By Dave Mattera
Delaware County Community College’s radio station, formerly known as “WDCR,” is relaunching in Spring 2017 after being dormant for almost four years.
The station’s first pilot podcast will air on Dec. 9, and offers a segment on student preparation for final exams.
Maria Boyd, assistant professor of communications at DCCC and faculty advisor for the station, will guide students throughout the process.
According to Boyd, the station will be undergoing a complete transformation including a name change, and steering away from its previous format of playing only music over the loudspeakers on campus. It’s transforming to a digital media center streaming music, student-talk radio, podcasts, and featuring video programs such as vlogs and YouTube channel creative works played over the internet in addition to playing on campus.
“We’re trying to bring college radio back to Delaware County Community College,” said Bill Quinn, an applied science major who is working on the technical features of the station. “With the internet revolutionizing the way we access content and other forms of multimedia, it’s only about time that we bring college radio into the internet age.”
Boyd held three meetings this semester to brainstorm ideas and discuss challenges with students interested in the relaunch of the station.
“The biggest challenge is getting our equipment up and running, and getting trained on the use of our equipment,” Boyd said. “And we are looking for very tech-savvy helpers to help us with that.”
Boyd explained how two of the radio station’s students, who already have high degrees of technical aptitude, evaluated the equipment and software as is and determined it is about 70 percent functional.
As the technical team prepares to get the station operating, students interested in becoming on-air disc jockeys are preparing their ideas for the spring semester.
“I’m excited…for maybe in the future to have an [on-air] talent show or showcase that we can all be a part of, and hopefully play some music from students,” said Theresa Rothmiller, a journalism major interested in being a disc jockey for the station. “There are a bunch of talented students here at the college and it would be cool to give them some exposure.”
Ideas from students ranged from organizing segments and selecting music songs to covering events on and off campus.
“In general, it’s going to be a really great opportunity for the participants who are doing stuff on-air, to speak about different topics that are important to them and get more involved within the community,” said Claire Halloran, a journalism major interested in being a disc jockey for the station. “It’s the first school activity that I am participating in, so I am really looking forward to it.”
The station was active from 2002 to 2013, streaming music over the college’s loudspeakers from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
According to Boyd, the former faculty advisor for the radio station moved to another institution in 2013, which is partly the reason the station became inactive.
“Since 2013, mass communication classes have mostly been manned by adjunct professors, so there wasn’t enough availability to appoint a new faculty advisor,” Boyd said. “I was hired as the media studies tenured track professor for the communications department beginning in Fall of 2015, and Campus Life reached out to me in September of 2016 to see if I would be interested in being the faculty advisor to get the radio station up and running again.”
From the notes that Boyd has recovered about the station, there was no sign of talk radio, but rather music blocks that played in intervals of either 30 minutes to one hour with different genres of music selected by students.
The radio station has no future plans to obtain an FCC license because the content will not be broadcasted over public radio airwaves, instead, a streaming pre-recorded service will play on Marple Campus and over the internet. However, Boyd emphasized that the radio station will still abide by all FCC standards and practices.
Boyd adds that all future plans for the new radio station are subject to change based on unforeseen variables.
Contact Dave Mattera at email@example.com