A committee of members of the communication department and the university administration have been meeting regularly for months to discuss a format change for the campus radio station, 88.5 Jazz FM.
In March of this year, “Captain” Dan Geary, veteran Erie radio personality, took charge of 88.5 Jazz FM in addition to his position managing 1530-AM WYNE on the North East Campus.
Over the summer, Geary migrated the operations of WYNE to the facilities on the Mercyhurst Main campus.
Since about July, WMCE and WYNE have both been operated on the main campus. It was about this time that Geary started entertaining the idea of changing the music format for WMCE.
All student-produced specialty programming will be recorded and produced ahead of time. As of now there are no plans for live, student produced programming.
“All of the jazz programming will be moved online,” said Geary. “88.5 and WYNE will be simulcast playing primarily oldies.”
The simulcast will provide a much wider listener-range, by greatly increasing the reach of the station. In addition, students will have the opportunity to produce and host their own
“specialty programming” playing songs of their choosing.
“We believe that the jazz format has not been able to get students and faculty involved to the level that we would like to see – a format that procures a large amount of listeners provides them with opportunities that are more extensive,” Communication Department Chair Meghan Corbin said.
Currently, three specialty programs are already in the early stages of production. They include sophomore Sarah Mohan’s “Love Songs with Sarah,” senior Brady Greenawalt’s “Brady’s Bargain Basement” classic rock show and “Into the 80’s” by junior Sam Giddings.
Several faculty members also have programming on the station, including Dennis Lebec’s “Choice Cuts.”
The resource of the radio station is not only reserved for communication students.
“All of our communication students should at least have working knowledge of a radio station,” said Corbin. “We hope and anticipate that students and faculty from across the university will want to be involved.”
The station is not just an opportunity for those hoping to be on-air either; it also offers opportunities for people with interests in advertising, business, graphic design and much more. Currently the graphic design department is holding a logo contest for the radio stations re-branding, the first prize is a $50 VISA gift card.
The format change is planned to for Monday, Jan. 7.
For more information on how you can get involved email Dan Geary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brady Greenawalt will be part of the student staff on WMCE.