Ram Radio: For the Students. By the Students.

Want to hear music in your car equivalent to DC101, Washington DC’s Alternative Radio Rock Station, without the long commercial breaks? Then 89.7 WSHC is for you! For my senior capstone the radio station staff and I have spent the last two semesters working hard on revitalizing and re-branding WSHC for future students interested in radio.

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Jesus Villarreal is a Spring 2017 Graduate. His concentration is Media Studies.

After gaining interest in Shepherd’s radio station last year through a radio practicum class, I’ve become heavily involved in revitalizing WSHC with the help of General Manager Mike McGough and volunteer student Thomas Girod. Over the course of the school year, Thomas and I have reworked the music automation to include new and modern music that fit the major age demographic of Shepherd University students. We used audience research websites such as The Infinite Dial and Nielsen to help us figure out our music choices and weekly schedule for both genres and DJ shows. As volunteer Program Director of the station, I helped recruit and stay in communication with student DJ’s the past two semesters, rescheduling them if needed, or just talking to them for help. We stayed in contact using the real-time messaging app Slack, which I occasionally used to send reports and news from other radio stations that could help us build our audience. Along with being Program Director, I also hosted a radio show every Wednesday from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm called “Let’s Get Reel.” The show was a verbal newsletter about movie news and retrospective discussion of older films, directors, and series. It helped me learn to form a narrative structure through talk radio, as well as improved my speaking skills.

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Poster with WSHC’s logo for the Capstone Presentation.

Thomas and I also created a Twitter account for WSHC (@WSHC_FM) to get a start in utilizing social media channels in the future. With the help of capstones completed last semester, we also have a website that will be maintained and updated by Thomas next semester, and a new logo, which is shown on the poster image on the right. The station itself has also gone through some major redecoration that will be completed over the summer to make it more of a nice hangout spot for students rather than a cluttered room. WSHC made its shift to digital media with the help of Syndicate Radio, an Entertainment Marketing Agency that distributes new music to college radio stations to promote the latest and greatest. The combination of new music, a new schedule, and a new logo has given WSHC the opportunity to create its own distinctive brand that the staff has managed and tweaked weekly. Our goal this year was to make WSHC a viable station for current and incoming students to take part of. We hope more students take interested in becoming DJ’s in the coming years because it is both a fun hands-on experience and a great resume builder.

After graduation, I plan to move to Austin, Texas with my fiance to start a new life near my family. I have a few jobs lined up that will help me gain experience towards my career goal of working for a major online media entertainment company stationed in Austin. My fiance and I will also be helping my parents with the restaurant they are planning to open this summer. If you are interested in seeing more of my work, please visit my online portfolio.

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