WMXM 88.9 FM expands listening radius

Thanks to new equipment and some elbow grease, the College’s radio station has expanded its listening area, covering almost all of Lake County and beyond.

The signal for WMXM has had its ups and downs over the years. We are now operating with the widest broadcasting range in the history of the station, which gives us one of the largest potential audiences in college radio in the U.S. We can now be heard throughout almost the entirety of Lake County, and into some of the surrounding counties.

Driving up from the south, you will begin to pick up WMXM somewhere around Willow Road, and we can be heard into Waukegan (and beyond?). The signal is very much pushed toward the west, and one could listen in all the way to Lake Zurich. (gaps in the signal may occur near high-power lines and in ravines; this is normal for FM broadcasts) We encourage you to listen in at home, in your office, or in your car.

I’ll give you a couple moments as you run (don’t walk) to set your radio presets (car, home, lear jet) to 88.9 FM.

 

WHAT WE ARE AND WILL REMAIN:

The programming philosophy at WMXM remains the same as it was before the signal expansion. We provide programming that cannot be heard elsewhere on the radio in our broadcasting range. A normal day of programming at WMXM finds djs exploring the words of international music, heavy metal, reggae, punk rock, and independent rock music. We also proudly provide expert coverage of Lake Forest College athletics, and our news team supplies listeners with news updates at least twice per day.

 
HOW DID THE SIGNAL EXPANSION HAPPEN?:

As you can probably imagine, the credit for this tremendous expansion project should be distributed amongst numerous groups and individuals:

First (and most important): I must call attention to the students who have led WMXM in the last five years. WMXM is, and will remain, a student-run organization, and the executive board of WMXM is the first group to thank for this significant improvement in the station.

Second: the staff in Facilities Management were closely involved in every step of this expansion project. Without them, there would be nothing. In particular, Tommy Zorc proved valuable and unflappable (even on the roof of Young Hall, even with me yapping at him). Rob Closs and his crew took little time to adjust the production studio, and they did an impressive job. Dave Siebert can be counted on at all times to know how to get things done.

Third: Linda Mathiesen in LIT arranged the hookup between studio and transmitter. I have now learned to trust her with the job of taking incomprehensible technical specifications for phone lines and making them work, in a matter of days.

Fourth: Esteban Reyes figured out how to make the data lines for this oddball project function properly. What’s really impressive is that he did this despite by blathering and my stories about how I came really close to meeting Kurt Cobain.

Fifth: One alumnus, John Hogan (LFC ’79) just happens to be the President and CEO of Clear Channel radio. He is a big believer in LFC, and arranged for WMXM to receive numerous pieces of equipment that were necessary for this expansion. John’s generosity and belief in his alma mater were prime movers in this project.

Sixth:  Local broadcast engineer/phenom Peter Femal figured out how to do this job for cheap, but his emphasis always remained on finding high quality. When he cast about for someone to build the tower, he found the best person for the job, a legend in the world of radio tower construction, Rich Wood (LFC ’72), who (by pure coincidence) built the last tower on top of Young Hall.