Almost every college campus has a radio station, but not every station has a physical base and broadcast tower. As a student who has worked with both radio towers and streaming links, it can be stated that both outlets have been rendered differently during 2020. The Community College of Rhode Island’s CCRI Radio and Rhode Island College’s 90.7 WXIN utilise different platforms but share the same vision. WXIN and CCRI Radio can learn from one another if both stations were to collaborate, thus boosting audience reach.
In the spring of 2020, broadcasting had been put on immediate pause. Radio organizations are now using pre-recorded shows and podcasts to entertain and retain their audiences. Although some segments may have been pre-recorded initially, a full schedule of pre-established remote broadcasts is new for 90.7 WXIN. The CCRI Radio station also has an upper hand over RIC, as they have been remoting broadcasts through a streaming link since the station's inception in 2017. Through the use of Radio.Co, broadcasts from the CCRI team can be heard anywhere, anytime, 24/7. The tower broadcasting for WXIN 90.7 only stretches a mile outside of the campus. Legalities are the reason WXIN cannot branch much farther than campus, however, legalities and precautions are the reason students are not on campus. WXIN 90.7 has adopted the use of streaming platforms that the current student body, faculty and administration, as well as incoming students know throughout daily life. General Manager for the 90.7, Brynn Terry states “WXIN is in fact available to stream from any location through a multitude of streaming platforms, including Twitch, and some of our podcasts are on Spotify.”
An aspect of radio where RIC takes the reins is production management. Whereas CCRI just implemented a student-led group defined to specific duties and help roles, RIC’s 90.7 has an executive board with a General Manager, Business Director, Program Director, Production Manager and Sales Director. Both radio stations take advantage of Zoom for their team meetings, although WXIN meetings are open to all RIC students, not just club members. Each station has their way of focusing on recruitment, but WXIN advocates the link for their open meetings Wednesdays at 1 p.m. through their Facebook page. CCRI’s universal streaming link and word of mouth have been the only thing to maintain a steady increase of new faces. CCRI needs to take after RIC and improve their daily social media posting. Marketing on social media is the best way to reach prospective students. WXIN posts their music director’s playlists available daily on Spotify. They also post daily news briefs which is the main way of communication with the 90.7 fans.
In this current moment, WXIN is best known for their Metal Showcase event which showcases some of the best metal and hard rock bands in the area. The college music scene varies in genres, but RIC possesses a strong alternative scene unlike other state schools. 90.7 is also said to create fun and friendly student events. CCRI Radio is best known for Jeremy Handy’s fan favorite segment Foundation Information Weekly, as well as their current event Trivia Knight. The themed quiz show takes place on Zoom Thursdays at 8 p.m. and rotates between music, film and TV themes, also giving out prizes some nights. For example on December 10, players have a chance to win wireless earbuds.
CCRI broadcaster Jeremy Handy spoke his opinions on a possible collaboration between CCRI Radio and 90.7 WXIN, stating “I think it’d be really neat to get the real radio experience! Internet radio is absolutely fine as it is, and I’ve really enjoyed my time with it and I’d absolutely stick with it, but the experiences aren’t the same. Upon the reopening of the schools as a whole, I’d like to experience real tower broadcasting.” Handy is a student that recognizes the use of different outlets and is eager to develop hands-on training with a proper broadcasting tower set up.
David Blais, The Anchor’s assistant sports editor, also happens to be WXIN’s business director said; “We are always interested in collaborating and helping others in the field who are passionate and love the work we do. It’s about getting these people who want to do it introduced to the field and the radio industry, but also, preparing them for how to interact within a professional work environment.”
The members of 90.7 WXIN would be able to show CCRI Radio the ways of organized management, in exchange for a crash course in how to use the Radio.Co universal streaming platform. As a personal user of Radio.Co with segments “local music power hour” and “attack of the covers” that reaches countries like Germany, and Australia, it is evident that Radio.Co reaches a wider audience span. If WXIN was to go universal with this platform, not only would the station reach a bigger and better audience range, but more students would have a chance at broadcasting. Local bands could also have a better shot of being found and heard, and the opportunity of jamming to good tunes no matter the time or place is then promoted. This pandemic is the best time for 90.7 WXIN to test the idea of utilising a platform like Radio.Co.