Coming up on its 20th year, Rowan Radio’s Microgroove is seeing a change in format that the on-air personalities have been waiting for.
Back in 1999, the students who would host the Microgroove had a playlist sheet to refer to when picking and choosing the songs they would play during their block. Specific songs would be labeled as “urban” to make it easier for the on-air personalities to know what they can and cannot play during that time.
“As time went on it was harder to manage that format,” said Rowan Radio station manager Derek Jones. “Over the years you have newer influxes or changes of music. It became tougher to implement the newer stuff. What do you do with hip-hop? What do you do with collaborations?”
The college radio station is beginning to distance itself from Disco and throwbacks, to playing more of the modern, Top 40 hits that college-aged students know and love.
“I think it’s great that they’re incorporating modern music,” said junior radio, television and film major Amanda Gonzalez. “Now students will be more willing to tune in. Students want to know what’s hot and what’s new.”
For student on-air personalities, like senior radio, television and film major and Rowan Radio employee, Stephanie Papandrea, the lack of new music being readily available to them led the students to bringing in their own music. Whether they bought an album, ripped it off of YouTube, or even added music themselves, the students still found a way to play the music that they know and love during their shows.
“I feel like that’s really beneficial,” Papandrea said. “I feel now, as a D.J., I can relate my fan experience with talking on air and making it more personable. I feel like it’s more beneficial for me, personally, to connect with my audience.”
With the change in formatting will come a new addition to the already 10 student run executive staff. According to Jones, beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year, Rowan Radio will see their own ‘Microgroove Director’ for the first time since they removed the ‘Urban Director’ position. The duties of said position would make sure the songs in the system are still relevant on the Billboards Top 40 and aren’t being put in more than once, just to name a few.
“The reason we did it was because, I think, we wanted to kind of revitalize the programming during that block,” Jones said. “[Also] to make sure students were still involved with that block. That music ages, the stuff that we have now, the older stuff. You’re going to have students that you’re asking to play stuff that they just don’t know.”
The Microgroove airs live on Rowan Radio, weekdays from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., on 89.7 WGLS-fm, or via live stream at wgls.rowan.edu.
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