Updated radio station debuts online

Laura Schocker and Laura Schocker

Communication freshman Anthony Williams hosts a talk show and music hour for WXRU, but he wants more than his girlfriend to tune in.

This year WXRU — Communication Residential College’s radio station — began to broadcast 24 hours a day via the Internet. To boost its audience, radio junkies renovated the station in an attempt to get more students interested in the station.

“Sometimes I would look at the number of listeners, and it was just be my girlfriend,” Williams said. “But a lot of people hadn’t heard of it yet, and I think if they knew it existed, they would want to

listen.”

WXRU started when the dorm opened in 1981 as a way for CRC students to experiment with the radio medium. Until this year the station was not well-kept and did not always broadcast.

The station currently broadcasts a variety of music, sports and political commentary. The station will continue this format but members are hoping more people tune in.

Williams worked with other radio members to create a campaign showcasing WXRU as more of a campus-wide station rather than just for CRC residents.

The station will provide some healthy competition to WNUR-FM (89.3), Northwestern’s primary on-campus radio station, although the two are different.

“We’re more mainstream with our music,” Williams said. “I think each station offers its own benefits.”

The station had to undergo improvements this year to become fully functioning.

With the campus-wide debut and the advertising campaign this week, Williams said he hopes more NU students will tune in to WXRU.

Nathan Johnson, a Communication sophomore and radio chair for WXRU, said after he was appointed radio chairman this year, he helped make the station functional again.

Johnson, a Daily staffer, said WXRU’s crew is ready for the station to make a public debut.

“This quarter has been about making the station functional and broadcasting and advertising it to the entire campus,” Johnson said, adding that the station will complement WNUR. “We have less structure and limitations on what can be said than WNUR (does).”

“I think it adds to the richness and diverseness of the campus,” he said. “We may not have the financial support, long history and credibility of WNUR, but we want to add to people’s choices.”

Ben Stewart, a Medill freshman and a technical staff member for WXRU, said the new exposure should enhance the station.

“It’s a good time for all of the students involved, and we want to share that with everyone,” Stewart said.

Stewart, who is responsible for maintaining the Web site and the technical aspects of the station, said he feels the station is ready to reach a more extensive range of listeners.

Interested students can access the station 24 hours a day by visiting www.shoutcast.com.

Reach Laura Schocker at [email protected].