Speck. Third Rail Radio hosts many local and traveling independent bands and musicians. In 2004, the program produced a compilation CD of artists who have appeared on the program.

In addition to Third Rail Radio, there are many in-studio performances. In the past, these have included Louis Armstrong, Linda Ronstadt, the Kingston Trio, Don McLean, the Ramones, Duran Duran, and Elliott Smith. Recently, Beach House, Future Islands, Logic, Matt & Kim, King Tuff, Kurt Vile, Vivian Girls, Alvvays, Surfer Blood, and Mitski have performed at WMUC.

WMUC also broadcasts another weekly live entertainment show called DMV Live Radio. Created in January 2011, DMV Live Radio features live music from local artists in the DC metropolitan area.

Current Staff[edit]

  • General Manager: Christopher Bugtong
  • Operations Director: John Kos
  • Program Director: Jack Robinson
  • Business Director: Dean Emerson
  • Music Director: Jane Lyons, Assistant: Shianne Richardson
  • Live Music Director: Sydney Sanial, Assistant: Hope Willis
  • Record Librarian: Meredith Pecukonis
  • IT Director: Mark Newton
  • Promotions Director: David Sexton, Assistant: Emily Walsh
  • Chief Engineer: Kaleb Bordner
  • Recording Studio Director: Mike Houser
  • Community Liaison: Joe Doyle[2]

Notable alumni[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Saving College Radio". www.lib.umd.edu. Retrieved 2015-12-04. 
  2. ^ "Station Staff | WMUC Radio". www.wmuc.umd.edu. Retrieved 2015-12-04.