CMU's WMHW-FM gets power upgrade, now broadcasting at 13,000 watts
Some 35 years ago, Central Michigan University's student-run radio station went on the air, broadcasting with a modest signal of not even 40 watts. As of Sept. 28, the station's power has expanded to more than 351 times that figure.
WMHW-FM, which started in 1972 as a 37-watt station and then operated at 340 watts from 1982 to 2007, has begun broadcasting at 13,000 watts - a far cry from the weak signal that, just a few decades ago, could barely reach the borders of Mount Pleasant. The upgraded signal expands the station's coverage area, which previously was limited to Isabella County but now reaches east to Bay City and Saginaw, north to Gladwin and Harrison, west to Big Rapids, and south to Ithaca.
"The new WMHW will provide an unduplicated program service to a substantial portion of mid-Michigan," said Peter Orlik, CMU School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts director. "A professional operation that happens to be staffed by students, the station looks forward to offering alternative listening opportunities to many more listeners while heightening the training experience for the next generation of radio broadcasters."
WMHW is operated by CMU students under the direct supervision of the BCA school within the College of Communication and Fine Arts. It broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with an alternative rock music format plus several specialty music shows, news and sports programs, and play-by-play coverage of such sports as Shepherd High School football and CMU women's basketball.
"We have primary responsibilities to both the listeners we reach and the students we teach," said BCA associate professor Jerry Henderson, who has served as the station's faculty director since 1981. "This upgrade allows us to offer an alternative program resource to a new, larger listenership and to show our appreciation to decades of students who have provided the base of excellence upon which this power increase is built."