The old meat locker was unusually warm, its walls stapled with sound-proof insulation plastered ceilings that have seen better days. The unkempt carpeted floors and broken chairs scattered throughout paid homage to the fact that this was a college man-cave.

“How many people are listening today?” I asked.

“I could check, [but] probably zero though,” junior Nathaniel Mulberg said with a laugh. “But it doesn’t bother me. By the way, I could help teach you a few things if you wanted to record this interview in the studio right now.”

The alcove in Todd Union that is home to UR’s student-run radio station, WRUR, goes mostly unseen by the many students who busily trudge through, too focused on grabbing their mail and heading to class to notice; yet behind the heavily stickered door is literally another world.
Nate, the sports director for the station, showed me inside, taking me studio to studio.
Each door he opens leads to something bigger, better, unexpected. The CD’s in the media room number in the thousands, organized neatly shelf by shelf. The main studio has speakers, DJ equipment, and microphones that rival those found in a small town radio station. The last door opens to reveal two recording studios with couches and an inflatable palm tree in the corner.

“During freshman year, I saw a flier somewhere on campus advertising for sports broadcasting,” said Mulberg, an English major from Cherry Hill, N.J. “In high school, I had done a lot with the student newspaper; I was the sports editor of our newspaper, so I was very much into reporting and sports but never really tried anything in radio. I saw it and wanted to give it a try, and I fell in love with it.”

Falling in love is an understatement. Between setting up  and covering sporting events, writing scripts, and interviewing and booking guests, Mulberg works over 25 hours a week at the station.

“I host a sports show every Monday from 3-4 p.m.,” Mulberg said. “I also assist [senior] MacLain Christie, our radio station general manager on our new flagship program, called Talk of the Station from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. And I do the sports update every Monday at 2 p.m.”  Christie has only positive things to say of his partner on the show.

“One thing that stands out about Nate is that he is very professional. He knows how to handle difficult situations very well, and he has great personal skills with important individuals such as the UR Athletics staff,” Christie said.

While Mulberg seems to do it all, his passion lies in sports broadcasting, a division he helped create at WRUR.

“He keeps trying to attribute the success of the Sports Department to me, but it’s been Nate all the way,” Christie continued. “He’s the reason why our sports department is developing into such a great program. Nate is a particularly driven member of WRUR because he has been pushing the sports department above and beyond. Originally, we broadcasted just basketball, baseball, and soccer. But Nate has worked hard to add field hockey, lacrosse, volleyball, and softball.”

For all his hard work, do people listen to the broadcast? With shows playing during classes and many people unaware that there was even a radio station at the University (even though close to 70 students are involved at some capacity), are there listeners week to week?
When asked if he thought most of the fan base came from parents of athletes and those watching the video broadcast who can’t physically be there, Mulberg agreed.

“I don’t even know if they’re fans. They probably can’t stand what we put out, no, but seriously, that’s the thing about it,” he said. “We do these shows here; there’s no one listening, and that’s really how it is. When I do my sports show, I post stuff on Twitter…I’m not even anticipating anybody’s listening.”

“Does it bother you?”

“It makes me more excited,” Mulberg said.

The NCAA tournament games for women’s and men’s basketball were broadcast live, bringing publicity to his efforts.

“It makes it exciting that people get to see your work. There’s a purpose. Other than that though, my main motivation when I’m under the impression no one is listening or watching is that this is what I want to do someday and it will help me get there.”

Although Mulberg works behind the mic and is in many ways unknown to the general UR student body as a broadcaster, he doesn’t let that stop him from pursuing his goals.

“I love being able to connect people, being able to help people and connect people just out of the goodness of your heart,” he said. “For me, when I broadcast these games, I’m not being paid, and I don’t really care. It makes me happy knowing that I’m helping your parents enjoy their daughter’s basketball career because they’re so far away. It’s a great thrill. I have a lot of fun doing it, but that’s a really big part of it. I just like making people happy and if people have stresses in their lives, maybe the broadcast will help them forget about it for a little bit.”

His love of helping people was evident from the moment I asked the first question of the interview.

“What do you do at the station?”

“I’m the sports director, I oversee…do you want to record this in the studio?” he asked again.
Mulberg’s goal to help and connect other people to broadcasting is one he is well on his way to achieving.

Wagner is a member of

the class of 2014.

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