WMTH-FM, located in Park Ridge, Illinois, was among the first high school radio stations in the United States when it was licensed in 1959. Established by the Student Council at Maine Township High School, now Maine East High School, the station went on the air during December 1959. The station became known as "The Voice of Maine Township".
|City||Park Ridge, Illinois|
|Slogan||"The Voice of Maine Township"|
|First air date||December 20, 1959|
|HAAT||31 meters (102 feet)|
|Callsign meaning||Maine Township High|
|Owner||Board of Education, Maine Township #207|
|Webcast||http://13.bteradio.com:9090/wmth.mp3 Listen Live]|
The radio station was built by electronics teacher, Theron Whitfield, and electronics students in the school. The first student voice on the station was that of class of 1960 senior, Harrison Ford, who went on to become a major film actor in the Star Wars and the Indiana Jones film series.
WMTH-FM has studios at all three existing Maine Township High Schools; Maine West High School in Des Plaines and Maine East High School and Maine South High School in Park Ridge. There was also a studio at the former Maine North High School in Des Plaines.
The call letters were chosen "MTH" as in Maine Township High (school). The WMTH-FM antenna is located on the highest point of the school building at Dempster and Potter Roads in Park Ridge. The studio from 1959 through 1970 was located in room 147B, across the hall from the auditorium. When the center courtyard building opened in the fall of 1970, the radio station relocated and the first WMTH-TV television studio was built.
The original power of the station was 16 watts effective radiated power at a frequency of 88.5 MHz. This continued from 1960 until 1983 when the frequency was changed to 90.5 MHz and the power reduced to 10 watts. This leaves it as one of the lowest powered FM stations in the United States, and one of few remaining under the now-discontinued Class D license.
WMTH broadcasts between the hours on 9am-5pm on Weekdays only, with each Maine Township school broadcasting on a different day. A full calendar schedule can be found on the station website. WMTH also broadcasts online.
WMTH-FM continues to broadcast a mixture of music, school sports events, and other programs of local interest.
- Harrison Ford (1960) Actor and film producer
- Marshall Seese (1960) TV Weatherman on The Weather Channel (retired 2008)
- Steve Goodman (1963) Musician and composer
- Rich Koz (1970) Svengoolie Chicago TV celebrity
- Janet Shamlian (1980) national correspondent NBC News
- Countless others are at television stations, radio station, cable-TV, and satellite radio stations
- "Maine FM Station In Operation". Park Ridge Herald. December 1959.
- contact with individuals and/or public domain sources