After struggling to find DJs to fill live airtime and having to play recorded radio shows for much of last year, WIUV officials say the student radio station is headed in a better direction under new student leadership.
Castleton student and WIUV Program Director Mike Mitrano attributed the success of the station to “more dedication” from students. The club is now enjoying great attendance at its weekly meetings and has a DJ scheduled to cover the air every night except for Saturdays, he said.
“There is a solid core of students who want to bring radio to the college,” said club Advisor and Professor Robert Wuagneux.
A student at the center of this core is Station Manager Nick Minarik.
The Castleton junior said he decided to take action after putting up with the poor condition of the radio station for too long. By rallying a group of dedicated students and placing more responsibility on staff, Minarik said things started to turn around.
“We all love music,” he said.
But the station isn’t quite where Minarik would like to see it. He wants it to be more of a presence on campus and an to increase listeners.
“If people know we’re on the air with new music, they’ll want to tune in to listen and it could create more of a like, I don’t want to say community, but yeah, like an actual college radio station,” said Minarik.
One way the radio station hopes to achieve this awareness on campus is by putting speakers outside of the Campus Center where the radio booth is located.
“This will draw attention to the station’s locale as well as to the programming in place. People are curious. They hear music or fun in the air and want to know where it is coming from…WIUV of course,” Wuagneux said.
WIUV secretary Caitlin Lawlor is among many who hope that these speakers will result in more listeners.
“When you actually get phone calls that’s when you know people are actually listening to you … and that’s quite an accomplishment,” she said.
A mixture of new DJ’s has also added variety to WIUV’s broadcasts. Zak Mayo is one Castleton student who has gained popularity as a DJ. The junior sports administration major was working his public safety shift one night when he walked upon the radio station. He said he had never really paid much attention to it before.
Mayo said he was motivated to be a DJ because he was “kind of sick of listening to the Vermont radio stations of just rock and country.”
The result was the Monday Mix with Mayo that airs live 4:30-7:30 p.m., which he classifies as a variety of music that mostly focuses on the popular songs of the day with a little bit of talk radio mixed in.
He agrees that there has been an improvement in the college’s radio station.
“There has been a ton of people to call in during my show and also on campus I am always hearing how people are getting happier with what WIUV is now doing,” he said.