Change is coming to the Mercyhurst Radio Station, WMCE-FM 88.5. Currently the station operates on an oldies format playing classic music hits. Within the next 12 to 18 months it will transition to a student-managed station.
“The Communications Department has been hearing from students and faculty for a while that they wanted more student involvement in the radio station,” said Brian Sheridan, Communication Department chair.
Mercyhurst has a student-run television station as well as a newspaper under the communication program.
“(The goal) is that the students will utilize the resource for professional experience and for fun,” Sheridan said.
Students have the unique ability to gain important insight into the operations of careers in communications with hands-on learning such as this.
“We hope that students take the opportunity to shape and mold the radio station as they would like it to be,” Sheridan said.
This is a very important aspect to Mercyhurst’s core values and curriculum.
“(President) Michael Victor’s directive was that student dollars need to be spent on students. We looked at the radio station and realized that we really aren’t doing that,” Sheridan said.
Sheridan hopes that different students and faculty members can have their own radio shows to engage the Mercyhurst community.
“At the end of the day we aren’t teaching students to be disc jockeys, but we do want to give them experience with digital media. The live aspect is just a bonus. The goal is education and engagement of our community,” Sheridan said.
The community will not completely lose the oldies music they have come to love.
“The oldies format is listened to by thousands of people in Erie, around the country and around the world,” Sheridan said.
However, fans of the station need not be concerned about losing their favorite station.
“If you like the oldies, it’ll be moved to another station with a stronger signal so more will be able to listen to it,” Sheridan said.
The transition will take about 12 — 18 months to complete.
“We want input from faculty and students. The other radio station that is taking over needs time to start up the new format as well,” Sheridan said.