photo of USSB representative Jonah Rosenberg

Photo by Jacob Downey

“The sound of Plymouth State”

Jacob Downey




At 10 am, September 29th, 1973, then Plymouth State College aired its very first radio broadcast on 91.7 WPCR FM(Music from the Edge). In ’68, the then AM radio station was originally based out of the basement of Mary-Lyon hall, then an all-girls dorm. WPCR would end those early broadcasts by having all men escorted off the premises nightly. Throughout the next half-century, now PSU has continuously hosted a radio station for student DJs. Now, located in the HUB (where they have been since the HUB opened in‘91), Junior political science major Jonah Rosenberg is WPCR’s current General Manager. 

In the shadow of COVID-19, WPCR was one of many student organizations that had to find creative ways to maintain their identity. Rosenberg has seen WPCR go through significant changes during his time on air. The implementation of a streaming option as opposed to a strictly radio broadcast has taken the station ‘from the edge’ to “The Sound of Plymouth State”.

How’d you end up at WPCR?

“I found WPCR at my first club fair, my freshman year here. I’ve always really been into music and audio. And they seemed like a cool club to join.”

What did the day-to-day look like?

“[It] Was definitely very different than what we have now, considering it was COVID. So meetings were very restricted in attendance, everyone had masks and had to stay six feet apart. So it seemed a little bit disconnected and janky, but it was still overall fun. Just having the chance to have my own radio show every week was really exciting.”

You said your general manager, what does that entail?

“I’m in charge of pretty much everything in the station. Generally, I manage all the equipment, making sure we’re FCC compliant, sending out emails; communicating all the typical stuff.”

How does a prospective DJ get their own show?

“Any student who joins can have their own show. There are two-hour blocks at odd hours during the day. You can go from 7 am all the way through to 1 am, Monday through Sunday, every day of the week.

I have a two-hour show Sundays from 1 pm to 3 pm. That’s the time I chose my freshman year, and I kind of stuck with it. Lots of viewers, given our smaller community, get to know when your show times are so you can kind of build a little bit of a fan base, which is cool. My show is called “Panther Palooza”, got to have that school pride school spirit, bleeding green over here. I play mostly rock and alternative although sometimes I’ll play just how I’m feeling. So you know, [if] it’s a gloomy day like this. And I’m kind of sad. I’ll be playing the sad boy.”

You look like you’d listen to Modern Baseball.

“I have also been told I look like a baseball player.”

So how do the radio shows work?

“When no one’s in the station, it’s on a robo-DJ that does everything for us. But as soon as a student enters the station, they can take control of everything. They can pretty much play anything they want. There are restrictions, you can’t play any songs that are explicit before 10 pm. So students will get pretty experimental with their music. Two-hour time slots, you have to read advertisements every hour when we get involved with the local community, so we’re always promoting businesses downtown, and around the local area. So it’s a good way to listen to music, hang out with friends, and also spread some knowledge around the community.”

What do you think the importance of a student radio station is?

“Well, college stations have typically historically been really important because they act as a way to quickly disseminate information. And most college students are typically a little more progressive in their viewpoints, and that can lead to some interesting viewpoints being shared. A unique thing about college stations is that legally we’re actually supposed to be educational, so we can’t play the top 40 or the top 100 hits, which puts us in a unique position to expose students and community members to new ideas, music and all of that kind of stuff.”

I’ve seen the station in the HUB, it’s pretty rad! What would you say makes your space significant to PSU?

“One of the most important things I think is just because of the visibility. We’re a great way for students to get involved, we’re actually one of the oldest long-standing clubs on campus. We leave our door open, and people can kind of just wander in and get intrigued. We have 1000s of CDs, 1000s of miles of tapes. So that location allows students to wander in without us necessarily reaching out to them first, which is good for us. But it’s also just a good location because it allows us to be part of the campus community, and we kind of are a pillar of student life.”

Do you think PSU has a problem with the visibility of student groups on campus?

“I think there’s a definite lack of visibility, [the HUB] is turning into more of an administrative building than a place where students can go, where they feel they can hang out and actually join and get involved. I also think it’s important to really sell the spaces that are for students that are in the hall. A lot of clubs usually have their lights off, we use our lights when they’re on, it’s an indicator that you’re welcome to come in. Even if you’re not doing a show you can come in listen to music, browse our collection. It’s a really nice spot for people to hang out.”

 Being two some-odd years removed from quarantine, it is more important now than ever to get involved and reclaim some of that stolen college experience, how better to do that than becoming PSU’s very own “Radio Rebel”? WPCR opens its doors to students looking to be handed the AUX not just for a backseat of their friends, but for the entirety of PSU. If you’re particularly pretentious about the Rockbot in the Dining Hall, are in need of a soapbox, or just a spot to hang out WPCR’s doors are open anytime a show is being played. The show schedule is as follows:

MondayBrain Fuzz 3-5 PM
The Stache Show 5-7 PM
CAD Show 7-9 PM
Beyond the Eyelids 9-11 PM
Canned Heat 11 PM-1 AM
TuesdayWill’s Rock & Roll Adventure 7-9 AM
“To Be Determined” 1-3 PM
No Zeppelin Allowed 9-11 PM
WednesdayLightbox 5-7 PM
Alex & Ryan Show 7-9 PM
Smoke Signals 9-11 PM
The Doleful Experience 11 PM-1 AM
ThursdayThe Elements 7-9 AM
The Witching Hour 9-11 AM
PSU Rhythm & Blues 7-9 PM
Comedy 101 9-11 PM
Skeleton Bathroom Break 11 PM-1 AM
FridaySettling the Score 1-3 PM
The Steven Show 7-9 PM
2HPH 9-11 PM
Underneath it All 11 PM-1 AM
SaturdayThe Past Time Show 5-7 PM
The Cyberpool 7-9 PM
Plymouth Underground 11 PM-1 AM
SundayCool Girl Radio 11AM-1PM
Pantherpalooza 1-3 PM
The Flipside 3-5 PM
Quirked Up 7-9 PM
Rambling Rose 9-11 PM