Monday, July 23rd, 2018

A look back at WMPG and sports on the airwaves

Posted on February 23, 2016 in Sports
By USM Free Press

Archive Issue

By Nick Beauchesne

A college radio station, at its best, offers a platform for individuals to express themselves and communicate to a wider audience by means of broadcasting.

WMPG has been a staple of the USM community for over 40 years -stretching back to when it first hit the airwaves in 1970. Since that time, the station has worked its way into the collective Husky consciousness, providing experiences and opportunities to thousands of students, faculty and community members that have found their way either behind the glass or on the dial.

In the fall of 1998, WMPG began its second year offering the university sports program, a series of trainings placing student-athletes on air that provided them with the experience necessary to pursue a career in sports radio. The students that participated in these trainings, once properly equipped with the tools and techniques required to operate on air, continued on to cover various USM sporting events live and on the radio.

“WMPG has had several sports programs throughout its history,” said Lisa Bunker, the radio station’s program director for the past 14 years.

Although WMPG does have an extended history of working with USM athletics in this regard, the station does not currently cover campus athletics, and hasn’t for some time now. This is the result of a mutually-beneficial agreement between WMPG and the athletic department on campus

The USM office of Athletic Media Relations, headed by co-assistant directors B.L Elfring and Christina Cracolici, now covers all on-campus athletic events. Media Relations provides live coverage on the radio, box- scores and game write-ups immediately following the various events.

This specialization of resources, headquartered on the Gorham campus, serves the dual purpose of providing the USM community with quality sports coverage, while freeing up WMPG to offer airtime to those volunteer hosts that have been the station’s staple since the 1970’s.

“The games that we used to cover would preempt our regular programming. The volunteers that had shows scheduled for Saturday night, when there was a game, had a right to run their program,” said Bunker.

So now, in the year 2016, the USM community gets the best of both worlds: The athletic department provides timely and thorough coverage of the school’s sporting events, while WMPG continues to offer the chance for those interested in radio to, as Bunker said, “find their voice.”

With the continual progression of media, it will be interesting to see what type of programming is offered in the next 18 years. One thing can be safely assumed though: WMPG will be there, and the university will be better for it.

 

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