WMWC Skimmer Tape #2 (October 1997)

June 21, 2019 – 3:12 pm

As is common on college radio, we occasionally ran a skimmer. A skimmer would record airbreaks anytime the DJs would turn their mics on. The idea was that station management would listen for profanity, extraneous talking, etc. Truth is, we never really did. And annoyingly, DJs (including me) would sometimes leave their mic on while playing music, filling up the tape way too quickly with music.

A few years ago I posted what I thought was the only skimmer tape from WMWC, but I was surprised to find a second unlabeled one.

I kick off the first side by saying, “Hey, Natalie… BOO!” presumably referring to my assistant GM Natalie, whom I suspect I asked to listen to the skimmer tape. During Danielle’s show, Danielle reads the day’s news a number of times. I start off side B but then there’s a bunch of the Kit Kat Acoustic Break CD that aired overnight until about 16 minutes in. Overall, the tape is just a nice time capsule of some college kids doing radio shows for fun, talking to almost no one, in a pre-streaming era.

The show line-up for that semester is available on the Wayback Machine. The recordings captured late Wednesday night through Thursday on each side. This tape is post-fall break, dating from October 1997, due to a reference to Hurricane Pauline during a news reading, a news item about a still-standing land supersonic speed record being set, and referenecs to Halloween. Side A seems to be Oct 15-16 and side B, October 29-30.

The skimmer always added a nice, annoying buzz to the recording which has not been filtered out. The end of side B seems to be the ghostly remains of previous skimmer recordings, perhaps so because of demagnetization between uses.

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