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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

WUMB: UMass Boston’s public radio station

Dom Ferreira
A Technics receiver sits atop the counter, tuned to 91.9 FM. Photo by Dom Ferreira / Photography Editor

UMass Boston’s Healey Library is home to a public radio station, known as WUMB 91.9 FM to the Boston area. Music and Program Director, Jason Moberg, was willing to sit down and discuss the radio station.

The station was started almost 40 years ago by a group of students. At first, it was only broadcast across campus, but now, General Manager Patty Domeniconi set up multiple signals across the state, so that the station can be heard across Massachusetts. WUMB was actually “the last station in the Metro-Boston area to be granted an FM license from the Federal Communications Commission” (1).

Originally, they only played folk music. Because they are listener-based, they still mostly play that genre, but have branched out into an all-encompassing “Americana” label. This means that they play America-based music, including folk, country, blues and even local, Boston-based artists.

For each song and genre of music played, they make sure to showcase why this specific piece of music is important compared to the whole world of music. That is part of their mission statement: To serve “as a local and national resource for the cultivation, promotion and preservation of various genres of folk music through its radio programming and selected enterprises.” WUMB is doing all they can to make sure folk music stays alive in today’s world.

During the weekdays, there are four rotating hosts, Brendan Hogan, Randi Millman, Albert O and Michelle Briand, with four-hour shows each, as well as two other shows, “The Best of Live at UMB” from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m., and “World Cafe” from WXPN 10 p.m. to 12 a.m., hosted by Raina Douris with Stephen Kallao. Aside from “World Cafe,” they all play similar music, focusing on the previously stated genres. “World Cafe” is a show hosted in Philadelphia and played on public radio stations across the country, showing a first look at emerging artists across many genres.

The weekends provide a variety of exciting shows for listeners to catch. From specialized shows like “Breakfast with the Beatles” and “Highway 61 Revisited,” along with others like “Celtic Twilight,” “Etown,” “American Routes,” and “Folk Tales,” listeners will be sure to find something they like.

WUMB also features podcasts like “The Right Mind Media Podcast,” hosted by Jon Cohan and Gabrielle “Abby” Dean. This podcast is “breaking through the noise to bring you the addiction, recovery and mental health information that matters” (1), an important conversation that needs to be had, especially in today’s climate.

The radio station is also happy to assist any students who are interested in anything relating to audio-editing, broadcasting or production. In previous years, students have either completed an internship or work-study with the station, assisting wherever they’re needed or focusing on a specialized field, like podcasting, for example. Anyone who is interested should email [email protected].

Prospective listeners should check out their website at wumb.org to listen or to look at interesting programs. The station can also be found at 91.9FM in Boston, Worcester, or Falmouth; 91.7FM in Newburyport, Stowe, and Marshfield; 91.5FM in Gloucester; 1170AM in Orleans; and 88.7FM in Milford, New Hampshire. Even if it’s just on in the background while completing homework, WUMB provides a relaxing soundtrack for any activity.

  1. Wumb.org

About the Contributors
Rena Weafer, Editor-in-Chief
Dom Ferreira, Photo Editor