In March, 2008 I was on a family vacation to Boston and decided that I’d like to visit a college radio station. I had no idea at the time that my trip to WECB at Emerson College would launch an epic project of radio station tours that would take me to stations all over the United States and even into Ireland.
Initially I was focused on obscure college radio stations, but I soon became intrigued by radio stations across a wide range of categories. Although I have visited numerous college radio stations (70% of my visits so far), I’ve also branched out to visit high school, community, commercial, pirate, and religious radio stations (how could I refuse the chance to visit Family Radio as Judgment Day drew near?).
Over the years, my Spinning Indie Radio Station Field Trip posts have gotten longer and longer and I’ve become more obsessed with taking photos of every nook and cranny of the stations that I’m visiting. I have an even stronger interest in radio history, meaning that sometimes my articles are delayed as I try to track down hard-to-find information about a station’s past.
Today marks a milestone in my field trip series, as I published my 50th field trip post. My journey to KSMC at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California stretched out over two visits in 2012 and 2013, making for an epic tale about the station’s history and future.
From its early days of campus-only radio to its move to FM in the 1970s, KSMC has played an important role on campus. When I visited this summer, the former KSMC studio was being torn down during some campus renovation work. Currently in temporary digs, the station will be rebuilt and eventually moved into a grand new multimedia space, serving as a hub for student communications activities on campus. To learn more about KSMC and the other 49 stations that I have ventured to since 2008, take a look at my radio station field trip archive on Spinning Indie.