by Kaitlyn Compari
The Rider Radio Station has started making improvements to better reach students on campus.
WRRC 107.7 FM, Rider’s station, will be undergoing numerous technical improvements in the fall in conjunction with better integration of the station with its listeners. Dr. Barry Janes, a communication professor, is active with the radio station.
“Key broadcast components will be upgraded,” Janes said. “Specifically, the station will be adding a new broadcast console.”
Jon Jones, adviser for the station since 2001, said that the upgrades are still in the beginning stages.
“Planning is still taking place at this time as to what changes may take place in the radio station, sometime this summer or early fall,” Jones said. “Proposed changes being discussed may lead to the station’s walls being reconfigured as well as windows added between studios, allowing better sight lines.”
The space that the radio station currently occupies was previoulsy used by the Bursar’s office.
“[The station] still has the same layout that was used as an office, which does not work well as a radio station,” Jones said.
Some of the changes being made are meant to make it more radio station-friendly.
“In addition, there are cubicles in the lobby area that waste space,” Jones said. “The front row may be ripped out, allowing more space for station members and guests to gather.”
The station will also be hiring a general manager to improve training, allow the station to be more accessible to students, and help make the station a key media component on campus.
Janes also said that the new manager will help maintain the strengths of graduating DJs so their skills will not be lost.
“The manager will help to keep those strengths by being a continuous adviser,” Janes said. “They will cultivate continuity that will benefit both the students and the University.”
Janes emphasized that the expansion of Rider’s radio community throughout the entire University is a driving force behind the upgrades.
“We are looking to increase the presence of the station,” he said. “We are going to establish more interactive programming, and are even going to allow the station’s show to be podcasted.”
Podcasting is a way to post and distribute electronic media files online. That means that people will have access to the station’s programming wherever they go. Janes feels that the ability to podcast the shows will be great for international students.
“Study-abroad students can get a taste of home through the podcasts,” he said.
Janes also pointed out that the station is going to be improved for DJs.
“New paint and carpet” will be one of the upgrades the station can anticipate, he said.
The idea behind the upgrades is that students will enjoy their time there even more.
“We want students to feel that the station is a great place to work.”
Jones said that the planned upgrades would allow for several positives changes in the way the station operates and would alleviate some current problems that exist.
“It would allow the lobby to double as a large studio that station members can use to record larger meetings or area bands,” Jones said. “It would also help with scheduling conflicts that take place when radio courses are scheduled in the ‘on-air’ and ‘production’ studios, which cut away from student member shows being broadcast. This change would leave the ‘production’ and ‘air’ studios designated only for WRRC’s members, while allowing class work to take place in the larger space.”
While the upgrades are set to occur in the fall, there are still many items that need to be worked out before a final plan can be designed.
“No fixed costs have been calculated, since there is still discussion on what changes may or may not occur,” said Jones.
However, the station is already making improvements to better reach the listening community. Sophomore DJ Tim Caffrey said the station’s increased playing time is one of the its greatest current upgrades.
“Our biggest improvement is we are broadcasting 24 hours a day now,” Caffrey said. “This allows us to be played in Daly’s, which, of course, gives us more listeners. We hope that with the upcoming improvements, we will gain even more listeners.”
Rider’s radio station is making strides not only to better itself, but more importantly, to help the students, Janes pointed out.
“It’s all about the students and providing them with a resource that will give them success and the ability to reach the goals that they’re striving for,” he said.
According to Caffrey, the radio station is a great working environment.
“I really enjoy listening to music, so the radio station is a clear match for me,” he said. “What’s better than good music and fun people?”