For 27 years, Muskingum University’s radio station WMCO has hosted a special program every weekend on Sunday nights called Eclectic Radio. Each week a faculty or staff member does a radio shift and plays music that they enjoy.
Steve McGuire, Professor of Sociology, and Doug Swift started the program up in 1989. They both thought it would fun to do radio here on campus and went to Jeff Harman, Director of Broadcasting, who taught them on air skills.
Originally the show was mostly jazz, but McGuire and Swift developed the name “Eclectic Radio” after deciding they wanted to do different styles of music. For about a year into Eclectic Radio, they alternated Sunday night shows from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Former Chaplain at Muskingum Jerry Beavers became involved shortly after and then it became a rotation of those three faculty members. After Swift left the University, McGuire started recruiting staff and faculty to join the Eclectic DJ staff.
“I think a lot of people that try it, love it,” said McGuire.
Jim Dooley, Professor of Biology, has taken over responsibility of staffing the Eclectic DJ schedule over the last few years. Dooley joined in 2000 after talking to McGuire and seeing that it was a great opportunity to do something interesting with his love of music.
“It’s kind of something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Dooley. “So when I came here and found out that this was an opportunity, I took it. Becoming a college professor is kind of like being able to go back to college, so I took advantage of round two and I’ve been having a good time ever since.”
Dooley now is in charge of recruiting new staff and faculty to join Eclectic Radio as well as calling DJs and getting those times and dates they can sign up for. He allows interested people to come in and shadow a show, if they enjoy it, they will meet Lisa Marshall, WMCO Station Manager, and sign up for a show slot.
Recently, the show has been a two-hour slot from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Sunday night. Dooley said on behalf of the group, he sees Eclectic Radio as a privilege.
“We really appreciate, those of us that are DJing on the show, being a part of this station,” said Dooley. “It’s a wonderful thing to be involved in our students and activities beyond the classroom. I feel here at WMCO we are all a part of this team, and it gets us out of that bucket of teacher-student kind of thing.”
Dooley also thanked Marshall and the rest of WMCO for their patience with teaching new Eclectic DJs the basics of radio.
A schedule of the Eclectic DJs can be found here.