After more than a century “on air,” Grove City College radio is going all digital to reach a wider listening audience that’s more likely to tap a screen than turn a dial.
The Wolverine Broadcast Network (WBN) makes its official debut on Tuesday, March 8 at noon with a live broadcast from the Breen Student Union on campus. Listeners can find WBN online at live365.com.
WBN delivers a digital stream of audio programming created and curated by students, featuring an eclectic mix of music, podcasts, live and prerecorded coverage of campus events, including sports, and whatever else the students running the service can come up with.
While the technology is new, WBN builds on a long and proud tradition of Grove City College radio. The station that would become WSAJ FM made its first broadcast in 1920, months before regional radio giant KDKA, and remained on the air until last year, when it went silent to accommodate ongoing renovation work at Henry Buhl Library.
The new platform provides advantages over traditional radio while providing students with 21st century broadcasting experience.
“I am super excited for WBN moving forward. By incorporating the new streaming platform, we will be able to give a more seamless listening experience to the people tuning in. Streaming will allow us to reach a broader audience of listeners around the world – and our families and friends from all over will be able to listen to our shows,” junior Janessa Dawson, WBN music director, said.
“The new platform allows us to not only do music shows, but talk shows, podcasts, live sports broadcasting, input commercials, and express more audio creativity,” WBN General Manager Maya Lindberg, a sophomore, said.
Beyond the unlimited range and enhanced freedom of the digital stream, WBN will meet the audience where it is most of the time – online and on their phones. “These students have a lot of energy behind this and I look forward to seeing their creativity on display in providing a communications destination we can all be proud of,” Dr. Vincent DiStasi ’88, the College’s Vice President for Information Technology and WBN adviser, said.
While the College has facilitated the digital upgrade, the real work has been done by a core of students committed to student broadcasting. In addition to Lindberg and Dawson, they include seniors Suni Missouri, Zach Gillispie, Juliana Smith, and Miles Dorst.
They came up with the Wolverine Broadcast Network, created schedules and playlists, developed marketing plans, worked on branding, and experimented with the new technology. It has been a lesson in “teamwork, the power of faith, and the goodness of God,” Lindberg said. “We are a family of creative and talented students that have the same mission, and the same vision for what student broadcasting at Grove City College should be,” she said.