September 22, 2015

WOAS-FM still evolving

The All School Reunion held this past summer was a great event.  There is never a better time for alums from all across the map to return home and show their families their roots.   Former WOAS-FM DJ Tom Dean did just that when he dropped by with his lovely wife Melissa.  Not only was he able to show her where he first got the radio bug, but he asked a lot of questions about the station’s current operations and caught up on some of the more recent Ontonagon news.  

    We have had a lot of talented DJs pass through our studios over the years.  Some have gone off to college and gotten involved in various campus radio operations.  Tom is one of our favorite sons because once he had his foot placed firmly on the lowest rung of the radio career ladder, he started a long, steady climb to the top of his profession.  When he and Melissa departed after their reunion visit, he promised that he would send us a synopsis of his career highlights so we could do a little more expansive article about his career.

    Tom had contacted me a few years ago after checking out the station web site and to catch up a bit when he was working in Cincinnati.  At that time, he had offered to help us anyway he could.  He set us up with some record company contacts that are still sending us new music and  he repeated his generous offer this past summer, “If there is anything I can do to help you, just say the word.”

    Thanks to the help of REMC-1 intern/MTU student Stephen Radachy, we now have a stable web platform that includes both streaming audio and video from the WOAS-FM studios.  As a 10 watt radio station, WOAS-FM’s broadcast radius is limited to about 20 miles depending on what terrain lay between our tower and the listener’s radio.  Having a stable web presence at www.woas-fm.org extends our reach a little further.  To paraphrase the ZZ Top lyric, we are not only, ‘bad and nation-wide’, we are now ‘bad and world-wide’.  I am not trying to freak out our new DJs when I tell them, ‘remember, you may have someone in Australia watching and listening to you right now,’  I am just telling them the truth.

    WOAS-FM’s day schedule is populated by student volunteers who give up some of their school day to learn the art of radio broadcasting.  Our evening schedule is a mixture of live and syndicated shows that air until our sign off which typically happens somewhere around midnight.  Our pool of long time evening DJs has dwindled and we have openings any night of the week for anyone who would like to share music.  No previous experience is necessary, only an interest in sharing music with others.  It is a wonderful thing to be able to learn radio broadcasting from the ground up and on the air because nothing blows up if one makes a mistake.  We have all made our share of bloopers on the air, but that is part of the charm of doing radio live without a net.

    If you are interested in trodding the same halls that Tommy BoDean did when he started out (Tommy BoDean being Tom Dean’s radio identity), please contact me or simply drop by and say hello.  My e-mail address is ken@oasd.k12.mi.us and my phone number is 906-813-0614 Ext 109.  If you don’t want to be on the air but would like to support our all volunteer operation, we are a tax deductible organization owned and operated by the Ontonagon Area Schools.  As always, the best way to support us is to listen in at 88.5 FM or join us at www.woas.fm.org .