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The radio station at Penn State's Greater Allegheny campus in McKeesport has returned after an absence of several years.
On Monday, WMKP Radio resumed a regular schedule from 12 noon to 6 p.m., a spokesperson said. The station, available at www.wmkpradio.org, operates Monday through Friday.
“We are interested in students who are enthusiastic about radio, eager to learn, able to attend training sessions this winter, and willing to make a commitment to the station,” said Zack Furness, assistant professor of communications and WMKP general manager.
WMKP originally began in 1971 in a makeshift studio made from a simple desk that held equipment with repurposed microphones, used turntables, and egg cartons on the walls to enhance the acoustics.
In 2006, James “Jay” M. Weitzel Jr., a 1974 graduate, donated $25,000 and this allowed the campus to create the station booth in the Student Community Center, which was named in his honor. Weitzel has fond memories of the days he spent at the station.
“The professional equipment is a whole lot better than what we started with, so the station gives students a better introduction to the art of broadcasting,” Weitzel said, “And, as with any student-run organization, you hope that while they’re having fun, the students will develop leadership and other skills that will complement their classroom work.”
The current home for the radio station has gone way beyond egg cartons and vinyl records to provide a commercial-quality broadcast to listeners on the Internet. The booth, overlooking the game room, provides an exciting space for DJs of the 21st century.
The campus is looking for students to get involved with the station who have a passion for music and are interested in learning how to become DJs. One of the station’s hosts is Lauren Antosik, third year corporate communications major. She hosts the program "Tea Time" from noon to 2 p.m. on Mondays. “Being on the radio has helped students break out of their shell and explore their musical and radio interests,” she said. “This is a huge opportunity for those who are interested in radio. It's a fantastic experience that I never even dreamed of. It has become a lot of fun! I absolutely love the fact that I can customize my station and talk about whatever I want to talk about. That's the beauty of radio.”
The station is in need of people interested in becoming news hosts, as well as production assistants who can help create student-centered broadcasts and quality original programs.
In addition, they would love to see some people involved who might be interested in developing public affairs programs focused on the region, as well as music or news shows hosted in languages other than English.
Originally published February 03, 2016.