It was almost exactly one year ago that a private investor laid off the staff at WSWN Sugar 900 – unquestionably the Glades’ oldest radio station – after purchasing it for the radio tower on the property. For Mike Diogostine, better known as “Mike D” on the radio, the move came as a shock.
“Everybody was told we had our jobs and everything was secure,” remembered Mike D. “And then, whenever they sold, they just locked up the doors and really nobody’s been back there since.”
The longtime radio personality found even leaving his house was a reminder of what had been lost.
“I couldn’t go anywhere around town without people asking, ‘what happened with the radio station?’” said Mike D. “If you’re from the muck, you know Sugar 900. It’s been here since 1946, 1947.”
Lost in the deal were hometown staples – programs like the trading post, a radio show where callers phoned in with items for sale, and the perennial football radio broadcasts.
After being laid off, Mike D solicited the help of his old friend Jeff Hawkins, and the two quickly began work on an online radio program to continue the tradition laid down by WSWN.
This partnership has resulted in a new website, muckmusicempire.com, that listeners can visit to hear live broadcasts of Friday’s football games. Although these broadcasts started last year, the two partners believe this might be their breakout year.
Last year, the debut broadcast attracted more than 1,000 listeners, while the audience for the Muck Bowl game reached almost 3,000 listeners.
For Mike D, who worked his way up at WSWN from covering Marlins baseball games to becoming program director then general manager, the new venture is a logical extension of the old radio program.
There are big plans for the website this year, with Mike D and Jeff Hawkins promising to follow the entire football season. Not only that, but the two will be airing a pregame show one hour before each game. Other plans include daily shows and reviving the extremely popular trading post program. But there are even bigger plans on the horizon, promises Mike D.
“This is just the foundation that we’re laying right now because we’re interested in getting an AM signal here in the area, and bring back what the people need,” said Mike D, who explained that his LLC is working with an outside investor to turn his idea into reality. “We definitely need the community to be behind us, to give us that sponsorship and keep the radio signal here in the area.” For more information, or to listen to game radio programs, visit www.muckmusicempire.com.
You can also listen to the programs on the TuneIn Radio app on most smartphones – search word “muckmusicempire.”
Muck City Football: Broadcast Schedule
Aug. 28: Okeechobee at Glades Day
Sept. 4: Somerset at Glades Day
Sept. 11: Glades Central at American Heritage
Sept. 18: Crescent City at Pahokee
Sept. 25: Glades Day at Cardinal Newman
Oct. 2: Glades Central at Somerset
Oct. 9: Village Academy at Pahokee
Oct. 16: Champagnat at Glades Day
Oct. 23: Ft. Meade at Pahokee
Oct. 30: Clewiston at Glades Central
Nov. 6: Muck Bowl – Pahokee at Glades Central