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  • Xavier Suggs

Mountain Radio and Student Involvement

Xavier Suggs

Student-run radio stations are a staple on campuses around the country, and quiet Emmitsburg is no different. Broadcasting 24 hours a day seven days a week out of Lower McGowan Hall, WMTB, 89.9 FM is Mount St. Mary’s University’s go-to radio station led by students and faculty.

 Randall Gray stated in an interview how this is a program primarily run by students. This number changes each semester. Right now, the program is composed of 35 students and four faculty members.

All students are welcomed no matter their field of study here at the Mount. There are a variety of majors that are involved such as biology, history, communications and even seminarians who broadcast. WMTB is a historic institution at Mount St. Mary’s. It’s first airing was in 1969. This made it one of the longest running student organizations on campus.

Professor Edward Egan was a broadcaster at Mount St. Mary’s as an undergraduate during WMTB’s infancy. In an interview, he described the changes he’s seen with the station during his time at the Mount. Egan stated, “When I started as a student it was an AM station and the radio station was in what is now the little chapel, our Lady of Lords Chapel on the terrace. Back when it was an AM station I think you could only hear it on campus.”

Switching to an FM station allowed the radio to broadcast around Emmitsburg and to the greater Fredrick-area. Throughout the many years while being heard in not only Emmitsburg and Frederick was an accomplishment, but they have achieved the ability of being heard by the world.

Egan now host a two-hour radio block in which he shares his love of traditional Irish music with students and residents in Fredrick. His favorite part of hosting is interacting with some of the musicians he’s played during his show. “I’ve been playing a band on the radio, and I’ll get a Facebook message from somebody in the band in Ireland or touring the US saying, ‘Thanks for play our stuff,’” Egan shared his enjoyment, excitement, and passion behind it.

WMTB provides valuable hands-on experience for students whether they are looking to pursue a career in broadcasting. If not, they can participate for fun. It is another way for students to be involved on campus and make an impact outside of it.

Mount alum Nick Baquero (C’24) says WMTB helped him prepare for his career in marketing. Baquero joined WMTB during his sophomore year at the Mount to find a way of expressing himself. Baqyero states, “It was a way of steeping out of my comfort zone.” He enjoyed the freedom and variety the station provided him. He was able to host a talk show, podcast or just display his playlist.

Baquero is now a marketing analyst and described the skills he transitioned from WMTB to his career. He says, “Now working on social media, it helped me adapt to something that was very new to me.” WMTB helped Baquero be versatile in his work, “I’m able to work with people who do radio station, who do TV.” Baquero explained how WMTB helps foster a connection between Mount students and Fredrick residents. Baquero shared a story in his interview where he was recognized at a local Boba shop for his contributions to the radio. With excitement he said, “This old lady had come up to me. She asked, ‘Are you Nick Baquero?’ and I was like yeah.” Baquero continued, “She was like ‘I tune in every Sunday at 12 O’clock for your show.’”

Both Egan and Baquero admitted they were nervous when they first started hosting but emphasized it gets easier after a few broadcasts.

When WMTB isn’t airing live shows the station plays preprogrammed music. This consists of hip-hop, jazz, pop and country. If you’re interested in getting involved with WMTB, 89.9, you should contact Dr. Randall Gray, the radio station manager.


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