‘Polka Carousel’ show will move from WMUA to WHMP

Staff Writer
Thursday, September 29, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — A nearly decade-long polka show broadcast on WMUA aired on the University of Massachusetts radio station for the final time last weekend before moving to WHMP starting this Sunday.

Todd Zaganiacz, who has been the host of “Polka Carousel” on 91.1 FM for nine years, said he made the decision to relocate his show out of continued concerns related to cutbacks in community programming at the campus station, but also because there was an opportunity to increase listenership and restore polka to the Northampton-based station.

“Moving to WHMP, with the now expanded four-hour show, will give us a better depth of time for our listeners,” Zaganiacz said.

The show will be broadcast weekly from 8 a.m. to noon, and will allow Zaganiacz to again take requests, dedications and phone calls.

Though he retained a show at the UMass station despite a cap of 24 hours of community programming each week enacted by UMass administrators last winter, his weekly broadcast time was cut from 3½ to two hours, and he worries about the stability of non-student programming there.

“The future is unclear as to where community programming will be at WMUA,” Zaganiacz said. “They are sticking to their 24-hour limit for community members and (I’m) unsure if in the future that will diminish further or may be eroded to nothing.”

David J. Musante, general manager of the Northampton Radio Group, issued a statement that adding polka shows a continued effort to reflect and serve communities.

“We are blessed with a proud Polish heritage in Western Massachusetts,” Musante said. “Nothing could be more appropriate nor could we be more thrilled to have Todd with us and polka back on our airwaves.”

WHMP is broadcast on 1240, 1400 and 1600 AM and 96.9 and 107.5 FM, as well as online at WHMP.com.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.