By Ryan Fitzgerald & Taylor Ritchie – Co-Editor-in-Chief & Contributing Writer
After years of waiting and persistence from Dr. Brian Wardyga, the Lasell College Radio Club (LCR) is now broadcasting on FM station 102.9 WLAS. LCR broadcasts on the low power station Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. This change brings more legitimacy to the club according to Wardyga, who works as LCR club advisor.
“This is good for new students,” said Wardyga. “[We are] more legitimate now and students like it.” The station has seen its highest amount of listeners during athletic games.
According to Wardyga, the club originally wanted their call letters to be WLCR but had to settle with WLAS. The satellite signal reaches from Brookline (East) to Natick (West) and Belmont (North) to Dover (South). It was always a major goal of Wardyga’s to take the radio station to FM since he began working at the college. “[I] worked against all odds to make it happen,” said Wardyga.
The FCC opens a short window for new radio stations to join the FM frequency and there is no guarantee with low power radio. Wardyga received news around 2011 of an opening, talked to Deborah Gelch, Chief Information Officer in the IT department, who funded the program and hired a consultant to switch frequencies. Against many odds, LCR won the bid to switch frequencies.
“[This gives us] a whole new audience-the general public,” said Wardyga. “There have been people from the community calling in and wanting to join the station, three people of an older generation have come on the station and brought a more diverse selection of music.” The change gives LCR the opportunity for more community involvement.
The club now offers internship opportunities as well. Michael Gordon, who attends school in New York, was the first participant this past summer. Gordon was in charge of all jobs including social media, news and music. “[I] wanted to keep the station afloat during the summer, especially since we are switching to FM,” said Wardyga. Maintaining relationships with promoters and record labels is also important. Lasell senior Michelle Port is the intern this semester.