News

WVUM unveils new transmitter

Dean Gregory Shepherd (second from right) of the School of Communication assists in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for WVUM’s new transmitter on Friday afternoon. Nicholas Gangemi // Contributing Photographer 

Robert Mann, the first on-air manager for WVUM, stood among several other alumni and students who partook in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for WVUM’s new transmitter Friday afternoon.

Mann, who attended UM when the station was permanently launched in September 1968, worked with other students for three years to get approval from the Federal Communications Commission.

Mann said that around that time, the station could only broadcast from Kendall Drive to Downtown Miami.

“Everyone wanted contemporary when we passed out student surveys,” he said. “We played the Beatles, the Beach Boys, as well as progressive music like acid rock and underground, which is similar to what they have now. Right now, they have huge potential to reach a lot of people, learn about broadcast and be representative of the university because it is still ‘the voice’ of the University of Miami.”

The new transmitter, which has been in the making for five years and went into full power on Oct. 2, allows the station to double its range to a 30-mile radius in all directions from Coral Gables. With this upgrade, the station has the potential to reach up to 1.5 million more people, general manager Savanna Stiff said.

“We’ve always had a strong following in the Miami community, and this is a good way to give back,” said Stiff, a senior. “We get complaints all the time about people driving and then losing the signal. We’re a legit radio station. We reach thousands of people a day, and we’re happy we can reach them without our signal being shaky.”

The new transmitter is located at the top of Hecht’s Pentland tower and is the first upgrade to WVUM since 1998.

The ceremony took place  last Friday during Homecoming week. To celebrate, the station featured alumni programming and brought together several generations of WVUM alumni to honor the station’s growth.

“This was something we worked on when I was here,” said Mike Diaz, a former office manager for WVUM who graduated in 2011. “This is an important illustration of what kind of entity WVUM has become. When I was a student, I felt the station didn’t get a lot of respect and I think it’s demanding it now.”

The initial efforts to upgrade the antenna were led by UM alumnus Richard D. Buckley, a graduate in 1960. He began as a DJ at WVUM and went on to become president and CEO of Buckley Broadcasting Corporation, which includes 20 radio stations throughout the United States. After his death in 2011, Nick Verbitsky, CEO of United Stations Radio Network, took up the cause and made a donation for the new antenna.

“It was a long process to put up a new transmitter,” said Paul Driscoll, vice dean of the School of Communication and the station’s faculty advisor. “Everyone has been wonderful – alumni, donors, academic departments, Pat Whitely’s office. They never said no to the students, and that’s the most thrilling thing to me.”

October 21, 2012

Reporters

Ashley Martinez

Ashley Martinez is a senior majoring in journalism and psychology, which have sharpened her people-watching skills. She has worked as a staff writer, copy editor, assistant editor and is now the Edge arts and entertainment editor at The Miami Hurricane. She serves as the president of UM's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Her work has been featured in The Hurricane, Distraction Magazine, The Communique, Gables Home Page and The Miami Herald. When she's not working on a story, she loves going to the theatre and singing show tunes.


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

UM was very fortunate that junior linebackers Shaquille Quarterman, Mike Pinckney and Zach McCloud a ...

Hard Rock Stadium will be filled with Miami fans — and probably only Miami fans — when the two colle ...

They made school history on Sunday with a nationally-televised road upset of No. 2 Louisville, and o ...

Mark Walton, the former University of Miami star football player and current Cincinnati Bengal, was ...

Don Chaney Jr. says his recruitment is over and the way he talks about the Miami Hurricanes, it’s ea ...

Researcher Rebecca Bulotsky Shearer is leading a study aimed at increasing the number of kids who ar ...

UM alumna Alina Mayo Azze, who has covered a myriad of topics during her 37-year career, has been a ...

Happiness and well-being scholar Tal Ben-Shahar is UM’s newest Distinguished Presidential Scholar. ...

The University of Miami will host the first symposium to explore LGBTQ human rights across the Ameri ...

UM experts react to a new ban that prohibits people in Key West from using certain types of sunscree ...

The No. 20 Miami women's basketball team stormed back from a 14-point deficit to pick up the bi ...

Hours after garnering espnW National Player of the Week distinction, Emese Hof of the Miami women ...

For the second straight Monday, a member of the Miami women's basketball team has earned a nati ...

Brian Van Belle struck out five over six shutout innings to help the Canes sweep Rutgers on opening ...

The No. 25-ranked University of Miami golf team moved up two spots on Monday's leaderboard at t ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.