WHITESBURG – A Letcher County radio station will dedicate an entire day’s worth of programming next week to the area’s coal miners.
Sam Neace is the community engagement director for the non-commercial radio station WMMT in Whitesburg, and said while the idea for dedicating a day for coal miners had been festering for some time, it actually came to fruition during the station’s most recent fund drive. It was then that a contributor made a premium donation, which comes with a gift of dedicating a day of programming, and suggested that the station dedicate a day to miners.
It has been little secret that coal miners in Eastern Kentucky are currently going through a rough patch with companies citing a decline in demand for Appalachian coal as the primary reason for many of the hundreds of layoffs so far this year. Neace said he saw this dedication as way to recognize those members of the community in a unique way.
The coal-related programming will begin at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 25, and last until at least 10 p.m. that night. Neace said the programming will not only consist of coal-themed music ranging from bluegrass to rock, but also content created especially for the station’s broadcast in the form of testimonials.
“We’re going to have dedications and songs, coal miner-related songs, randomly throughout the day, and then airing testimonials people have recorded, or maybe stories that they’ve told about mining,” Neace explained.
Volunteers at the station are excited about the day, Neace added, as many of them grew up with a father who worked in the mines, or they themselves work in the industry now. And Wednesday will be a good day for it, because the station normally plays a variety of music during the day.
“It’s a good day to do the dedication, because regardless of what style of music you like, at some point of the day it’s going to be on WMMT,” he said.
Neace added that anyone who wants to make a dedication prior to July 25 or during the day of the broadcast, can call the station at 606-633-0108, or email at wmmtfm.org .