Whole Lotta Clicking Going On
There’s been one constant motion going on in the offices of
90.5 WASU-FM for the past week.
Students affiliated with the Appalachian State University radio station have overworked their index fingers on their computer mice and laptop touchpads in hopes of bringing home the wood.
Each click brings the station closer to the College Radio Woodie.
For the second consecutive year, WASU is ranked in the top 10 university-affiliated stations around the country in mtvU’s Woodie Awards, a contest driven by nominations and popular polling.
A division of MTV Networks, mtvU is a television music and lifestyle channel specifically targeted to a college-age audience. It reaches more than 9 million students across the U.S.
The best college radio station is determined by the number of online votes cast by fans at the mtvU website and the popular instructor review website, RateMyProfessor. Voting is open to the general public through Friday, March 9, at 12 p.m.
If WASU wins the College Radio Woodie, the station will receive recognition at the Woodie Awards Festival, taking place March 15 in Austin, Texas, during the South by Southwest Music Festival. A mtvU camera crew delivers the award to the winning school prior to the festival, then replays the footage of the drop-off during the ceremony.
In 2011, WASU was the runner-up in the College Radio category, picking up the first-ever Shoulda Coulda Woodie award.
Lauren Brigman, WASU’s station manager, said coming in second was exciting, but the station is doing everything it can to one-up itself this year. “This year, we really, really, really want to win this,” she said.
WASU program director Joel Gillie said the station’s staff and air talent are consumed with the competition.
“Any down time that we have is spent clicking and voting and spreading the word to get other people to vote,” he said. “There’s a lot of clicking going on. Tech support is going to have to come replace all the mice in the office after this is over.”
In addition to their own clicking, Brigman said the WASU crew is working hard to earn the clicks of the Appalachian and Boone community. As in the past, the station hosted “click-a-thons” on campus this year, but it also increased its media presence and reached out to more local businesses for support.
Many King Street shops have agreed to display fliers promoting the contest in their storefronts. On Thursday night, from 4 to 6 p.m., Galileo’s is hosting a WASU remote. Customers will receive a dollar off their bill if they vote while at the restaurant.
Brigman said the effort behind the contest has been fun – but hard – work, and regardless of the outcome, WASU has reaped many benefits.
“This has just really brought us together as a staff and the station as a whole,” she said. “It’s given us something to be really excited about, be really proud of.”
Gillie said being up against nine other stations in the country is much like commercial radio. The battle for the Woodie is preparing him and other students for the competitive atmosphere they may face if they seek out a career in radio.
“It’s like that in a major market, and you’re fighting for ratings,” he said. “It’s kind of that on a little bit smaller scale. If we don’t win the Woodie, no one is going to lose their job or anything, which is how it could be in the real world.”
WASU would like to have the Woodie title and the national notoriety that comes with it, but their position in the college radio world is unlikely to change.
“We all know we’re No. 1,” Brigman said. “We say it all the time because of the student support, community support.”
Students, parents and business owners will be listening to WASU over the next few days to find out the results of the Woodie Awards. Gillie said if WASU wins, it will be because of the people who loyally tune into their station.
“I think that our listeners are the best, and I think that’s why we deserve to win that Woodie,” he said.
A recap of the Woodie Awards will air on MTV and mtvU on March 18 at 8 p.m.
For more information about WASU-FM and to vote in the contest, visit http://www.wasuradio.com.