WDCC 90.5 FM - Sanford, NC
by BILLY LIGGETT
ASHLEY GARNER/The Sanford Herald Central Carolina Community College instructor Bill Freeman stands on the school's new radio tower than allows its station, WDCC 90.5 FM, further reach into neighboring counties.
SANFORD -- Justin Bullock loves to talk about racing.
A native of Fuquay-Varina, Bullock found the perfect outlet to do this when he joined the radio/television program as a student at Central Carolina Community College. It wasn't long until he had his own show, which he called "Full Throttle," at the college's FM station, WDCC 90.5.
There was only one problem, though. Bullock's friends -- those who've supported him and those who've hung out at the track with him over the years -- couldn't hear his show. In fact, Bullock couldn't hear his station at home, save for one room in the house that miraculously picked up 90.5 at times.
Until now, that is.
Fuquay, Cary, Chapel Hill, Apex, Lillington, Siler City, Southern Pines and a few other surrounding cities can now hear what the college has to offer thanks to a new tower which went live on May 20. The expanded reach means students can hear their peers outside of the county limits now, and for students like Bullock, the news is good.
"My friends and some of these race car drivers I know and I'm talking about ... they can hear me now," said Bullock, a recent graduate who is sticking around at CCCC as an assistant. "I'm really excited about that."
WDCC General Manager and college instructor Bill Freeman said the new tower came about because of a safety need -- OSHA ruled the older, smaller tower was too close to the campus -- so when the decision came to upgrade, they did so in a big way.
"When OSHA told us to fix it, we began looking at our options and researching rental space to move it," he said. "Or we could just build our own tower. Rental space was so costly, so doing this was more cost effective."
WDCC, according to Freeman, is one of the only college stations in the state that's run by students in the broadcast curriculum. Other college stations, he said, are run by students, but not specific to a particular curriculum. Thus, the commercial-free nonprofit station is, for the most part, used strictly as a learning tool, with the exception of a few shows each week produced by non-students. When not playing talk shows or student-hosted programs, WDCC plays Top 40 and pop music 24-7.
Freeman said having the wider reach won't change the curriculum, but it will put more pressure on the students to perform, as their listenership will more than double.
"It might raise the stakes a little bit," he said. "The students will have to be a little more ... how should we say ... 'prepared.'"
He also said he may consider including announcements from nonprofits outside of Lee County, now that the station is hitting more ears.
A list of shows and more information about WDCC and the college's radio/television program can be found online at www.wdccfm.com.