Most students on summer vacation are enjoying the weather, going on vacations with their families, or otherwise enjoying their time away from their studies.
However, students from Mercer Island High School’s (MIHS) radio station, 88.9 KMIH The Bridge, have spent the summer in dim-lit station booths, transforming the radio station into something new.
Joe Bryant, broadcast media instructor and general manager for 88.9 KMIH The Bridge, and several of his students — including a recent graduate — are working to transform the radio station into Log Boom Radio. Log Boom Radio will celebrate Seafair all week long with customized programming and live student broadcasts.
Log Boom Radio signs on at noon on Monday, July 29, to cover the arrival of the fleet into Puget Sound with a live broadcast from the pier, and the non-stop summer and Seafair sounds until the final heat of unlimited hydroplane racing is complete on Aug. 4.
The radio station covered Seafair last year, but not live. Students conducted interviews, reported on the races and events, and produced a podcast of Seafair.
The podcast earned the radio station a golden microphone award.
“It really opened the doors for us to explore opportunities,” Bryant said.
Bryant said the new partnership between the radio station and Seafair is three-pronged: The week-long broadcast will offer students hands-on experience in live broadcasting, offer the community — and beyond — another way to experience Seafair, and offer Seafair a way to better connect with its audience.
Patrick Harrison, the director of marketing and communications for Seafair, said Seafair is in its 70th year. It’s become a beloved and lasting tradition, however, he said organizers are looking for new ways to expand community relationships.
“Log Boom is going to be a great way to expand how people connect to Seafair,” he said. “There’s 300-400 boats out there with people who can only experience Seafair in that way. Log Boom Radio is going to be the perfect space for them to experience Seafair in a different way.”
Bryant said Log Boom Radio is a way for younger people and new community members to get involved with Seafair.
“This is a way to get the next generation excited about Seafair,” he said. “It’s going to be a great way to get more of the community involved… they’re going to have the best seat in the house.”
The students working on Log Boom Radio are excited to be a part of the radio station’s first live event broadcast of Seafair.
Max Tanzer, a recent MIHS graduate, has spent most of his first summer out of high school in a radio station booth working on the project.
“It’s been really fun. It’s been great being involved,” he said. “It gives us a chance to understand and represent Seattle history.”
Mason Meinzinger, an incoming sophomore at MIHS, has been working to create a 500-plus song playlist curated to listeners of all generations for the week-long broadcast. The songs are all summer-themed, in one way or another.
“We have everything that you’d want to hear in the summer,” Meinzinger said. “We have everything from The Kinks “Sunny Afternoon,” to Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky,” to more current artists like Post Malone and Ariana Grande.”
He said he’s also excited for the broadcast.
“It’s a first for us,” he said. “No one knows exactly how it’s going to go — It’s going to be forged in fire.”
Depending on how well the broadcast goes, Bryant said he hopes it will become a longstanding tradition to partner with Seafair.
“It’s a special project for all of us, and it’s been so rewarding to see the students take time out of their summer vacation and work for the joy and the experience of making something special,” Bryant said.