You may think of radio as a lone DJ sitting in the studio spinning tunes, but the staff of 94.3 The Fortress, WIWU-FM keeps taking radio out where the listeners are. Throughout the summer, when some college stations slow down or shut down, 94.3 FM went live, on-location across Grant County with the All-Request Hour and Daniel On-the-Road.
Music Director Daniel Maloy and the summer broadcast staff were welcomed at local businesses and community organizations and had the pleasure of meeting actual listeners in person. As Marion’s only Christian music station, WIWU-FM has built a loyal following but staff members admit it’s hard to visualize all the people out there until you see them or hear from them during a station promotion.
“Having the opportunity to engage with the community was an invigorating experience,” Maloy said. “It was great to make connections with our listeners and good to know we are making an impact.”
This fall, 94.3 FM was back on location at Marion’s Five Points Mall for National College Radio Day. The annual event reminds listeners of the value of college radio to their listening communities, especially at a time when some colleges have sold their FCC licenses, stating college students are no longer listening to radio.
WIWU-FM has always focused on community service in Grant County and the audience beyond the campus that definitely has not stopped listening to local radio.
“We are linked to the community because they are our audience,” said Dr. Mark Perry, Faculty Advisor. “We push students to think outside of the IWU community because we have, as broadcasters and followers of Christ, a responsibility to think of others, to serve them.”
The station isn’t sitting back in the studio this fall and Christmas season, either. 94.3 The Fortress will provide the background music at Marion’s Walkway of Lights starting on November 23 with a live remote broadcast and will give out candy cane treats to more than 40,000 visitors throughout the event.
Visitors will be encouraged to tune in to 94.3 FM as they drive through the walkway, and the station will program continuous Christmas music every evening through New Year’s Eve.
Lauren McCormack (Jr, Dyer, IN), 94.3 Promotions Manager said the remote broadcasts give the announcers a great chance to interact. “We want to put a face on who were are as a radio station and cultivate an environment where we can come together with Grant County and truly create community,” she said.
These efforts fit the mission of the radio station and the IWU Division of Communication & Theatre as it “gives voice to stories that impact culture.” Those stories are discovered everywhere a microphone, or camera, and most importantly, a student, goes, around the world, or around the block.