A triumph for music lovers across Miami-Dade County, the Federal Communications Commission approved a request made by WVUM “The Voice” that will double the station’s range, providing music, news and sports programming to the entire county.
Beginning in January a new directional antenna, funded by a donation from a WVUM alumnus, will increase the listening radius from the current 14 miles to about 28, which means the signal will carry to the north and south ends of the county.
“There’s still a lot left to the process,” said Melanie D’Andrea, the station’s general manager. “We have to work out all the engineering aspects, but the changes should be final in January. This is such an incredible opportunity… we’re going to reach so many new ears, and a lot of the people that tune in online.”
The signal expansion comes at a time when the station is trying to recover from a technological mishap from earlier this semester. “The Voice” hopes to roll out a new Web site next year after an anonymous Turkish hacker wreaked havoc on its online operation.
“We aren’t sure if it was security errors or if it was the intrinsic nature of the server,” said WVUM’s faculty advisor, Paul Driscoll. “The attacks have been stopped and the staff is on top of the problem. The stream is back up, and that’s the most important thing.
A temporary site, which still includes the popular live streaming feature, has been put up while the station builds a new site from the ground up.
According to D’Andrea, there was no apparent reason why the site was targeted.
WVUM 90.5 FM, the official radio station of the University of Miami, was founded in 1968, and is fully student-run and operated. Its main office and broadcast station are on the first floor of the University Center. Aside from covering sports, the station is best known for its focus on Miami’s underground music scene.
Due to its popularity, WVUM has been selected “Best FM station in Miami” by the Miami New Times for three of the last four years.
The team remains optimistic, with all the positive changes on the horizon, 2010 looks like a year of growth for “The Voice.”
“We have a North Star,” D’Andrea said. “And the cohesiveness of the group has shown through all of this that no amount of technical difficulties are going to keep us from delivering to our listeners.”