Following the installation of new music therapy facilities, renovations to Marietta College’s student radio stations, WMRT-FM and WCMO-FM, are also nearing completion. Student programs are set to return this coming semester.
“The initial effect of the music therapy program is that we got to relocate our studios. So they got a facelift, which was much needed,” Marilee Morrow, Associate Professor of Communication, said.
The studios, housed in McKinney Media Center along with the music therapy and television facilities, were inaccessible while construction was occurring this fall. Morrow says the stations remained on air during that time, but did not run any of the student-produced programs that many listeners are accustomed to.
“I’ve actually had community members asking about it,” Morrow said. “They want the local news, the ball games, the political programs on the air.”
Station manager, Ethan Brown, says that many students expressed interest in the program at the beginning of the fall semester, but were denied access as renovations were delayed.
Now, with studios nearly completed, Brown says he’s “itching to get in there.” He hopes the new program (and music recording studio) will attract radio prospects from outside the media department.
“With the introduction of a new program and a bunch of new facilities… hopefully people will see that there’s a lot more going on besides the music therapy program,” Brown said.
In addition to providing music, sports and political coverage, the stations serve as learning tools for students interested in radio broadcasting. Morrow explained the difference between the two stations.
“WMRT-FM is what you’d call a traditional noncommercial station. It runs opera, jazz, news and talk. It also is one that students will do newscasts on [for class],” Morrow said.
“Whereas WCMO-FM is the one that students can do anything they want to do. If they want to do thrash-rock they can do a thrash-rock program. If they want to do plunky country, they can do plunky country.”
Assistant station manager, Angelo Leitner-Wise, emphasized the stations’ effectiveness in teaching professional skills.
“Honestly, just for anyone interested in broadcasting, it’s a very valuable experience. Just to learn and understand the equipment is extremely useful, and I think it’s a very good skill to have on your resume,” Leitner-Wise said.