Post Classifieds

Students take charge of the airwaves

By Thomas Carson
On December 8, 2011

In 1967, Norwich University established a radio station on campus. WNUB 88.3 FM was the chosen frequency and call letters, according to the station supervisor Doug Smith. This station teaches Norwich students how to be radio DJ's and to manage a radio station, and provides a commercial-free radio station for the Northfield area.

WNUB starts with W (the standard first call letter for any station located in the United States east of the Mississippi River for commercial use), and stands for Norwich University Broadcasting. WNUB's tower, located on the roof of Jackman Hall, behind the bell tower, puts out 285 watts of FM power.

"(WNUB) offers a wide variety of music and student performances during the semester, and during the evenings when there are live shows," Smith said. "We also just made a partnership with The Northfield News, they are coming in at least one to two days a week to record the news and sports broadcasts."

Professional radio host Dexter Rowe is hosting a new radio show called Northfield News and Views in partnership with the Northfield News' radio broadcasts. This new show will be an open forum about issues and problems in the Northfield area.

Smith took over the position of supervisor for WNUB in 1999. "This will be my 13th year," said Smith. "I am possibly the longest advisor to the station now."

In order to run WNUB, Norwich grants the station a budget of about $10,000 to pay for fees and equipment. "We try to use it effectively," said Smith. "And we have to pay for an engineer to come to help with problems or install upgrades."

There are two classes that teach students the fundamentals of radio broadcasting, along with the practical use of the radio equipment.

For students who enjoy working on the station and want to pursue a career in the field, Smith has allowed students to continue working on the station by delivering a live show in the evenings.

"We are going to add streaming sometime in the next few months," added Smith. "I am working with ITS (Information Technology Services) to get that going. It is not as easy as people think, there are technical and legal considerations."

In the radio classes, students learn the history of radio and how the equipment works. Students also have a two-hour live radio show one night a week.

"I have had a radio show on WNUB since September," said Arielle Eaton, a 19-year-old sophomore communications major from Columbus, Ga. "Our show runs from 8-10 p.m. on Friday nights."

Eaton also has her "voice tracks" that play from 12-2 on Wednesdays. Voice tracks are pre-recorded sections that go in between songs. They sound as if they are live, but an automated computer plays them.

Each live radio show is different. Each group brings a different personality, music and news on the air.

"(We provide to the community) good southern comfort," said Eaton. "My radio name is ‘Soul Sista' and I play the part of a stereotypical Georgia girl with a sassy attitude, and a very heavy southern accent."

"I have a lot of fun with it, it's nice to bring a piece of my childhood and what I grew up around with all the southern little ‘tid-bits'. We talk about food, and the culture, and stuff like that."

After doing the live shows, Eaton is now considering a career in radio, "I really have been enjoying learning about radio."

Mitch Przybocki, a 19-year-old sophomore communications major from Pine Bush, N.Y., is also in the class and has his own show. "Every Sunday evening from 8-10 p.m. is my live show," he said. "I do this with my partner Jim. His nickname is ‘The Bull' and mine is ‘Midtown' so we came up with The Midtown and The Bull show."

"We provide entertainment, we tell funny stories, we give a lot of sports information because we are on Sunday nights, and we play a music mix," said Przybocki. "We are more or less a comic relief, we do a lot of talk, and I like to babble on myself."

After school, Przybocki wants to be a public affairs officer in the military. After the military he wants to be a sportscaster.

"I do local volunteer work at the elementary school, and four or five students in that class say that they listen to the station. So you have 10-year-old kids listening into the channel. I know some faculty and staff that also listen to the station that live in the Northfield area. So it is definitely worth keeping," said Przybocki.

The radio shows in the evening aren't just for the students in the class. Michael Coulombe, a 19-year-old sophomore criminal justice major from Marlboro, Mass., and Nate Holtgrewe, a 19-year-old sophomore computer science major from Penacook, N.H., have a radio show from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesdays.

"We started last year second semester," said Holtgrewe. "And we have been keeping it going ever since."

"We provide a little bit of talk, some community and campus news, and we also do a lot of music," said Holtgrewe.

"We also provide an opportunity for local bands to get their name and music out," said Coulombe.

WNUB is played on campus for students. In the gym of Plumley Armory, the radio station is played for the men and women who are exercising.

"I listen to it when I am at the gym," said Jessica Blier, a 19-year-old nursing major from Windsor Locks, Conn. "I have also listened to it going to and from the school and it's pretty good. Definitely worth having."

If there is an emergency, the station is capable of broadcasting an emergency service announcement with the Emergency Alert Service. The station can broadcast announcements about weather hazards or any other type of emergency.

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