If you’re one of those in South Florida too hip to listen to mainstream radio, you’re getting a noticeable change on your FM dial, reported The Huffington Post. The antenna for Indie Rock/Variety WVUM-FM Coral Gables, award-winning campus station of the University of Miami, has received a much-needed upgrade that means a stronger signal and expanded listening range. It moved to a new tower and upped power from 1,300 watts to 5,900 watts.
“This doesn’t change much as far as how we operate, other than that we now have the honor of serving parts of the Broward County community in addition to the community here in Miami-Dade,” station news director and spokesman Hyan Freitas told Huff Post.
Prior to the increase, the station antenna atop UM’s Hecht residential tower only reached as far as Downtown Miami and Kendall, FL, becoming spotty in areas like Miami Beach and Wynwood.
The new signal now guarantees the “Voice of the University of Miami” will reach as far south as Florida City and as far north as Fort Lauderdale, adding an estimated 1.5 million listeners, according to The Miami Hurricane.
“Our signal strength is now more consistent than ever before, which in turn strengthens our ability to be the alternative voice not just for UM, but for Miami as a whole. We pride ourselves on that,” Freitas continued.
WVUM began as a pirate campus radio station in 1967, first licensed and sanctioned by UM in 1968. It won last year’s Woodie Award, given annually by MTVu to the nation’s best college radio station.
RBR-TVBR observation: I remember listening when it was only 100 watts in the late 80’s—but it was worth the antenna work to get it in where I lived in the Ft. Lauderdale area (it helped to be on the third floor, facing south, via a Panasonic RF-2200 receiver). Then, after moving to Miami’s Coconut Grove in 1991, it was crystal-clear and wonderful. Let’s face it—Miami’s FM commercial radio offering leaves much to be desired for many in the young professional, high school and college-age demos. WVUM’s power increase will likely mean a showing in the Miami Arbitron ratings.