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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

WUMB Wins Award For Membership Donations

Some of those who helped make it happen
(from left toe right) Dave Goldberg, WUMB Manager Pat Monteith, and Julianna Campos.
Some of those who helped make it happen

It came as a complete surprise and it made WUMB manager Pat Monteith both ecstatic and proud.

Folk radio station WUMB, which located in the Healey Library on the campus of UMass Boston, won the top award in the “Membership” category” for all public radio stations at a luncheon held in Philadelphia. Approximately 300 radio stations from around the country were on hand. National Public Radio (NPR) and Development Exchange Incorporated sponsored the event, which was held at the Loew’s Hotel.

“It took me a while to realize that we had won the award,” Monteith said with relish. “Carl Kasell, who is host on NPR, presented the award for the membership category. He started talking about the station that won the award, but I didn’t think that he was talking about us. He said, ‘The station that won the tier one membership award is in a market with a total of three stations.’ I said to myself, ‘Oh, well that’s us.’ I started to sit upright in my chair. Then he started to say something else (about the station that won the award) and I thought, ‘Wait a minute. That ‘s not us.’

“But he said one thing,” continued Monteith, “that I remember particularly, that it makes it even more difficult when the program format is entirely different from everything else in the public radio system. That confirmed it in my mind that we were in fact the winner. I jumped out of my seat for joy. Everybody at my table started laughing.”

The radio station applied for two awards: one for the regular membership program and the other was for major donations, which was for donations $1000 and above. The pool for the regular membership category fielded more submissions than any other category, over a total of one hundred, making the competition was tight.

Although WUMB came up empty for the major donation, winning the membership more than made Monteith’s day. What made it even sweeter was the fact that it had been nearly a decade since WUMB submitted an application for an award.

“It was the first time in nine years because it was the first time that I felt that we had something competitive. It was the first time that we had seen substantial growth in membership. It’s been a real concerted effort by the staff,” said Monteith, whose voice rang with pride. The Membership department at WUMB comprises of a membership coordinator, Patrice Devin, (who is currently on leave) and about eight students that attend classes at UMass Boston.

Monteith chuckled at the fact that the two other public radio stations in Boston, WGBH and WBUR, did not go home with a single award. Playing third fiddle is often frustrating and Monteith took no small joy that WUMB scooped up recognition in front of the two local public radio giants.

Monteith already has goals to beat what the station accomplished this past year. New initiatives, along with proven tactics, will hopefully help surpass the listener revenue for this year. She plans to have an e-mail newsletter sent to listeners on a scheduled basis. This approach would be a more proactive way of informing listeners about the events and happenings surrounding the radio station. Such a means of dissemination of information might also be productive in soliciting donations.

The second goal is to create a members-only page on the WUMB website. The page would contain such privileges as interviews with musicians, placed in an archives section.

About the Contributor
Jason Campos served as The Mass Media staff for the following years and positions: Editor-in-Chief: 2003-2004; Managing Editor: 2002-2003; and Sports Editor: 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2003-2004 Disclaimer: Years served is based on online database and may not detail entire service.