Radio shows at WPMD return to air waves

Daniel Green and Daniel Green

After being shut down last semester Cerritos College’s radio station, WPMD, has returned to the airwaves.

The station started broadcasting in 1999 on 1700 AM and eventually started streaming radio shows on the internet.

Mass Communications department chair Richard Cameron explained that the station was shut down for a couple different reasons.

“We had some problems with enrollment in those classes and completions, and many of the students who were broadcasting on the air were not actually signed up for any radio/TV classes.

“Another reason was all the budget cuts we were going through. The lab aides we had for the program. We could no longer justify the money they were costing us.”

The program was brought back as a community services class that is funded by the students enrolling in the class.

He continued, “We recognized the value of the program…[so] we said that if the college cannot afford for the students to do the broadcast, maybe the students can pay.”

Many of the shows feature first time students such as Saveon “Ignite” Simon who runs “Def Man’s Music” a show dedicated to airing lesser known artists.

“It is full of hip hop that has been forgotten…music you have not heard before.” Simon said.

Simon’s show focuses on artists “who have been told to dumb down” and refused to do so.

“I feel they should be played on the radio and…be played for their gifted talent. That’s where the Def comes in…for the good music that you don’t hear anymore.”

One of the changes to the station is that it now limits which students can receive airtime.

Special Projects director Gayle Parks, who hosts returning show “Community Awareness Corner” explained that there are stricter rules than previous semesters.

“If you take [the] class, and you belong to the Broadcasting Club, you’re allowed to have airtime.”

According to professor Craig Breit, “The best way for a student to get on the air is to enroll in our radio production class…it is going to be taught by Casey Piotrowski.”

The other option is for students to join the WPMD Broadcasting Club, which meets every Tuesday at 2 p.m.

While many former shows are not returning this semester Simon believes that the station can still put on good content.

“It’s hard to bring [former hosts} back. So we’re putting new shows on the map…we’re trying to bring radio up as much as we can.”