WVUA offers diverse selection of musicBy Becky Robinson | 07/16/2013 11:30pm
For Maggie Brown, a sophomore majoring in telecommunication and film, becoming the boss at The University of Alabama’s radio station, WVUA-FM, was far from things she thought she would accomplish.
When a station representative came to Brown’s TCF class last year, she ignored him the first few times, thinking there was no way she could be hired. After finally giving in, Brown was offered a job to be the program director’s assistant.
“I’m very work-oriented. That’s how my whole life is,” Brown said. “Everybody has hobbies, and my hobby is work.”
At only 19 years old, Brown is the youngest station manager WVUA has ever had. She is also only the second girl to ever hold the position.
When Brown became manager, she said she had no problem volunteering her age, but other people did.
“[Some people] just didn’t respect me at all and my authority,” Brown said. “My advisor thought it was because I was a girl, but some of the guys on staff thought it was because I’m so much younger.”
While Brown said she loves her current staff, she admitted it wasn’t always easy in the beginning.
“I was new to the position – I was taking over a lot of work, and some of it, I didn’t even know what was going on,” she said. “I kind of just keep going.”
With the kinks straightened out, Brown is now on-call 24/7 managing the station’s playlists, DJ selection and show grids. She said she’s focused on cleaning up the station and organizing what her predecessors left behind.
“It’s like we’ve gone piece by piece to try and give everything some kind of order,” she said.
WVUA has been entertaining The University of Alabama for years with specialty programs and lively DJs. In the summer, the station has around 12 shows and 25 DJs, a number which drastically increases in the fall.
One of the station DJs is Charlie Argo, who also serves as the program director.
“[WVUA’s] general format is just alternative rock, so that’s what our playlist DJs come in and play,” said Argo, a junior majoring in TCF. “We have one called Reel Tracks, and they’re more of a movie-based talk show, which is really cool.”
Argo said he has always been interested in doing radio and decided to audition for WVUA. He now hosts his own specialty show called Barefoot Blues.
“I just always loved blues music. It’s always been the type of music that means the most to me and I’m passionate about,” Argo said. “That’s what we’re trying to gear our DJs more toward is shows they’re more passionate about.”
WVUA also features shows dedicated solely to all-female artists, folk music and a 2000s alternative rock revival.
Kristian Corpuz, a senior majoring in public relations, doubles as assistant new media director and a DJ. He hosts The Hub, a station dedicated to music heard at festivals. Featuring bands like Electronic Forest, Wookiefoot and String Cheese Incident, Corpuz gives listeners previews of what to expect to see at festivals.
“Most of the other shows are towards other [genres], but there wasn’t really anyone that featured music festivals,” Corpuz said. “They might mention it, but I noticed a lot of people in college know about music festivals, especially the Hangout, since it’s in Alabama.”
Corpuz said his show worked out well since his show is in the summer and coincides with the festivals.
“It kind of gave people an idea of what they could do in the summer if they didn’t know,” he said.
Connor Hughes, a senior majoring in public relations and music director, started doing radio through Creative Campus’ station. He hosts the alternative rock station alongside media director Chris Richmond.
“It keeps [music] outside of the mainstream but not too far out there to where we’re playing the avant garde,” Hughes said. “It’s
a lot more easily accessible to the Tuscaloosa crowd, but I’m still able to introduce them to a lot of newer stuff.”
Richmond, a junior majoring in TCF, said Hughes had done an “excellent job developing [their] sound.”
“It’s edgy enough where you wouldn’t hear it in the Top 40 stations, but it’s accessible to people who don’t usually get into the indie rock scene.”
Currently located in Reese Phifer Hall, WVUA has plans to move buildings by fall 2014. While the location is convenient for the TCF majors running the station, Brown said most of the equipment is stuck at the Office of Student Media across campus and can’t be used until the move.
“It’s been a really good experience overall,” Brown said. “I’ve learned a lot, and I want to do a lot with the station,” Brown said. “We have really, really high hopes for everything that’s going to go on this year."