From the day WHCP started to broadcast more than five years ago from downtown Cambridge, it was destined to be a one-of-a-kind community radio station. Founded by former NPR executive Mike Starling after a lifetime career in radio, it was his vision to use the power of radio to engage, entertain, and educate a community differently from commercial stations.
WHCP’s success was almost instantaneous. Volunteer DJs and technicians came by the dozens to lend their talent and passion to the new undertaking to create an audience of over 2,000 residents from its modest broadcast signal of 150 watts.
But when Mike decided to retire from the day-to-day management of the station last year, there were immediate concerns that it would be impossible to find a suitable replacement for the founder. But that’s when Judy Diaz emerged out of nowhere to be Mike’s successor.
With almost thirty years of marketing and audience development experience with such highly regarded institutions as PBS-Kids, Politico, and Northwest Airlines, Judy found her way to Cambridge through her love of sailing. Eager to find a second home for herself and her husband, Kevin Diaz, whose high profile day job was being political editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, they settled on Cambridge as the perfect weekend getaway from high-pressure Washington, D.C.
What Judy didn’t expect was having both of them fall in love with Cambridge. They gave up those big-time jobs and moved to Dorchester County permanently almost two years ago. It was the perfect place for her husband Kevin to start writing a long-deferred nonfiction book. And for Judy, it was a remarkable opportunity to enter the world of community radio.
In her Spy interview, Judy talks about this transition, her love of the grassroots radio format, and WHCPs plans to expand its signal and its audience with recent FCC approval to broadcast at the 10,000 watts level soon, which will not only cover all of Dorchester County, but Talbot County, and down the road other parts of the Mid-Shore.
This video is approximately six minutes in length. For more information about WHCP please go here.