MC Radio Station Celebrates 20th Anniversary
March 23, 2009Russ Robinson was the first DJ on Mississippi College's radio station two decades ago. The MC communication professor also known as Russ Brashear is still making a joyful noise on the air most mornings.
Helping celebrate 20 years of broadcasting history on MC's Christian radio station WHJT-Star 93.5, on-air personalities like Russ and Traci will be around for a fun event March 28. Fans of the station are invited to drop by the Park on the River in Flowood from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday.
It's the station's way of reflecting on 20 years of history, but also looking to the future and thanking their many fans in the Jackson area. On Saturday, there will be free cake and the chance to win a CD and Star 93.5 T-shirt every 20 minutes. Prizes from Orman's Jewelry, True Life Photography, and Anytime Fitness will be out there. Go-carts, laser tag, Skillet/Disciple/Decyfer Down concert tickets and much more are part of the festivities.
The park is located off Lakeland Drive in the fast-growing Rankin County city just miles from the Dogwood Festival mall. The event is free.
Traci Maughon, director of radio operations, is pumped about the celebration.
"The very fact that WHJT is still around and stronger than ever is a testament to God's faithfulness and MC's heart," said Maughon, one of the station's DJs whose laughter is contagious with thousands of listeners in the Jackson market.
Robinson broke ground on the Clinton campus as the station's first DJ, she noted, and "some say he will be the last. But it was because of his vision that we are a Christian station now. MC offers us stability that some of our colleagues don't have."
Robinson is also known as the voice of the Mississippi High School Activities Association's annual basketball tournament that airs live on Mississippi Public Broadcasting. The high school hoops tournament always draws big crowds to the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson.
Whether he "sings'' or not, Russ is a big draw to Star 93.5 listeners.
"The picture of Christian radio 20 years ago was a whole lot of preaching and a little bit of music,'' Robinson recalled in a recent interview with the "Beacon,'' MC's alumni magazine. "Now it's a different world.''
Christianity, he said, "hasn't changed but the way people approach it has. Star 93.5, including our format and the music we play, is in touch with today's Christian market.''
Traci, who celebrates six years with Star 93.5 and 13 years in the radio business, teams up with Russ for broadcasts every morning in the basement at Aven Hall.
Star 93.5, she said, "is the best place I've ever worked...WHJT is so blessed to be on the campus of a school that walks the walk - they don't just use the term Christian university as a marketing tool. They believe it, and they believe in us."
Maughon, who lives in Richland and is active in her church, said she hopes to be associated with the station for many years to come.
Traci was first hired as a receptionist at Spirit 106, a local Christian radio station owned by Robinson. He soon discovered Traci's true talents and put her on the air. A dozen years later, and radio listeners can't get enough of this dynamic morning duo. Star 93.5 today is Jackson's number 1 Christian hit radio station.
The station's signal reaches out to audiences across the entire metro Jackson area and beyond, from Clinton to Pelahatchie, from Yazoo City to Star. Twenty to 25 MC communication students work at the station these days.
History buffs will recall the station got its call letters from MC professors Hollis and Julia Todd. Hollis Todd was a communication department leader for years In 1949, Julia Todd began a 16-year period of teaching art along with her work in the Speech Department that later became the Communication Department.
The Todds' legacy lives on. The couple lived for years in Clinton. Funds from the Todds' estate are being used for scholarships for communication students at Baptist-affiliated MC. Russ Robinson was one of their students decades ago when he was an undergraduate on the Clinton campus.
For more information on the Star celebration, contact the station at 601.925.3460.