Title: WQME marks 10th anniversary
Shortly after Donald Boggs founded his student-supported commercial the radio station at Anderson University, he began looking for call letters. But those that were available at the time did not fit the format of the contemporary Christian FM station. Boggs eventually decided on WQME because he felt the call letters were memorable and had staying power. The general manager of the newly established radio station proved to be right.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of WQME. The 4,500-watt station can be found at 98.7 on the dial and has listeners in nine counties in Central Indiana. There are no special celebration for the upcoming year, just business as usual for Boggs and his staff.
“WQME will once again sponsor the Madison County 4-H Fair, the Exchange Club Bids for Kids auction, and the Chamber of Commerce Wake Up Breakfast,” Boggs stated. “Otherwise, we will continue with broadcasting news, playing music and doing our best to please our listeners.”
Contemporary Christian music makes up about 85 percent of the station’s programming, but WQME is considered by many as a vital source for immediate news and information. When a major ice storm hit in March 1991, the station remained on the air around the clock.
“Unlike the other radio stations in the area,” Boggs noted, “we are the only one equipped with emergency power. When we stayed on the air during the ice storm, that was radio at its best.”
WQME may be owned by Anderson University, but it is not considered a college radio station. WQME is funded by money made from paid commercials and programs, which help pay the staff and bills.
Students from Anderson University who are interested in pursuing a career in radio broadcasting can get hands-on training at WQME while earning their degree. Sophomore Derek Smith serves as production manager at WQME and hopes someday to broadcast sports.
“I would love to do play by play for the Indianapolis Colts,” Smith stated. “I know that is sort of a dream, but I will take what I can get when I graduate from school. But for now, I am learning to meet deadlines in getting my commercials on the air. Someone is paying for those commercials and I have to hold up my end of the deal.”
Several alumni from Anderson University have gone on to successful careers in radio: 1997 graduate Tim Denniston is continuity director at WFBQ in Indianapolis; Lori Carrol, a 1998 graduate, works as special projects director for WTHR (Channel 13) in Indianapolis, and 1996 graduate Jeff Ingram now lives in Ecuador, where he produces HCJB Radio.
“It’s a great feeling to know that these people received their training here at the station,” Boggs said. “We place our students into a position they feel comfortable with and move them up with experience. Our primary purpose is to educate them, help them get a degree and hopefully a career in radio and broadcasting.”
---Writer David Humphrey is a correspondent for the Metro North edition of the Indianapolis Star/News.