On Monday, March 25th, 2019, Hip Hop Director RIZZYSTAYDIZZY visited 88.1FM WMUC College Radio located at the University of Maryland. Read below his six-part series pop-up visits to radio stations in the DC-Maryland area!
18:17 – My father and I got off the green line metro at College Park – University of Maryland. We then hop on a red bus that gives students free rides from the metro to the campus. Once we got to the main bus stop on campus, we were conflicted with either waiting for a bus to go to the dining hall (where WMUC is located) or walking across campus in the cold. After ten minutes of waiting, we decided to foot it across campus to the South Dining Hall. Once got there, we had to go up two flights of stairs and down a couple of long hallways to find where WMUC was.
18:49 – My father and I and were welcomed in open arms by two students who opened the entrance to WMUC. Josh and Jeff were choppin’ it up before they headed into the studio to do their show. In the meantime, I freely walked around the station to see more!
The first thing I noticed was WMUC’s artistic/creative space. WMUC has two on-air room studios: FM: “on-air” & Online: “on digital.” The entrance and lobby are closed to staff (student DJs). They have the “largest collegiate vinyl/lp/record library on the East Coast! There are a recording studio and a large studio space that is used as a practice space (or used to bring in other performers). The rest of their main floor consists of the board members’ office/room spaces.
19:27 – The General (Station) Manager, DJ Lexy Brown arrives and we finally meet! She gives me a formal tour of the station and she expressed both excitement and a sign of relief that we actually linked up. In the three hours I was there, we obviously talked a lot about the station and being in college radio in general.
20:12 – DJ Lexy Brown invited me to sit in her show “Welcome to Your Higher Consciousness.” DJ Lexy Brown’s smooth voice and transition on the boards was super clean. We chatted a bunch on-air and she surprised the listeners by bringing me to do a live mix!
Read more about WMUC below & peep some pictures RSD took!
History & Background of WMUC-FM
“WMUC-FM as we know it today began over 70 years ago on the University campus, mostly broadcasting from residence halls before moving to our current space. There’s a lot of history in there so this is a timeline created by campus historians.”
Broadcasting at 10 watts, the college radio has both simultaneously a presence on-campus and online (or on-digital as they call it). All Public Service Announcements and Google Forms for Program logs are done all online.
How many students / DJs at your station? How does one become a DJ?
“We have around 150 DJs currently broadcasting. We host one open house at the beginning of every semester which attendees can sign-up to receive the application (Google form) then are granted an interview with members of the current Exec Staff. Once they’re brought on (we accept 25-40% of applicants) they go through a training period of shadowing and developing their content.”
There is no class; it is simply an interview process to be an on-air DJ/host. Some DJ’s DJ using Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, YouTube, or Virtual DJ. The way their station is run: Executive board, executive staff, and the general body.
Does your station get enough funding from your university/college?
“We do! Right now we are Student Government Association (SGA)-recognized and apply for funding each month for specific, tangible products and as of late we’ve gotten fully funded thanks to our Business Director who submits the best funding proposals ever.”
What makes your station, your station? | What is your image?
“We really pride ourselves on being completely freeform, save FCC regulations. That translates into being an open space for loooots of different interests and styles. As a drawback, that makes it difficult to really brand the station without missing certain narratives/identities.”
What do you expect your station to look like / sound like / be in the future?
“I want our station to be a launching pad for artists and journalists that connect to the D.C. area and become a hub for getting connected to those resources for a professional career.”
Thanks to current General Manager, Alexya (Lexy) Brown for hosting me! Stay tuned for the blog of the other five DC radio stations RSD visited! — Read more about WMUC above & peep some pictures RSD took!