After three years of trying to extend their range coverage, WVUM will finally be able to upgrade their antenna and transmit how far they can broadcast.
The current transmitter can broadcast in a 15-mile radius. This includes Coral Gables and Miami. With the upgrade, the transmitter will be able to broadcast as far north as Fort Lauderdale and as far south as Florida City, according to senior Alex Zinn, WVUM’s chief engineer.
With the upgrade, the station will be able to reach a 1.5 million more people, which will bring in more advertisers, according to senior Micheal Matthieson, WVUM underwriting director.
“A bigger audience is more appealing to various companies,” Matthieson said. “Hopefully we will be able to attract and secure more sponsors. Getting big corporations allows us to do so much more.”
The station will also be able to make contacts in the new areas and gain access to new artists, venues, and concerts.
The last transmitter upgrade was in 1998, when the station could only broadcast in Coral Gables.
“Right now, compared to other stations, we’re the little kids on the block,” Zinn said. “All of a sudden, we’re going to be competing with commercial stations.”
The station had some difficulty getting approval from the school and finding the money to pay for the equipment.
Because the current transmitter is situated on top of the Hecht Residential College, this upgrade will change the structure of the building. Aside from installing the tower, antenna, and the transmitter, there will also need to be upgrades to power supply systems and connections.
The station received the antenna and tower from a donor who was a part of the radio station in the sixties and now sponsors it.
To raise money for the transmitter, the station has held several fundraisers, including Radiothon, which is an annual weeklong fundraiser where they ask viewers to pledge money to support the station. This year, Radiothon began on April 22. The event will run until Sunday.
The fundraiser includes giveaways for the listener who pledges the most in an hour.
The event will also be distributing giveaway items for the listener who pledges the most money in an hour. For $5, any listener will be allowed to enter the studio to record a sweeper – known as a transition that is played between the songs.
Radiothon will also be hosting the Dubstep Pool Party, which will be taking place Friday at the UC pool. The party will begin at 8 p.m. and will end at midnight.
With fundraising events like Radiothon, the small station will be able to raise sufficient funds to expand and reach a larger audience.
“The further we expand, the greater our knowledge of the underground stuff will expand,” said sophomore Ashley Gonzalez, promotions director elect. “Yes, it’s more pressure, but it’s also great that more people get to hear my voice and music that deserves to be heard over top 40. These are bands that are just as good.”