WTMD Creates Community Clubhouse for Music and Arts in New Broadcast Center
Move to Towson City Center will bring music, movies and events to the public
TOWSON–Towson University’s WTMD 89.7 FM will move to an 8,000 square foot state of the art broadcast and community center in early fall. To be located in the new Towson City Center, WTMD’s facility will boast a live-music performance space, a community meeting room and classroom, as well as studios and offices for the station’s employees.
WTMD’s General Manager Stephen Yasko said the new facility will be more than just a radio station. “We’ve designed this space to be a combination: a music lovers’ clubhouse, community meeting space and education center. Our listeners and the public will be invited into WTMD every day to experience the best in national and Baltimore bands.”
In addition to station events, WTMD’s facility will also host movie screenings from Baltimore filmmakers and students enrolled in Towson’s Electronic Media and Film department. Private social and corporate events may also be scheduled.
“The place will be lit up everyday! We’ll produce concerts, host community-based nonprofits’ meetings, and even rent the place out for private social events,” Yasko added. “Students from Towson University and other educational institutions will learn here and we even hope to provide music education opportunities for preschoolers.”
“Over the last nine years, WTMD radio has become a mainstay to thousands in the Baltimore region and an integral part of Towson University’s outreach into the community,” said Towson University President Dr. Maravene Loeschke. “This new facility will not only enable Towson University and WTMD to enhance its programming, but will also create deeper relationships with the greater community.”
Constrictions in the station’s current 1800 square foot facility in the center of the Towson University campus have inhibited the station’s ability to produce the amount and kinds of programming needed in the Baltimore region. “We’re really excited about the new programming opportunities the additional space will create,” said Scott Mullins, WTMD’s program director. “We’ll be able to broadcast live concerts and to create music documentaries and other specials; but the biggest boon will be the four studios we’re building.”
The setting will include an on-air studio overlooking the roundabout and downtown Towson, two production studios and a performance studio. “Each studio will be capable of recording five- or even eight-piece bands simultaneously,” said Yasko.
WTMD plans to make its studios available to local musicians. “That’s going to help us deepen our commitment to Baltimore bands by allowing them to come into the station to rehearse and record their music,” said Mullins.
WTMD members will be able to use the facility for weddings, birthday parties, bar mitzvahs and other social and corporate events. “We designed the space with maximum flexibility and we’re loading it up with a significant amount of technology so it can be used for everything from a family movie night to an all day corporate training seminar to a seated dinner for 60,” said David Mayhew,Towson University’s director of architecture.
“Music is such an important part our cultural rituals that it makes terrific sense that we build in the ability to get married, or have your ‘Sweet Sixteen’ or even your bar mitzvah at WTMD,” said Yasko.
The station also plans to move its transmitter and antenna, pending FCC approval, to the top of Towson City Center which will provide a better quality signal to the station’s current coverage area and could extend the station’s reach slightly farther to west. “The additional height that Towson City Center provides will allow us to reach more people and have less static and signal drop outs. It’s really going to make listening to WTMD an even better experience.” Said Yasko.
WTMD, a 10,000 watt non-commercial radio station licensed to Towson University, serves the Baltimore metropolitan area and all of central Maryland with compelling contemporary music created by artists who are committed to the craft of songwriting. An NPR member, the station produces “Baltimore Unsigned,” an hour-long music and interview program focusing on the developments in the Baltimore music scene. WTMD-HD2, “The Baltimore Channel,” airs music created by Baltimore musicians and is one of the few local-music channels in the country. WTMD is listened to by 115,000 people each week and can be heard on-line at wtmd.org and on apps for the iPhone, Droids and Blackberry.