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WMBR Raises $50,000 in Fund Drive; Money to Fund Expansion, Upgrades

By Shang-Lin Chuang
news editor

WMBR 88.1 FM, Walker Memorial Basement Radio, collected over $50,000 during its annual fundraising drive that ended last week.

WMBR has a staff that is comprised of MIT students, staff, alumni, and other community members. For the week of Nov. 1 to 7, donations were solicited over the air.

"The drive is a great success," said General Manager Craig A. Wisneski '97. The money will be used for planned studio expansion and equipment upgrades.

WMBR is licensed to, owned, and operated by the Technology Broadcasting Corporation, whose members are appointed by the president of MIT.

"However, the actual management is in the hands of the general manager and program director, both of whom are MIT students," said Todd Glickman '77, president of the corporation. "They assemble the management team that runs the station from day to day. The corporation acts as the board of directors and oversees the station."

WMBR supported by audience

The basic operating funds, consisting of telephone costs, expendables, and the like, are provided by the Institute, Glickman said.

The capital funds which are used to pay for equipment such as the compact disc machine, microphone, and transmitter comes only from listeners in the fundraiser.

"Our goal was $44,050, half of $88,100," he said. "We were very pleased and appreciative for the listeners' show of support to the radio station.

The station provides 80 programs, "each designed to support a different kind of audience," he said. "The programs vary from rock shows, jazz, sixties, and techno music, to news and talk shows."

"We are definitely one of the most diverse radio stations in the entire area of Boston."

The station can be received as far away as Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

Over 150 people participate in the station. About half of these people participate on the air while the other half do behind-the-scenes work.

Donations help expand station

Earlier this month, WMBR was granted a license by the Federal Communications Commission to increase its power from 360 to 720 watts.

"This is to give a stronger signal to better server our audience," Glickman said. "Especially for the people who live out on the suburbs who will now have a stronger signal."

This power increase was made possible by the contributions raised over the past several years, Wisneski said.

"All of the money we get from listeners goes to projects to improve the station," he said. "The next big project is a new production studio to record live bands better," which will cost about $80,000 and take several years, he said.