Written by Patrick Scriven
This summer, WSMC radio station announced that it would be brought under the administration of the School of Journalism and Communication (SJC). The changeover, planned for this fall semester, is expected to provide students with increased academic opportunities as well as professional hands-on experience.
Scott Kornblum, general manager of the station since 2009, is excited about the range of opportunities the transition will bring to students from various departments.
“The transition to the SJC umbrella is a big deal,” Kornblum said. “Not only will more students be able to get involved with WSMC through projects, internships, and practicums, but the station will be infused with all of that new energy and fresh ideas about how to delight and serve our listeners even more.”
Rachel Williams-Smith, dean of the SJC, also expressed excitement for the potential of these programs.
“The SJC has always been strong on the practical side of things, and this adds yet another chance for students to gain experience,” She said.
The wide range of student opportunities is not limited to the SJC. According to Williams-Smith, in an effort to boost student engagement, the School of Music plans to encourage its majors and minors to host programs and to share original pieces over the air.
The 100,000 watt station reaches up to 25,000 weekly listeners and remains the only classical music station in the Chattanooga area. Kornblum sees the SJC integration as a “huge opportunity to increase awareness of WSMC across campus.”
Junior mass communication major Cameron Reel is one of many students eager to see what the station has in store.
“We have a full-blown radio station here on campus, and I don’t even know what happens there,” Reel said. “I really want to learn more about the inner workings of the radio station, and I feel like this is a really great opportunity for me to do so.”
When asked about the student-station relationship, Kornblum added, “Those students are our lifeblood, and our audience forms relationships with them…The potential for integration and collaboration across campus is virtually unlimited.”