Maybe you’ve heard it while driving around and scanning radio stations, the commanding voice that announces“88.9 ‘The Impact’ – the music that matters.”
Michigan State University’s student-run radio station (WDBM-FM88.9) broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week from Holden Hall, on MSU’s campus. It has over 100 student volunteers who join the professional staff to provide a wide variety of indie, rock and alternative music. In addition to music programming, the station offers in-depth sports, news and music specialty programs.
“On a slow week, we can get 50 CDs of new music to consider for broadcasting. Some weeks, that can be as many as 100” said Ed Glazer, General Manager of 88.9. The station’s selection process seems to be working; WDBM has been named College Radio Station of the Year eleven times by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. The station has also earned several nominations for National Station of the Year from CMJ (College Music Journal) and mtvU (MTV’s college channel).
As a college station, “The Impact” offers more than just entertainment for the area’s music lovers. It’s also a starting point for MSU students who wish to have a career in the radio or music industry. After learning from the station’s cutting-edge ideas and programming, it’s no wonder that some students leave MSU with the skills and drive to pursue professional careers.
One recent graduate worked for MSU’s public radio station, WKAR, before landing a job with a St. Louis radio station. Two other recent graduates also took their experience into the workforce. One joined National Public Radio after interning with them and now works on the station’s “Tiny Desk Concerts”. The other does promotion for a record label. General Manger Glazer started as a WDBM listener, and went on to become a student volunteer before landing the General Manager position.
“Radio is evolutionary” said Glazer. “We serve our audience by expanding our repertoire of media production.” This includes sports and news programming as well as a YouTube channel where professional production material is posted.
What does the future hold for 88.9 “The Impact?” Glazer noted that the station hopes to offer more online streaming options, giving listeners the chance to hear their favorite specialty programming at any time. Other aspirations include mobile listening options, adding more sports podcasts, and bringing more live musical acts to campus.
If the past is any indication, “The Impact” will continue to offer MSU and the entire East Lansing community noteworthy listening options for years to come.
For more information, to listen online and to check out sports, news and music programming please visit WDBM’s web site.
Photo: Atomic Taco on Flickr