This fall, WRUR has seen some significant changes as a result of fears of legal action and a Federal Communications Commission fine in the past year. “In order to attract a wider and diverse population of the student community with varied music interests, we have introduced a new format of the show called ‘Triple A’ during weekday mornings, which incorporates a variety of genres such as rock, folk, blues, etc.,” senior and general manager of WRUR Seth Berkowitz said. Weekday mornings are dominated by the morning edition of NPR or “NPR in the car” programs. Meanwhile, the weekday evenings consist of shows by student disc jockeys.On the weekends, however, community members, some of whom have been with WRUR for 20 years, host individual shows such as “The Soul Show” by Scott Wallace, while “All Things Considered” is aired during the evenings. A complete schedule of all shows can be viewed at http://www.wrur.org.The goal of these changes is to make WRUR a more popular and professional radio station. In addition to introducing new and creative shows, the entire executive board has been restructured, with the intent of bringing in young and fresh leadership.”I’m very excited about youngsters like Heather [Bischoff], Lee Mazur and Meggan [Patterson], who are taking up critical positions such as creative services director, promotion director and business manager, respectively, among others,” Berkowitz said. “Many seniors on the board, including me, are graduating this year, and we are trying to train these youngsters to take over from us and hopefully continue for a longer period of time.”Another major goal that WRUR is working toward this semester is to completely remove automation. “We’ve been stuck in a ‘chicken or the egg’ situation,” Berkowitz said. “Until recently, our morning shows would consist of computers playing random songs. Our only alternative was dead air.” However, they now have two retired radio professionals, John Florence and Scott Rodgers, volunteering to host the live “Triple A” shows in the mornings. “The aim is to encourage more students to participate, and once they are adequately trained, [Florence and Rodgers] will gladly step down for these students to replace them,” Berkowitz said.Apart from student DJs, WRUR is also on the lookout for students with engineering experience to improve the technical aspects of the station. “DJing is the fun part of radio and hence more popular, however, we do need more technicians to work behind the scenes,” Berkowitz added. “Until now, Steve Carlton was our sole engineer, and given that engineering is a major part of a radio station, it is certainly not a one-man show.” Berkowitz is also thrilled with the enormous positive response these changes have triggered. “I have had a large number of responses via e-mail, and the phone in the office is practically ringing off the hook some days,” Berkowitz said. “And this is even before we have started advertising!” Berkowitz hopes that the advertisement campaign will be launched at the beginning of next semester. While the official rankings are yet to be announced, Berkowitz is satisfied with the reaction from the student community. Last year, in spite of having the most powerful signals, WRUR was ranked last in the local radio market. However, Berkowitz believes it would be shocking if the rankings turned out to be the same after the changes.Krishnan can be reached atskrishnan@campustimes.org.



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