Wednesday, June 23, 2010

“A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.” - Ibsen

I am so relieved that the local radio-training station, operated under the auspices of the Dartmouth-based subsidiary of the University of Massachusetts (D-UMass) has decided to rev itself back up to actual real-ether broadcasting power. I've decided to print the whole John Hoey-penned press release, punctuation missteps and HTML misses included. It's over-long, superfluously-detailed, and eventually just plain boring. Yet, I understand that in a university public relations setting, one never knows when somebody is going to pull the plug -- and who's going to be offended by omissions -- so you'd best get out as much as practicable when afforded the opportunity. Congratulations, WUMD 89.3 FM!

UMass Dartmouth's radio station -- WUMD 89.3 FM -- has been restored to its full 10,000 watts of power following a 2008 flood that damaged its transmitter. Southeastern Massachusetts' only public radio station will celebrate its revival with a live broadcast of the July 2 UMass Dartmouth Freedom Festival, which will feature music by regional favorites Entrain( ) and Santa Mamba(, as well as the region's most exciting fireworks display.
At full power, the station's signal reaches from the SouthCoast to Greater Boston, Cape Cod and Rhode Island. WUMD is also streamed live on the web at .
The Freedom Festival, an alcohol-free, family-oriented event that is free and open to the public, is made possible by a grant from the Bristol County Savings Bank. The fun begins at 6:15 p.m. A large turnout is expected. Guests are invited to arrive any time after 3 p.m. to find the best available seating. Visitors are encouraged to bring along picnic suppers, lawn chairs, bug spray and blankets to make themselves comfortable. While travelling to the festival and while awaiting the festivities, attendees will be able to tune in to WUMD 89.3 FM to listen to Entrain and Santa Mamba recordings.
"What a great way to re-launch WUMD," said Station Manager Jennifer Mulcare-Sullivan.
"Our station is all about bringing the community together through great music, and that is what the Freedom Festival is about. We hope people tune in to 89.3FM on their way to campus. We promise to help them get in the mood for an
exciting night."In keeping with the University's civic engagement mission, WUMD ( ) has also unveiled a new program schedule that stays true to its roots as an eclectic source of alternative music but adds news and public affairs programming designed to ignite regional dialogue about global issues. The station is also a sub-carrier for the Talking Information Center ( ), which provides news, literature and other information to the blind and vision impaired through specialized equipment.
In addition, the station has begun working with local high schools and the Teen Youth Council of the New Bedford Free Public Library to develop Rock and Roll High School -- a show intended to engage high school students from the region in producing radio programming. The show is expected to hit the airwaves this fall.WUMD ( ) relies on volunteers from the community and the campus to produce much of its local programming. The station is also developing internship and learning opportunities for UMass Dartmouth students interested in all facets of radio, including on-air talent, marketing, technology management, producing, and fundraising. Currently, two dozen students are actively involved in operating the station.Among WUMD's popular music programs produced by community volunteers, alumni, and students:Roots Radical Connection (Reggae), Braziliance (Brazilian music), Music 4 Sunday(Jazz); Big Pile of Bones, Access All Areas and Citibeat (Alternative); Show Tunes in the Afternoon, Root and Branch, and Celtic Stew (Folk); Blitzkrieg and Extreme Aggressions (Metal); and Wreck Time and Fuzzy's Lounge (Hip Hop/R&B). Several additional student-hosted shows are in development and will be launched in September.
The station has also reorganized its news and public affairs programming by rejoining Radio Pacifica( ), a listener-supported community radio network that supplies cutting edge shows designed to stimulate dialogue about human rights, the environment, media and other global issues. Among the recently added shows are: Democracy Now, Free Speech Radio News, Are We Alone, Sierra Club Radio, This Way Out, Law and Disorder, and Wings. WUMD is retaining other public affairs programming, including: Counterspin, The Media Project, Commonwealth Journal (from UMass Boston), and State of the Queer Nation (hostedn by UMass Dartmouth student Adam Lawrence).
"It's exciting to know we're reaching so many people with our new transmitter," said WUMD DJ and program host Adam Lawrence. "Being at full power gives so many more people in the surrounding communities a chance to hear the music and public affairs programming that so many others already know and enjoy. I'm excited at our new ability to share the love with more folks than ever. The more ears, the better! To our existing fan base, I hope you'll enjoy hearing us in a much larger radius, and to our new fans, I say, 'welcome aboard.'"WUMD, meanwhile, is also planning to launch a radio version of UMass Dartmouth Magazine this fall. The print version of the magazine, which features news about the University's economic and social impact, is delivered to 35,000 UMass Dartmouth alumni, faculty, staff, and friends twice per year. The radio version of the magazine will feature interviews with UMass Dartmouth faculty, students, and staff on issues of interest to citizens of the region and state and will run throughout the day and evening. The station will soon be launching an underwriting campaign to support the magazine and other shows.For the full schedule, please visit
On Twitter at 893WUMDFM
On Facebook at WUMD FM 89.3
On MySpace at

Try to emotionally circumvent the MySpace reliquary. I also have no clue as to how UMass and WUMD's new "civic engagement mission" dovetails with the local New Bedford community's annual weekend music festival -- Summerfest -- and a certain Dartmouth businessman's investment in New Bedford's Fourth of July fireworks.
I'm sure that July 2 was the only possible date for this auspicious event (which I'm sure will feature someone handing out anti-choice and Rand Paul literature). I'll have to check to see if there's any hurricanes or anything planned for all of the other weekends in the entire Southcoast Summer.

1 comment:

Unique POV said...

It was Summerfest weekend 2006 when FM91.1 WSMU officially "launched" its new identity, FM89.3 WUMD. I know because I was scheduled at Summerfest and couldn't be at the launch party. That would have made it (possibly?) July 1, or somewhere thereabouts.

Unfortunately, I doubt that the re-launch of the restored signal will mean any renewed interest from the University in helping/maintaining/funding said radio station. Which is a real shame.

Ah well. It's July 4th weekend! Libertie! Egalitie! Fraternitie! Oh, wait.... that's not right, is it?