94.3 The Fortress, WIWU-FM, celebrated the first ever National College Radio Day with an all day live broadcast in Marion’s Five Points Mall.
This event was started by Rob Quicke, General Manager of WPSC-FM from William Paterson University. He wanted a way to unite college stations all over the country and raise awareness about the unique perspective college radio brings to American broadcasting. Jenn Wilcox,WIWU-FM General Manager said the radio staff wanted to reinforce a presence in the area. “We really want to reach out to the community and let them know we’re here for them, so this seemed like a great way to meet a wide variety of listeners.”
The students started setting up at eight-thirty Tuesday morning and did not tear down until nine o’clock that night. “It was a long day, definitely, but I thought it was well worth it for the interactions we had and the experience it gave our new DJ’s,” Wilcox said. Many of the Fortress’s new DJ’s played a significant role in the broadcast. Some had on air shifts, others worked in the studio, and some stayed at the promotions table to interact with listeners. Despite some butterflies, these new DJ’s soon found it to be a great experience.
The Fortress went beyond normal on-air shifts by providing statistics about the station, DJ bios, and several on-air interviews with local pastors, business people, and even a few professional radio announcers.
Fortress News Director, Jeremy Sharp interviewed WBAT-AM News Director, Weston Lee and said he really enjoyed hearing from a radio professional. “One of the coolest things was that he’s pretty young and still has a lot of passion for what he’s doing and just radio in general. He had a lot of great stuff to say about his college days and his first encounters with radio.”
The staff also able to met some listeners, even had the chance to interview one on air.
Angela Herrington is an IWU adult student and an avid Fortress listener. She gave a testimony about the station and the impact it’s had on her family. General manager, Jenn Wilcox said, “It was so awesome to hear from someone who genuinely loves listening to our station. It really encouraged me that we’re making an impact in our community.”
Overall it was a good experience for everyone, and the Fortress staff plans to keep going into the community as the year goes on.