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WCNY to premiere documentary on legendary American radio station WAER in March, public invited to Premiere Party

WCNY, Central New York’s flagship public broadcaster has announced it will air the broadcast premiere of “The Miracle Microphone: The Impossible History and History Makers of WAER Radio,” a documentary film chronicling the 70-year history of America’s most storied and accomplished college radio stations.

The film premieres at 9 p.m. March 5 across WCNY’s19-county viewing area. For viewing information, visit wcny.org/wheretowatch.

To celebrate the film, WCNY and WAER are hosting a Premiere Party from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. March 1 at The Studios at WCNY. The event features a mix ‘n mingle, light appetizers, drinks, giveaways, and networking. Tickets are available at wcny.org/events.

Guests will see the film before it airs, and take part in a Q&A with the film producer and participants:

  1. Scott Macfarlane
    Producer of The Miracle Microphone and Reporter for NBC4 in Washington D.C.
  2. Joe Lee
    Director & General Manager
    WAER
  3. Laura Hand
    Anchor & Community Affairs Director
    CNYCentral
  4. Matt Park
    “Voice of the Orange”

Event Emcee and Q&A Moderator

The film includes poignant interviews with famous alumni, including newsmen Ted Koppel and Bob Dotson. It also features unearthed classic radio audio of the late Dick Clark.

WAER-FM was among the first college radio stations in America, launched in 1947 on the campus of Syracuse University. Over three generations, the once-experimental radio station has reached legendary status in the broadcasting industry for its production of hundreds of titans of radio, television and music.

Its list of alumni is a Mount Rushmore of broadcast communications, including: Clark, Koppel, Bob Costas, Marv Albert, Steve Kroft, Hank Greenwald, Mike Tirico, Lakshmi Singh, Sean McDonough, Ian Eagle, Beth Mowins, Andy Musser, Dick Stockton, Dave Pasch and dozens of network and syndicated radio and television broadcasters. Music icons, including Lou Reed, also trained on-the-air at WAER.

The film details the unique and compelling story of how a low-powered technological experiment by Syracuse University and General Electric in 1947 transformed itself into a highly-rated, 50,000-watt on-air assembly line of sports casting talent.

“The Miracle Microphone: The Impossible History and History Makers of WAER Radio” also tells the story of WAER’s role in the college campus protests of 1970, a University takeover of station programming in 1983, its role in fostering the meteoric rise of college sports broadcasting in the late 1980s and its evolution amid the transformation of the radio industry beginning in 1996.

The documentary was produced by Scott MacFarlane (’98), a former WAER music announcer. MacFarlane is an investigative reporter for NBC Washington and the winner of more than a dozen Emmy, Edward R Murrow and Associated Press awards.

MacFarlane said, “No station in the world boasts the dynamic and compelling history of WAER. And no station in the world has produced so many elite broadcasters. WAER’s story must be told and shared.”

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