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WMPG celebrates 50 years of broadcasting

PORTLAND, ME (August 11, 2023) — WMPG, Portland’s beloved college/community radio station, is excited to celebrate its 50th anniversary of broadcasting exceptional programming to the vibrant community of listeners in Maine.  

WMPG began in 1971 as a pirate radio station at the University of Southern Maine (USM), previously known as UMPG (University of Maine Portland Gorham). Howard Allen, a USM student stuck an antenna out of his dorm window, used bits from a washing machine as his first console, and successfully broadcast his music throughout the Gorham campus.  With the help of USM officials and our friends at Maine Public Broadcasting Network, WMPG successfully broadcast its first legal radio signal on August 31st, 1973 at 11.00am. 

WMPG has been a beacon of information, entertainment, and community engagement – providing a platform for local voices, emerging artists, and diverse perspectives. Over the past five decades, the station has played a vital role in fostering connections and amplifying the rich cultural tapestry that defines southern Maine.

 To commemorate this extraordinary achievement, WMPG has curated a year-long celebration featuring a range of special events and programs that highlight the station’s remarkable journey and pay homage to the community it serves. The anniversary festivities include: 

Driveway party at WMPG from midday to 6pm on Thursday, August 31st featuring live music and food.

Live broadcast from, and party at, the new McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success as part of the USM Homecoming week on October 14th from 6-9pm.  Featuring food, music and the premiere of the WMPG 50th anniversary video featuring many voices and faces of WMPG.

Retrospective Programs: WMPG will broadcast a series of curated shows and unforgettable moments from its extensive archives, allowing listeners to relive the most significant milestones in the station’s history while reminiscing about cherished memories.

Alumni Spotlight: The station will showcase the achievements of its talented alumni who have gone on to make a mark in the broadcasting industry and beyond. Through interviews and profiles, listeners will gain insights into the lasting impact of WMPG on their careers and personal growth.

Community Engagements: WMPG will host a variety of community events – broadcasts from local gatherings and partnerships with grassroots organizations. These initiatives aim to deepen the station’s connection with the community and encourage collaboration among Maine residents.

Special Programming: Listeners can look forward to broadcasts featuring renowned local musicians, thought-provoking interviews with influential community figures, and engaging discussions on topics that resonate with Portland’s diverse population.

Website, Facebook group, and film dedicated to celebrating 50 years of WMPG featuring artwork, ephemera, stories and more) 

As part of the anniversary celebrations, WMPG invites its valued listeners, esteemed alumni, dedicated volunteers, and the entire community to join in the revelry. Throughout the year ahead, the station will actively engage with its audience through social media, ticket giveaways, and opportunities to share heartfelt memories and stories about the station’s profound impact on their lives. 

“Reaching this remarkable milestone is a testament to the passion, commitment, and support of our incredible staff, volunteers, and the community,” said Annella Linton, Development Director. “For 50 years, WMPG has been the voice of southern Maine, and we are honored to have played a role in the lives of so many individuals. We eagerly look forward to continuing to serve as a vibrant source of entertainment, education, and connection for the community in the years ahead.”

 As WMPG commemorates its 50th anniversary, the station renews its pledge to empower University of Southern Maine students and community members to deliver exceptional programming, amplify local talent, and foster community bonds. This big milestone serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring power of community radio and its profound impact on individuals and society as a whole. 

For more information about WMPG through 50 years, please visit the station’s website at

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