44 years ago Howard Allen was attending USM, then known as UMPG, and was instrumental in creating WMPG! Thanks Howard! On 4/23/14 we had a live broadcast event and community gathering to celebrate the station’s 40th Birthday. Howard attended and was interviewed by WMPG Program Director Jessica Lockhart. Listen in as he explains how WMPG went from the rebel pirate radio station broadcasting with a Mr. Microphone, a converted washing machine for a control board and a turntable which allowed him to stack records so he could go to class to the national award winning community radio station supported and celebrated by many in the Southern Maine area. Enough of this, have a listen to Howard Allen!
Here is the simple description straight from everyone’s favorite source…Wikipedia!
WMPG is a community radio station broadcasting from Portland, Maine. It is located on Bedford Street at the University of Southern Maine Portland Campus. It is affiliated with the college, and a mix of USM students and volunteers from the greater Portland community produce all the music and local public affairs programs. It broadcasts 4.5 kilowatts on 90.9 (licensed to Gorham, where the main campus of USM is located) and can be heard as far north as Augusta, Maine and west into New Hampshire. It broadcasts streaming online 24/7 and the programming guide and contact info is available at their website along with a large number of archived programs.
The station features diverse programming ranging from rock to jazz to foreign to local or global issues, and more. Programs include Local Motives featuring live, in-studio performances from local bands; Blunt Youth Radio Project; Safe Space Radio, a weekly half-hour talk show about the subjects we would struggle with less if we could talk about them more; New Mainers’, a program where new community members are interviewed about their personal experiences in their home countries and how they are doing here as “New Mainers”.
WMPG originally went on the air as a carrier current station in 1970 before becoming a licensed station in 1973 on 91.1 MHz with 10 watts of power. In 1988 the station upgraded its signal to 1.11 kilowatts and shifted frequency to 90.9 MHz. A 50 watt translator on 104.1 MHz located on Portland’s Munjoy Hill went on the air in 1999. In 2008 WMPG was granted a construction permit to increase power to 4.5 kilowatts and move transmitting facilities from the Gorham campus of the University of Southern Maine to Blackstrap Mountain in Falmouth. After a lengthy fund-raising effort and a $120,000 US Department of Commerce grant WMPG started broadcasting from the new transmitter site on December 14, 2011. The 104.1 translator was later sold to MPBN in 2016.