OWU Radio boosts programs, seeks listeners and hosts

Azmeh Talha

Transcript Editor


It’s been a big year for OWU Radio.

The student-run broadcast station, found online here, grew from eight shows to over 20 within a year.

Sophomore Henry Tikkanen, OWU Radio’s general manager, has led the way in boosting the number of shows and generating creativity at the station. He also schedules the programs.

“The shows that incorporate music play a wide variety of music and usually answer questions from listeners,” he said. “Some also prepare a topic and invite guests on to discuss it or discuss it with a co-host for an hour.”

OWU Radio has a plethora of diverse radio shows that can be found online.

“We have some that just play music,” said sophomore Max Peckinpaugh, the marketing manager. “We have a couple podcasts where they just talk about a topic for the whole hour; we have some that play music and talk, so just a wide variety of everything, really.”

Tikkanen co-hosts an alternative music show with Peckinpaugh at 6 p.m. Thursdays, that includes taking listener questions.

“My show is called “Silky Smooth Radio” even though most of our music isn’t smooth,” Tikkanen said.

OWU Radio broadcast its first Student Involvement Fair Jan. 29, Peckinpaugh said. It recruited 10 people who signed up to host their own radio shows.

The average number of listeners varies depending on the week and showtime. A rough estimate is between 15-20 listeners, Peckinpaugh said. The station’s aim is to draw more listeners.

“We’ve noticed that it’s a lot of just like personal, like family members or friends they know,” Peckinpaugh said.

The radio’s focus this semester is to get more women involved. Currently, only two women host a show.

Junior Anna McReynolds co-hosts “And That’s The Tea,” with freshman Sophia Gabriel at 8 p.m. Thursdays. They pick a theme and play music accordingly.

“In between songs we talk or read quotes,” McReynolds said.

McReynolds said she often encourages more young women to host shows.

“They are super fun and a great way to relax and take a break during the week,” McReynolds said.

David Soliday, an instructional technologist for OWU’s Information Services, also co-hosts a show called “Dancing for Change” with his son, Todd, a former OWU student.

Their show, which airs at 9 p.m. on Mondays, is upbeat and promotes positive messages, such as sustainability, peace and justice. Along with playing music, the Solidays discuss why they choose the songs and the messages behind them. For instance, with Valentine’s Day on Friday, Monday’s broadcast focused on love.

“We played ‘Cupid’s Shuffle’ just for fun,” David Soliday said. “That’s kind of typical Valentine’s Day stuff.”

The Solidays also played religious music about love such as “Give Love” by MC Yogi.

“It’s more of an Eastern, religious message, God is love, love is the force between us all,” the elder Soliday said.

He has worked with the radio since 2010. When he started, the station was an FM broadcast. Currently, radio shows are online and there’s also a Spotify account.

“Hopefully, we’ll get the DJs to be putting their playlists on Spotify and people can find them that way,” Soliday said.

OWU radio returns

OWU radio equipment. Photo courtesy of Alex Gross.
Old OWU radio equipment from Slocum Hall. Photo courtesy of Adelle Brodbeck.

After a nearly two-year hiatus, Ohio Wesleyan online radio makes its return.

There has been no school radio since the spring semester of the 2012-2013 school year. At that time the station was ran from the third floor of Slocum Hall with outdated equipment.

The new station is located on the main floor of Phillips Hall. In a move away from traditional antenna broadcasting, OWU radio streams digitally.

The reemergence of OWU radio can largely be credited to Paul Kostyu, associate professor of journalism, Provost Charles Stinemetz and to The Transcript‘s media adviser Jo Ingles. The station also received financial backing from the office of the dean of academic affairs.

Conor Golden, who serves as the station’s general manager, has been very enthusiastic about getting it up and running. “I have been asking about the radio ever since it was shut down the spring of my freshman year,” Golden said.

A lot of progress has been made since then. An outside contractor was hired to do electrical work, heating and painting. Those updates alone took a few months. Further delays came in the form of computer software and streaming issues.

Professor Kostyu helped by salvaging what equipment he could. That equipment was moved from Slocum to Phillips, and included old, sound-proof insulation that now lines the station walls.

“We want to make sure it is professional and fun,” Golden explained. “There will be a lot more of a variety in regards to shows.”

Junior Conor Golden explains how the radio equipment works.
Junior Conor Golden explains how the radio equipment works.

While most shows will be music oriented at first, the goal is to add public affairs reporting in the coming semester.

Golden even hinted at a show possibly being hosted by Public Safety officer Jay McCann. Until then, music ranging from hip-hop to classical to hipster rock can be heard on OWU radio. And anyone can DJ.

“Anybody on campus can have a show on this station…and that’s a new thing,” Kostyu said.

“We’re really excited about the fact that students are excited and are joining in. It’s kind of a different feel than what it was my freshman year,” said junior Billy George, who like Golden was a former DJ for the station. George will be working as the station’s program director. Students will be able to listen to OWU radio at radio.owu.edu.