‘New dawn’ at WGCS; Radio station launches 91.1 FM The Globe with all Americana and world music

GOSHEN, Ind. – When listeners tune in to WGCS 91.1 FM on June 21, they will no longer hear the melodies of Mozart – unless banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck arranges the tunes. General Manager Jason Samuel announced that the Goshen College radio station, 91.1 FM, will now be called “The Globe” and will feature full playlists of Americana and world music – including the addition of public radio’s most popular music program, “World Café,” which isn’t heard on any other station in the region.

“We started to do a lot of research back in October,” said Samuel, a 1993 Goshen College graduate. “Out of that research came the recommendation that we modify our programming on WGCS. The radio market we are part of has three classical radio stations. We don’t want to duplicate, let alone triplicate, programming. And when you are doing two different things – classical and folk music – it creates confusion. By making the transition to one format, when listeners tune in it will be consistent. That said, we have a vision for increasing the broadcast exposure of Music Department performances.

“Listeners will have access to a brand of music and programs not currently an option on their radios. “The Globe” is a fresh, new, vibrant format. It will be informative and contemporary,” he said. “It’s a new dawn at 91.1.”

The decision to reformat the station’s programming and create a new identity was reviewed by a committee of campus and community representatives, including music department faculty and experienced radio broadcasters. The decision is also based on the needs of students and helping to prepare them for future careers in radio, as the station is staffed by Goshen College students and community volunteers.

“Though this is an educational, noncommercial public radio station, we’re going to make it as commercial of an experience as possible for students to help them move into the career world of radio,” said Samuel, who was named Indiana Sportscaster of the Year by the Indiana Sportscaster Association in 1998 and 2001.

“We want to energize students and for them to know they can come here and learn on par with large universities and get plugged in right away to gain four years of broadcast industry experience. If we are going to train students to be viable employees in the radio industry, they have to do things here like they will face in their future jobs.”

The station’s new identity as “The Globe” connects to the college’s emphasis of being global citizens and encouraging international education. “We already had international programming, but we are enhancing that with the increase in Americana and world beat music programming,” Samuel said. “We will be ‘your public radio music station.’”

A new addition, “World Café,” public radio’s most popular music program, will broadcast from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Globe” will offer contemporary music featuring an eclectic blend of Americana, world, folk and bluegrass music, in addition to public affairs and religious broadcasts. The Globe is one of a select number of reporting stations to the Americana Airplay Chart. Americana is American roots music based on the traditions of country, but also includes influences ranging from folk to bluegrass to blues and beyond.

Many of the previous features of 91.1 FM will continue. Saturday mornings will still air the local Spanish radio program, “Momento de Gozo,” and church and worship programming will still air on Sunday mornings. The current syndicated programming will also continue, and the commitment to Goshen College athletics. And “Crossings” – an original 91.1 FM program offering nightly Americana music – celebrates it’s 10th year in January 2005. Listeners around the globe will also still be able to access the station’s 24-hour broadcasts live via the Internet at http://www.globeradio.org/, in addition to on the radio.

91.1 FM The Globe, on the air since 1958, is managed by members of the Goshen College Communication Department. It is one of the college’s significant co-curricular activities, preparing students to become broadcast professionals while providing a service to the Michiana community.

Goshen College, established in 1894, is a four-year residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” Kaplan’s “Most Interesting Colleges” guide and U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit http://www.goshen.edu/.

Editors: For more information, contact News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or jodihb@goshen.edu.

Categories: Communication, GC Community, GC News

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