Summit radio station expands to Athens

It all started on November 5, 2021: “The Summit”, also known as 91.3 WAPS-FM, extended its reach from Akron, Ohio to Athens.

WAPS The Summit has a long history, dating back to 1955. The station was originally used as a learning tool and class broadcaster for public schools in Akron. In 1989, the station began to shift from its educational roots to an alternative music format.

For the past three decades, The Summit has broadcast its signals to the Struthers-Youngstown area of ​​Ohio and now to Athens, where it airs on 90.1 WAPS-FM. Brad Savage, program director of The Summit, says Athens’ addition to its cue is due to its notable musical roots and reputation as a college town.

“Our music format, being modern rock or an alternative type format, tends to do well in college town areas,” Savage said. “Usually it is students and graduate students, but also even professors who like our style. When this station became available that’s what really caught our attention was that even though Athens is a few hours from our home in Akron we thought that was probably a good city for the format and the kind of music we make.”

Two of The Summit’s most popular artists, CAAMP and Red Wanting Blue, went to Ohio University. The area is also known for hosting its annual Nelsonville Music Festival, an outdoor music event held at Hocking College.

“We know Athens very well, mainly because CAAMP and Red Wanting Blue, in particular, are two really big bands for the station,” Savage said.

The radio station aims to be a showcase for upcoming musicians and to expose listeners to not just a particular style or genre of music.

“The station is a showcase for local, national and international musicians, and especially for emerging artists who would otherwise be less likely to include a relatively small market like Athens or Akron on their national tours,” Tommy said. Bruno, CEO of The Summit. , said in an email. “By cultivating a vibrant music scene, the station has been recognized as one of the forces in attracting touring artists to those special areas of Ohio, like Athens.”

The opportunity to add a signal in Athens came from an existing broadcaster, Spirit Communications, which was looking to sell some of its translation signals.

The radio station offers commercial-free music and operates four channels. Le Sommet is the flagship resort; The 330 showcases the past, present, and future of Northeast Ohio music; CHILD! Radio is an online listening service for all ages; and Rock and Recovery provides a community for people struggling with addiction, trauma, and mental health issues, supporting self-motivation, sharing information and resources, and providing a sense of peace to both antenna and online.

Although The Summit plays both great artists, like the Beatles, and up-and-coming bands from Ohio, Savage hopes to include more musicians from Parkersburg, W.Va., Marietta, Ohio, and even the Columbus area. .

“The first thing we are not – The Summit is not news, sports, opinions, politics or the sale of products or services,” Bruno said in an email. “Our music and community service programming appeals to musical adventurers, those who dare to be a little different. Our listener-supported public radio station is on the left of the dial, which means that support comes from the communities we serve, thanks to donations from listeners.

The Summit has also been honored with numerous awards, including the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation Innovation Award in 2014 and Best Radio Station by Akron Life Magazine in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012.

OU students are also excited about a new variety of music coming to town via the radio station.

“I think (The Summit) is cool,” said Gabriella Benington, a freshman teaching high school history. “I personally know that my car doesn’t connect to any radio stations, so I think it would be nice to have a radio station that wasn’t just 60s country music.”

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