Sunday, July 15, 2012

UMass Boston Radio Station Extends its Transmitter Network to New Hampshire

Let's get this straight. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is funding legal costs (FCC license filing) infrastructure improvements and ongoing maintenance (the transmitter) in order to broadcast AAA pop music produced by a professional staff of Massachusetts employees originating from studios owned by the state located at UMass Boston that will be heard only by residents of New Hampshire?

From Towards Independent College / Community Radio WUMB, published  Sunday, July 15, 2012 at 9:26am 

The WUMB Empire Strikes New Hampshire

Unsupported by the informaiton in its "RECEPTION"* area (which omits the Stow (added 2011) and Marshfield transmitters (added 2012), as well as leased WPNI faciltiy), the WUMB empire has expanded to a state far, far away, New Hampshire. 

Announced by Naomi Arenberg ("Fill-In Announcer, currently on Sunday morning's Acoustic Sunrise" -, the expansion is unsupported by neither a home page "WUMB HAPPENINGS" announcement nor mention in its blog - (last entry, "Remembering Doc", May 30, 2012), not even a mention in its official Facebook page, WUMB Radio Network -,
WUMB is now broadcasting from Milford, New Hampshire.

From information available in, WUMB's transmitter newtork now consists of:
91.9fm WUMB (600 watts, Dorchester)
91.9fm WBPR (370 watts, Worcester)91.9fm, WFPB (6000 watts, Falmouth) 
91.7fm WNEF (1000 watts, Newburyport)
91.7fm WUMG (660 watts, Stow)
91.7fm WUMT (1000 watts, Maarshfield)
88.7fm WUMV ( 670 watts, Milford, NH)1170am, WFPB (6000 watts, Falmouth) 
1430am WPNI (5000 watts daytime, 11 watts nighttime, Amherst; it is not clear if WUMB's leasing/use of this station continues, two years ago it was to have been a short-term arrangement)

But according to the WUMB "signal coverage map" the radio network is currently comprised of five radio transmitters

  • WUMB heard on 91.9 fm in greater Boston
  • WBPR heard on 91.9 fm in greater Worcester
  • WFPB heard on 91.9 fm in greater Falmouth, Martha's Vindyard, Nantucket, Southeastern MA, and Eastern RI
  • WNEF heard on 91.7 fm in greater Newburyport
  • WFPB AM heard on 1170 AM in greater Orleans and Nantucket


The growth and secrecy growth begs answers:
1. If WUMB is so proud of its out-of-state expansion, why are the Stow, Marshfield, Ahmerst and now New Hampshire transmitters not being shared with the public via its blog and website?
2. Why is the license holder, the University of Massachusetts, allowing brining on line a new OUT OF STATE transmitter? Are there no better uses of taxpayer funds for the Boston campus, Massachusetts residents are better served by providing New Hampshire citizens free radio?
3. Milford, New Hampshire is 60 miles from UMass Boston, but only 24 miles from UMass Lowell. If Massachusetts had some logical reason to be providing free radio service to another state, wouldn't it be logical that the coverage area of the closest UMass radio station, WUML, be selected? 
4. How much did this boondoggle cost - what are the associated costs (license application and transfer fees, legal fees, site acquisition, site work, upgrade, maintenance, etc.)?
5. What is the reason for a "network" beyond the Dorchester campus? Are transmitters on Cape Cod, Newburyport, Metro West, Worcester, South Shore and now out of state needed to service the UMass Boston students when they are away from campus?
6. Why have the fiscal conservatives not been vocal in opposition to this ever-expanding network, first with in-state transmitters and now out-of-state?

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