Expansions

Expansions

The Beacon Santa Telethon, cable television, YMCA, and the Maynard Web are all examples of how WAVM has grown over the past 25-years–at least regarding tasks. However, there’s a physical aspect too. The radio station began in a closet-like studio but expanded with the introduction of cable television. Then a decade later, the studio enlarged again to include a second production studio and several production booths. These expansions were necessary as the station grew, because a smaller-sized studio would have limited WAVM’s teaching ability.

In 1974, when broadcasting actually began, the radio station was located in two closet rooms adjacent to the high school’s library. One room was for the broadcasting while the other stored the records and additional equipment; and this small area was all that WAVM needed at the time, because a radio station doesn’t require that much space.

WAVM FROM 1974 TO 1982
1970's Radio Station Layout

For example, to broadcast, one only needs a microphone, turntable, mixer, and transmitter, the last of which is probably the largest item. What did take up a significant amount of room was the vinyl records, which, for the longest time, dominated the Music Industry.oes take up the room is the storage of music, and in the seventies, the vinyl records soon dominated one room.

What the station did lack at the time was office space. Mags had to monitor the situation from the high school’s library using a fold-out table. With students congregating around him waiting for directions, Mags ran the station, using a small radio perched atop a book case to listen to the broadcasters. The 1970’s sit-com “WKRP” had a far more deluxe situation.

When a cable television studio was introduced, WAVM had to expand, because TV operations mandate a sizable amount of room. In addition to a production set with cameras, the station needed a place for an editing suite and control room.

WAVM FROM 1982 TO 1995
1980's Radio and Cable Station Layout
“A”–GM on-duty desk where the studio is monitored.
“B”–Records
“C”–Storage Cabinets
“D”–Doorway to Art Room in 1980’s. Now doorway to Studio B.
“E”–Control Room for cable broadcasting and directing mulit-camera shows.

During the Summer of ’82, WAVM took over a special education classroom across the hall from the library and built a new studio. Breaking the classroom down into smaller components, each area was designated for a specific operation, such as an editing room and a multi-camera production set, which was later dubbed Studio A. Located adjacent or within Studio A, the Control Room served as both a director’s station for the in-studio shoots and as an area to broadcast programming. The rest of the space was used for equipment and prop storage; or for the students to make station phone calls and meet. Maximizing space, the radio station was also moved into the classroom too.

The new WAVM of the Eighties was still slightly cramped–and the bleeding of noise from one operation to the other was always a problem–but the new set-up lasted for another decade. Of course during this decade, Mags and all future Faculty Advisor’s still didn’t have a desk. Their operations still emanated from the library where a television was added to the radio in order to monitor the broadcasts.

Upon his return in 1993, Mags sought to expand the studio again. In 1995, WAVM took over the adjacent art room in Maynard High School. This large room became Studio B and offered many improvements, including more space to move cameras and better air-circulation.

WAVM FROM 1995 TO PRESENT
1990's addition of Studio B (Layout)
“A”–Formerly WAVM website Booth; currently unoccupied.
“B”–Control Room for Studio B.
“C”–Cart tape production booth.

One complication of TV sets is the heat generated by the lights, of which there is a minimum of three. When a show begins, most conventional Air Conditioners (the only ones WAVM can afford) must be turned off because they produce too much noise. Of course, the room then quickly warms up due to the lights. Studio B, being so much larger than Studio A, took longer to warm and made the long work a lot more comfortable.

With the extra space afforded by Studio B, Mags was able to move the editor and create a desk for himself. It was just in time too, because the station entered a new era where each project became more complex. Mags couldn’t informally supervise the studio from the library any longer. To help the larger organization, Maynard Public Schools hired two assistants, presently Ellen Gilfeather and Joyce Filz.


The Story of WAVM continues with The Awards Banquet