is the non-commercial, community radio service of Appalshop, Inc., a not-for-profit multimedia arts center located in Whitesburg, KY. WMMT’s mission is to be a 24-hour voice of mountain people’s music, culture, and social issues, to provide broadcast space for creative expression and community involvement in making radio, and to be an active participant in discussion of public policy that will benefit coalfield communities and the Appalachian region as a whole.
WMMT broadcasts at 15,000 watts from Mayking Peak in Letcher County, KY., and is heard across much of southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia, and southern West Virginia (as well as portions of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina) by way of 8 translators stationed around central Appalachia.
WMMT’s heart and soul lies in the music our 50-some volunteer DJs send out over the Appalachian airwaves each and every day. Our programming is as diverse as our listenership, but we are particularly proud of our commitment to traditional Appalachian music and its descendant, bluegrass. We feature regular old-time programming, and our long-running Bluegrass Express Live! program has brought the genre’s brightest lights to the Appalshop stage and WMMT’s airwaves since 1985. We also feature programming across most any genre you could think of—on a typical Monday, for example, listeners can hear gospel, old-time music, bluegrass, contemporary local bands, hip-hop, a series of messages that we record in-house from the loved ones of those incarcerated in our region’s massive prison population, and world music.
This diversity of programming is a direct reflection of WMMT’s commitment to serving as a voice for each and every segment of our local population, to giving folks a means to play and hear the music they love, to keeping our traditional culture both alive and thriving, and to providing the people of Appalachia the means through which to tell their own story to listeners both across the holler and around the world. We truly are “Real People Radio,” and we invite you to join us, either at 88.7 on Appalachia’s Radio Dial or streaming live at wmmt.org.
WMMT’s mission also extends beyond music into coverage of issues facing our mountain communities. WMMT produces both a bi-weekly public affairs program and regular radio documentary features on these local issues, telling stories and providing perspectives that no other outlets can. Here’s a sampling of some recent and ongoing WMMT projects:
- Making Connections, a multi-media platform for sharing news, stories, and information highlighting both opportunities and challenges for building a healthy future for Appalachia’s people and our land. Recent radio features include the potential closure of 9 post offices here in Letcher County, a grassroots citizens’ organization opposing proposed school consolidation, and potential income opportunities from non-timber forest products.
- Fractured Appalachia, a series of radio broadcasts, public forums, and an online resource developed to inform residents on issues surrounding the increasing presence of oil and natural gas extraction in Central Appalachia.
- Mountain News & World Report, a bi-weekly public affairs & local news program produced by WMMT
- Hot 88.7 Hip Hop from the Hilltop & Calls From Home, airing on Monday nights in an effort to engage with our booming prison population. We air hip hop (a rarity on Appalachian radio) from 7-9 PM, followed by Calls from Home, a program which broadcasts messages from loved ones to those incarcerated within our listening area. Each week our DJs record these phone calls during the hip-hop show for immediate broadcast at 9 p.m.
- The Passing the Pick and Bow After-School Program, which offers instruction in traditional Appalachian music and places banjos, fiddles, guitars and mandolins in the hands of nearly 100 students each year.
- Health Matters, an informational & call-in show on medical issues facing mountain communities, hosted by Dr. Van Breeding of the Whitesburg Medical Clinic
- American Graduate, a collaboration between WMMT and Appalshop’s Appalachian Media Institute to train local middle and high-school youth in producing radio documentaries. The students produced stories on high-school dropouts, as well as on folks in the community with “weird jobs.”
WMMT is also a member of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.
We always appreciate hearing from our listeners and welcome your questions, comments, or your visits! We are located at Appalshop, 91 Madison Ave., Whitesburg, KY 41858. Our office phone number is (606) 633-0108, and you can reach us by email at [email protected]
See you on the radio!
(by telephone, all staff can be reached in the WMMT office at 606-633-0108)
- Benny Becker ([email protected]): Reporter/Producer (WMMT & Ohio Valley ReSource)
- Matt Carter ([email protected]): Program Director, Traditional Music Project Coordinator
- Kelli Haywood ([email protected]): Public Affairs Director
- Eric King ([email protected]): Americorps-VISTA volunteer
- Mimi Pickering ([email protected]): Director of the Making Connections project
- Katie Pirotina ([email protected]): Americorps-VISTA volunteer
- Elizabeth Sanders ([email protected]): General Manager
WMMT-FM is a project of Appalshop, Inc., a not-for-profit arts and education center in Whitesburg, KY., dedicated to documenting and preserving the life and culture of Appalachia. The governing body of WMMT is the Board of Directors of Appalshop, Inc., which meets twice yearly. Governance is also conducted through the Executive Committee of the Board, which meets four times yearly. All Board and Executive Committee meetings that relate to the conduct of public broadcasting by Appalshop, Inc., are open to the public.
The Board of Directors will meet on the following dates in 2017:
Monday June 12
Monday December 11
The Executive Committee will meet on the following dates in 2017:
Saturday March 4
Saturday May 27
Saturday September 23
Saturday November 18
All meetings will be held at Appalshop, 91 Madison Avenue, Whitesburg KY, and will begin at 10 AM. For further information please contact Appalshop at 606 633-0108.
WMMT’s Community Advisory Board is a group of community members of varying backgrounds who all share an interest in WMMT successfully meeting its mission to serve as a 24-hour voice for the people of central Appalachia. WMMT’s CAB meets regularly to discuss WMMT affairs, including programming, fundraising, and more.
WMMT’s Employment Statistical Report, Diversity Statment, and Local Content/Service Report are available upon request at our office or by calling 606-633-0108. (soon to be available here on the website, as well)