My first week at WAMD is now under my belt. Whew!
If you missed it, WAMD is a small AM station, 970am to be exact, that had been a Harco institution for years. To give you the Cliff Notes on it’s history: A few years ago it was bought by a big company and eventually shut down because it interfered with another big station in New York. A few months ago, Bill Parris a legit radio guru bought it and decided to bring it back. It’s call letters are pretty legendary locally and when the kids at the Dagger brought Bill and I together he asked if I’d like to come aboard I jumped at the chance to add those calls to my resume.
Mornings are generally held down by station manager Steve Mann, whom I’ve worked with in passing at CBS radio. Steve is away on his honeymoon this week, and so I’m getting a trial by fire taking over the morning show. After Steve returns, I will head for the comforts of afternoon drive from 3-7.
I’m a big big fan of LIVE LOCAL radio. I think it’s a great way for a community to talk things out and sort through problems AND have a little fun. This is my plan for my time on WAMD – local issues, discussed in a fun way. Basically what I did on the Ed Norris show only focused EVEN MORE on Harford County.
For now the station, and it’s website are bare bones – radio is a COSTLY medium. From federal license costs to the cost of studio gear, it all adds up pretty fast. So for now you can hear and see the station on www.khztv.com/wamd and you can tune in to 970am if you’re in Harford or Cecil County. But by fall, it will be up and running at full speed.
I’ll be honest, my first shift or two were pretty rocky – new gear, new format. But I got through and now I have a better idea of how to make my vision work within the structure of the station.
That said, this week I wanna get down to business. The first thing I want to tackle this week is the so called “Dream Act” – the in state tuition for illegal immigrants.
It’s not just a Harco issue obviously, but I’ll tell you I am a bit on the fence about this one.
Under the proposed bill, Maryland would offer in-state college tuition benefits to undocumented immigrants who have attended state high schools and whose parents are taxpayers if a measure being proposed by state Democrats becomes law.
The reason I’m on the fence is this: if their parents can prove they are taxpayers, then as far as I’m concerned they are entitled to the benefits of taxpayers. However, can we just allow people who are here illegally to live as though they are not breaking the law. Then again, the students themselves are probably mostly underage, and here not through their own choice but rather because their parents brought them. So why should they be punished for a decision that in all likelihood wasn’t there own? Should ANYONE get a special tuition rate? Can we really afford to subsidize anyone’s education in these trying times? Should a vocal minority in Annapolis be able to bully the entire state into doing something that on it’s face seems to not pass the smell test?
Lots of layers to this onion, and I’m not sure how I come down on this just yet. And we haven’t even brought up the idea of the legality of the online petitions. I’d love to know what the people of Harco think, so tune in tomorrow, or comment on The Dagger, or hit me on Facebook.