Personal

Briefly back on the “radio”

I got to be on the “radio” briefly recently.

My alma mater’s radio station, WMHD, gave up its broadcast license several years ago. But it continued streaming online, fully automated, with a skeleton crew.

On WMHD in 1989

In the last couple years a new generation of students realized they could make something much more of their online stream. They’ve revitalized the online “station” with new studios and office space. It’s down the hall from the original space. The original studios and office have been removed and that space repurposed. The school also repainted the entire floor, which means the giant WMHD logo I painted on the wall in 1988 is finally gone.

About a year ago, current General Manager Katana Colledge found my posts about WMHD here and reached out via my contact form. We’ve corresponded ever since, me telling my old WMHD stories and Katana telling me all the great stuff the station is working on.

They’ve continued their stream, but have improved the software that runs it for better sound quality. They have also returned to having some DJs, but rather than them being live as back in my day they all prerecord their shows and queue them up in the stream for the right time. They also upload those shows to Mixcloud; see them here. You’ll also find several shows from the old days there, including all of my shows that I recorded.

WMHD has also added a podcast recording room, offers guitar lessons, and holds jam sessions for students, staff, and faculty. They also bring their DJ equipment to campus events and provide music. Or at least they did before COVID-19 paused it all; they’re finding creative ways to stay connected with students online now.

As Katana told me all about it, I could feel the same level of excitement and commitment as students had in my time. That energy has waxed and waned over the years. It’s great to see it back.

The station put together a show to relaunch WMHD, and asked a few alumni to choose three songs and introduce them. I was one of those alumni! Here is the entire launch show. My intro and three songs begin a few seconds before the 40 minute mark.

Go here to read my alma mater’s news story about the relaunch, in which I’m quoted!

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13 thoughts on “Briefly back on the “radio”

  1. Michael says:

    I see they have a lot more shows on Mixcloud than the Archive section of their site. My last shifts as a student were just a few months after your 1/30/92 show (forgot you did Thursday nights). I wish there was a way to sort or search their feed as it will get unwieldy once they upload more.

    • I wrapped up my time on WMHD shortly after that 1/30/92 show. I just felt like I’d done all I could so on WMHD and said goodbye.

      Yeah, it will become impossible to find anything on Mixcloud after a while.

  2. How fun! It is cool to see a new generation pick this up and put its own stamp on it. And Lake Street Dive – an excellent choice.

  3. I guess that college radio stations are a thing of the past, but maybe the internet can revive some of them like yours. I enjoyed the article and your blog post!

    • Thanks! The great thing is, anybody can start an Internet “radio station.” I know a couple who did it out of their home in Plainfield. It looks like great fun!

  4. Glen B says:

    I worked in radio in the ‘80’s.
    Once you catch the radio bug, you never can get rid of it.
    How can you tell?

    Dub-ya is like fingernails on a chalk board

    You talk up the intro in the car and smile when you hit the post

    When a game goes to a 10 sec ID, and you do it and hit the post.

    I still have the bug! LOL

    • Aww yiss. I get you brother. It’s DOUBLE-YOU. I about come out of my chair when I hear someone say dubba-you, and I turn off the radio when I hear dubya.

      I used to backtime like a boss!

  5. Aaron Gold says:

    Nice! I was on my “cable current” community college station (in other words, we didn’t have a transmitter), WMCC. When I got to my four-year school, the requirements for the college station, WBSU, were pretty strict, and I don’t think the program director cared much for my aircheck.

    So I got a job at a commercial station in the city, the short-lived 106.7 WMAX (“Progressive rock for the 90s!”) At first I had the midnight to 6 am weekend shift, but eventually I got 6pm to midnight, which was way cool on a Saturday because my friends could hear me (and I never was much for partying on Saturday nights).

    Happily I never had to worry much about backtiming, because we were “all about the music” and our PD liked us to let the music play and not talk over the tunes.

    Those were great times.

    • My time on WMHD was wonderful, just great fun. I also enjoyed my time in pro radio. I did two years on an AM station that played adult standards and had news on the hour, and then two more years on an FM rock station that sounds more like your progressive rock station. Here’s one of my FM airchecks:

      • Aaron Gold says:

        I gotta find some of my old aircheck tapes. Meanwhile, just imagine in your best Columbia School of Broadcasting voice…

        “Gooooooooood MOR-nin,’ Rochester, 69 degrees and sunny skies, looks like another beautiful Western New York weekend, here’s REO Speedwagon, POW!”

        Well, not exactly, but you get the idea.

  6. I have some of my shows from ’92 (the year I graduated, the year I discovered that being a GM of a radio station was like herding cats, and the year I discovered I wasn’t so good at it…). (God bless TDK SA90s.) I must say that it was Jim who taught me backtiming and “double-you.” To this DAY, I just can’t say “dubya,” unless I’m referring specifically to a past president.

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