ANA SANTOS / THE EAGLE
After a six-week delay, WVAU is back on the air with a revamped face for radio.
WVAU, AU’s student-run online radio station, premiered live on Oct. 5 after relicensing the station with Sound Exchange, an organization that pays royalties to artists for online streaming. WVAU could not broadcast until the proper fees had been processed, WVAU Music Director Max Tani said.
With the changes coming from this relicensing, including the ability to now archive their shows on their website, WVAU has begun to revitalize and reorganize the image of the organization.
“In the past few years, I’ve seen the station slowly grow and expand, and with these changes we’re becoming more of a legitimate organization,” General Manager Emily White said.
In May 2011, WVAU’s budget increased from about $8,000 per year to $23,600 in order to fund the studios redesign.
The newly refurbished studio, features a new console, speakers, headphones, computers, chalkboard wall, website redesign and an audio encoder to increase the quality of WVAU’s online stream. Beyond that, the station has also revamped their logo, which was recently redesigned by Art Director Morgan Wheaton, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences.
White says she plans to create a learning lab within the organization for students to build upon their audio technical skills. To do this, White plans to revitalize the station’s editing room to invite the possibility of in-studio performances and prerecorded promo spots and station IDs.
Outside of the studio, WVAU plans to be more visual across campus to broaden the audience.
“We have all these music-minded people, we have all of these great shows, but people are frustrated with the lack of listenership,” White said. “For a long time we have put the promo efforts on the DJ, but there is a lot we can do to promote ourselves. My number one goal has always been that we need to play on campus.”
WVAU will now be playing in TDR during dinner hours on select nights of the week. For the first few weeks, students from the organization will be tabling outside to collect listener surveys. Eagle’s Nest has also agreed to broadcast WVAU during all hours of operation.
WVAU has also taken its music across the quad, as it sponsored its first acoustic set in the Davenport on Sept. 24, featuring D.C. band Dance for the Dying. The organization also plans to continue to host open mic nights and concerts on campus.
“By having our presence in other places on campus, it automatically exposes people to WVAU,” White said. “If we put WVAU in places students don’t have to seek out, that is the best way to get new listeners.”
WVAU also plans to build upon the station’s connection with D.C. through the continuation of the organization’s “Capital Punishment” series. The series has been a long-time fixture of the station and offers free concerts open to the public featuring up-and-coming bands from the area. On Oct. 5, WVAU hosted their first installment of the series, which featured bands “Shark Week,” “Teen Suicide” and “Teen Lit” at the Kay Spiritual Center. White says her goal is to host at least three of these shows per semester.
“It just felt like this is our moment,” White said. “We’re getting this new studio, now it’s time for us to revamp.”
Full Disclosure: Eagle Staff Writers Maeve McDermott, Sean Meehan and Marissa Cetin are DJs at WVAU. They did not write or edit any part of this report.