On the ground floor of Bob’s, down a hallway and past a bulletin board littered with radio stickers, lives Colby’s on-campus radio broadcasting office. WHMB, headed by Sam LeFeber ’17, airs a variety of student-run shows all week. Programs range from talk shows and “epic banter” to hour-long classic rock jam sessions. Sometimes, if there is a big event on campus, WHMB will arrange a behind-the-scenes interview with the speaker. With the wide assortment of shows, WHMB’s weekly schedule promises something for everyone.
Leadership for WHMB is divided into two halves: the Music Board and the Executive Board. The Music Board oversees the musical content of the station, while members of the Executive Board work together to organize the day-to-day operations as well as the overall management of the station. Executive Board members are more concerned with the business side of radio affairs than members of the Music Board.
LeFeber is the current president of WHMB. He joined WHMB his freshmen fall after working as a professional DJ during high school. LeFeber loves the strong sense of community built within the station. “WHMB also has an awesome team, and it is a fun group of people to work with. We all love radio and music, so meetings often take way longer than they should since we end up going on tangents or arguing about albums,” LeFeber said. The 2016-2017 academic year marks the first year in many that WHMB has had a full staff, which has impacted the station’s leadership a lot. “I have been able to delegate the majority of the daily operations to the vice presidents so I can focus on larger projects for the station,” LeFeber said of these changes.
This year, the radio station’s larger projects have been centered around the relaunch of underwriting for the station. An underwriting spot is an announcement made on air in exchange for funding. The announcement will typically mention the sponsor’s name or function as an advertisement for the sponsor’s product. WMHB currently has three underwriters, including Mid Maine Chamber of Commerce. Underwriting is a key part of sustaining the station. “[Underwriting] is a really important initiative because it both generates much-needed source of revenue and also allows us to engage with local businesses and community members,” LeFeber said.
With the introduction of free, easily-streamed, high-quality music online, most radio stations face the challenge of retaining listeners. WHMB, too, has struggled with recent shifts in the way people find and listen to music. “The radio is still a really great place to find new music,” Vice President of Programming Aaron Canter ’19 said. College radio provides artists an opportunity to gain exposure that they might not achieve through other, revenue-driven avenues.
However, Canter acknowledged that the biggest challenge for the station will be keeping up with these massive shakeups in the music world. “To respond to the changes in the music industry, we are trying to expand the capabilities of our radio station. We’re introducing the ability to record shows. This will allow people to have an archive of their shows and potentially do podcasts,” Canter explained.
To become involved with WHMB, Colby students can fill out a form on the “Apply for a Show” tab on WHMB’s website (http://www.wmhbradio.org/). All members of the Colby community are encouraged to come by the station.