As the General Manager of WCFM, I am confronted by a variety of questions relating to our campus station. More than any other question, I get “WCFM: what is the number of that again?” (answer: 91.9 FM.). WCFM is back and just beginning its fall semester of broadcasting, so it seems appropriate to give a brief overview of our station as both an introduction to our new freshman class and as a review for everyone else.
WCFM Williamstown is one of the older student groups on campus, having been around since 1941. As far as I know, our most famous alum is Steve Case, as the founder and CEO of America Online. We like to think of him when we advertise our AIM screen name, “WCFM Requests.” Well, not really. But I do think of him when playing cuts off an old mid-’80’s LP called “Best of Williams,” a compilation of student performers and a cappella groups, produced by none other than Mr. Case himself. Our studio is full of surprises, something any WCFM DJ could tell you about. This particular record is one of many. But I digress.
On our schedule, you will find a wide variety of music and talk shows. Most football games are broadcast on Saturday afternoons. (Tune in for hockey and more later in the year). Many of the blank slots (a.k.a. “dead air”) will be taken in the coming weeks as more new DJs are certified. WCFM has the capabilities to broadcast twenty-four hours a day, 7 days a week. Anyone can be a DJ, whether they are a student, staff, faculty member, or town resident. If you are interested in helping us, contact our Personnel Director Rolando Garcia, 02rrg.
Lastly, a word about music. You will hear many songs you recognize and like on WCFM; but as a free-form station, we are not restricted to top forty songs (or any other restriction, for that matter). You’ll actually hear more “pop” music on WCFM than you will on most college stations. Many of us like it too. If that is your interest, I would point you especially toward a pair of Friday afternoon shows ? an ’80’s pop collage (“Wham!”) followed by a healthy dose of classic rock. Fans of last year’s “Chi-Playa Radio” should take note that they can still find R&B on Thursday nights. WCFM is, I suppose, something of a “big tent” when it comes to our programming. Please feel free to make requests.
A lot of great music is being made today, and most of it, you won’t hear on anything but college radio. Examples of this include cutting-edge techno, jazz/funk, dub and experimental indie rock. The reason it is mainly played on college radio is not because of any lack of quality. In many cases, modern commercial radio won’t play something because it doesn’t sound enough like the rest of the music they’re playing.
Don’t shy away from unfamiliar sounds, be they new or old! Turn on, tune in and let your ears enjoy the ride. Nobody tells our DJs what they have to play. They play what they want to hear. And hopefully, you’ll like it too.
Additional information about WCFM Williamstown can be found on our website, http://wcfm.williams.edu, along with an internet server for streaming audio. The request line is ext. 2197, 413-597-2197 everywhere else. Also the AOL Instant Messager screen name “WCFM Requests.”