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The Charger Bulletin

WNHU: Under New Management?

Joe DiVita

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At the beginning of 2009, WNHU underwent two major changes: it gained new administration and became part of the school’s communications department. Many would view this as a positive change, and on the surface it would seem to be. By adding the station to the communications department, it gave communications students a first-hand opportunity to learn about broadcasting through both on-air and technical experience. Also, station members would potentially have greater access to faculty in the communications department, making their time at WNHU a more educational experience.

88.7FM WNHU

88.7FM WNHU

However, this merger has gotten off to a rocky start. Rather than guiding WNHU, the new administration has implemented new practices that have alienated both student and community volunteers alike. The communications department has decided that the station’s old standards were not “up to par” and in the name of “professionalism” have chosen to adopt practices closer to those of a commercial radio station. These changes include shorter, more homogenized mic breaks (thus increasing the potential for DJs to sound alike on-air) and changing the day and night schedule to put like shows together and move all community volunteers to the daytime.

By changing the format of a #1 college radio station, many listeners feel disrespected. After voicing their concerns to the administration, they were told that their thoughts and opinions were wrong. In addition, several listeners are puzzled by the change in schedule: some even shocked to find programs they’ve listened to for years removed in an instant. DJs are also upset with the schedule changes, and some have been personally attacked and disrespected by the administration for simply voicing an opinion.

The administration has emphasized that the charter of WNHU states its purpose is to serve students. It has been reiterated by the administration that the community is of a far lesser concern, despite mandating the playing of a “community calendar” hourly on-air. Despite doing their best to serve the students, WNHU is contemplating abolishing the position of individual music directors and placing all responsibilities under one person. This one person will not have a specialty for each genre they are responsible for and this new adaptation will create fewer opportunities for students to build strong contacts within the music industry. These positions have been in place for nearly two decades and have helped many students to get jobs in the industry. These positions also establish friendships and experiences students couldn’t otherwise get. By eliminating director positions, WNHU is doing a great disservice to the students they aim to serve.

Although these problems exist, WNHU can still benefit from the new administration and find ways to fix them. If those in charge take it on themselves to work and talk with the student DJs, community volunteers, and past alumni, they will gain perspective on the station, its history, and WNHU will continue to deserve the title of “Connecticut’s #1 College Radio Station.”

Editor’s note: Email ChargerBulletin@newhaven.edu with YOUR thoughts!

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The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
WNHU: Under New Management?