- WFCR has been on the air at 88.5 FM for more than 40 years, broadcasting to audiences in western and central Massachusetts, northern Connecticut, and southern Vermont from studios in Hampshire House on the UMass Amherst campus.
A Day in the Life: From 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., five days a week, I broadcast regional news, sports, and weather on “Morning Edition.” I don’t leave the studio until at least 2 p.m., often later. When I’m off the air, I’m editing interviews and working on local news stories to be featured during future programs.
A Brave Face: What’s the most unusual thing I do, aside from getting up at 4 a.m.? Well, people who pass me in their cars before dawn may think I am crazy because I move my face around in strange ways practicing vocal exercises taught to me by my UMass Amherst theater professor, Doris Abramson, 31 years ago. While I drive, I prepare my voice for that long stint in front of a microphone.
Voice Envy: This might be difficult for people to believe, but I am painfully shy, and I really don’t like my own voice. After almost three decades in broadcasting, if I had my wish, it would be to sound a little more like Charlie Gibson and a little less like Brian Williams.
Why Radio: In many ways it gives me an opportunity to inform large numbers of people about subjects they find relevant and interesting. After all these years behind a microphone, I am seriously considering a career in the classroom. NPR is a vehicle that influences the lives of listeners, and what my audience thinks about is important to me. You should know that I began my UMass Amherst career convinced I would be a dentist. When premed courses overwhelmed me, I switched to pursuing a bachelor’s, did some broadcasting on campus at WMUA, and joined the staff of WTTT in Amherst when I graduated. I was hooked.
Newshound: I keep at it because it’s fun knowing what’s new in the world before most people are awake! Seriously, I have to say I feel a responsibility to my audience, and I enjoy my colleagues. Also, working with student interns is great. I’ve had the privilege of helping launch the careers of some terrific students who have made their mark at National Public Radio. Among them, Aaron Schachter ’92 is now broadcasting from Afghanistan; Audie Cornish ‘01 is with NPR’s Southeast bureau.
Adoring Fans: The strangest thing a listener has ever said to me? A woman came up to me after a WFCR-sponsored event to say she enjoyed waking up to my voice each day. ‘You are in my bedroom every morning,’ she said. Her husband and I stood there speechless. I knew what she meant, but I’d never had anyone phrase it quite that way.