This past weekend, five of my fellow managers and I attended the 76th annual IBS Radio Conference in New York City. Having never been to any conference like this before, I had no idea what to expect. Overall, the conference itself was an extremely engaging and informative experience.
Having the opportunity to really interact with other non professional college and high school radio stations made me both appreciate the resources that WLTL has to offer and gave me a lot of ideas on how we can perfect what we’re doing as a station.
After attending the IBS conference I came to one very important conclusion: high school radio is at its most universally beneficial when students are given the freedom to follow and share what they themselves are interested in.
Talking to other stations who are more formatted than we are (meaning that they do not pick the music that they are playing while on-air) made me really think about how cool and unique each music show that we have is.
Here, our on-air staff is able to pick 95% of what goes on-air. While we hope to have consistent music genres across the board, our format of “Variety Rock” can be loosely interpreted to mean almost anything.
Commercial and some high school/college stations rely on heavily formatting their music shows in order to eliminate any risks that come with a lack of control over what is broadcasted. In a high school or even a college setting, stations are mostly noncommercial. These stations are provided with the opportunity to experiment, take risks, and be creative without the fear of losing their jobs or money.
I think that because WLTL allows this freedom on-air the sound and feel of our station is very fluid and very unique. Sure, in the professional radio world you very rarely are allowed to pick your own music. But we are not a professional station; most who participate in WLTL radio are following a passion, not a career path.
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