Drexel University’s WKDU 91.7FM Innovates Philadelphia Radio

Through the disappearance of newspapers and the alterations of television broadcasting, radio has always been an important part of the typical media consumer’s daily life. Here, in Philadelphia, college radio is setting the bar highValue Colleges released a list of the “Top 10 College Campus Radio Stations,” that are completely student run. Each of the universities provided a building and a budget and the students were completely in charge of the rest. At No.1, they listed Drexel University’s, WKDU 91.7FM in Philadelphia. They were followed by Seton Hall University’s, WSOU 89.5, Appalachian State University’s, WASU 90.5, and Depauw University’s, WGRE 91.5.

According to Drexel University, the students that work for the radio station are a combination of various majors outside of Communications such as the College of Computing and Informatics, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Engineering. Other common majors of these students include: Math, Computer Science, and Music.

Cooper Beaupre studies Engineering and Business and is the general manager of the WKDU 91.7FM radio station at Drexel. He manages the donations that come through, the sales of any merchandise, and oversees the overall operation.

“I feel very proud to go to this school. I can say now that I was apart of something this successful.”

A mixture of students come together and take on the roles of Production Director, Booking Director, Personnel Director, Creative Director, Chief Engineer, Station Manager, Treasure, Public Relations Director and many other positions.

[View the story “Drexel’s WKDU is Value College’s No. 1 College Radio Station” on Storify]

Allison Durham is the Program Director for the station and is one of the few students that work on WKDU, that actually is pursuing Communications.

“I’ve been hosting my show, Dial Error, for about a few months and it’s been my favorite part of my college experience thus far.”

If someone is interested in punk rock, they can listen Durham’s “Dial Error” from 12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M. on Thursdays or “Cool Times and Sad Jams” on Mondays from 7:00 P.M to 9:00 P.M. From 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M., “Poltergeist” is on the air. If Hip-Hop is an interest, “Hot Mix” is broadcasted Tuesdays from 10:00 P.M. to 12:00 A.M. and Sundown Lounge is from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. on Sundays.

As the world advances into the age of technology, social media is becoming the main source to all media outlets and especially in radio. News platforms are recently realizing that it is crucial to be heavily active on social media, as many individuals are constantly on their cellular devices. Drexel University’s WKDU 91.7FM has over 4,800 followers on Twitter, 1,183 followers on Instagram, and 5,030 likes on Facebook. It’s the only free format non-commercial FM station in the city of Philadelphia. WKDU compares to no other, as it plays different genres every hour.

From Afro beats, to Classic Soul and from Punk Rock to Hip-Hop, the access of multiple different options is endless at this college radio station. Individuals are able to listen on the aesthetically pleasing website where there are schedules, playlists, in-studio interview recordings and past performances. Listeners can view which concert and events are coming up in the Philadelphia area through their “Philly Haps.” There is even a blog attached. This is a way to interact with listeners and give a personal outlook to DJ’s that commit their time to the radio station’s success. Some famous in-studio appearances include: Reggae artist Beenie Man, Nick Valensi, and Def Leopard.

The data comes from National Rankings from the U.S. News and World Report rankings. A variety of credible reports are amongst the rankings that are consulted when determining these results. The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, a public database for the National Center for Education Statistics, is also used as it collects and analyzes information about universities. Research and payscale.com were used as well to finalize such rankings that were used in “Top 10 College Campus Radio Stations.”

 

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According to Nielson, a company that studies consumers, 265 million Americans age six and older listening to radio every week. This medium reaches more people than any other platform. 66.5 million radio users every week are millennials. In each life stage, nine out of 10 listen to the radio weekly. In the average week, radio reaches about 89 percent of On Their Own Millennials and 90 percent of Dependent Adult Millennials. But that number rises to 92 percent among Millennials who are Starting a Family. People ages 18-34 listen to all different types of music which is what makes Drexel University’s WKDU 91.7FM so efficient.

Pop Contemporary is the number one genre for all three groups. On their own millennials are the least ethnically diverse group having an interest in Alternative and Hot Adult Contemporary. Listening to sports radio stations are higher for these type of millennials as well. Adult dependents that are millennials that live at home with their parents listen to more Urban Adult Contemporary, Classic Hits, and Classic Rock. Within the home they have a greater chance to being exposed to this type of music.

Radio reaches 90 percent of all African-Americans each week and 97 percent of all Hispanics.

Drexel’s WKDU 91.7FM, and its students of all different ethnic groups, are tackling other radio stations in Philadelphia and all over the country taking in consideration of all aspects of what it takes to be successful.

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