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Making (Air) Waves

10 September 2003
City Newspaper

by Ron Netsky

If you’ve had trouble tuning in jazz on WGMC 90.1 and 105.1 FM in recent weeks, it’s not your radio’s fault. The station has been off the air for a while during the installation of its new tower. WGMC is now back on the air. And the tower that’s been the focus of countless fund-drives is now a 199-foot-high reality on the reinforced roof of Greece Athena High School.

But that doesn’t mean the fundraising is over. The $35,000 tower was Phase I of a plan to make the station’s signal reach across the entire metropolitan area. During Phase II, WGMC needs to raise another $30,000 by the end of December (when its permit expires) to purchase a transmitter. The transmitter, along with a $20,000 antenna (to be purchased with funds already in the bank) will complete the station’s goal.

“We’re just one step away from truly becoming Rochester’s Jazz station,” says station manager Jason Crane. “The support from the community has been outstanding.”

The station’s future also involves the recent addition of well-known local jazz DJ Forrest Cummings. Rather than accept an inconvenient new timeslot at his long-time home, WRUR 88.5 FM, during a recent shake-up to allow collaboration with WXXI 1370 AM and 91.5 FM, Cummings has brought his show to WGMC and can be heard Saturdays from 5 to 7 p.m.

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