Despite WEGL’s recent technical difficulties involving their radio tower being struck by lightning, the student-operated radio station has been working to regroup and improve.
To refute the claim that WEGL is “mostly dead air,” members of the WEGL staff said that claim is not only contentious, but it’s a “flat out lie.”
During this year’s spring semester final exams, three weeks passed with no signal as the WEGL staff worked diligently to repair the lightning damages of the 3,000-watt radio tower.
The station’s engineer Will White said WEGL staff members feel that this effort has been overlooked, and these technical difficulties have been used to criticize them even though it has been the only dead-air incident to-date.
“We want to encourage people to not just get in involved with WEGL, but to tune into WEGL 91.1 FM and just listen,” White said. “I can guarantee that if people would give WEGL a chance and listen to it once, 90-percent will remember it and want to listen to it again because its good radio.”
To increase the current student audience and reach out to new students, WEGL is currently undergoing programming changes, such as the improvement of its disc jockey staff and the structure of their hourly shows.
Management has also raised the bar for DJs and other employees to make tasks harder and more formulaic for the station to run smoother in order to ensure better quality.
Enhancing the DJ grid by retraining DJs and planning for a more consistent hourly routine are just some of the measures being taken for improvement this summer.
Management is also working to encourage DJs to increase effort by taking the initiative to be more organized and to hold themselves to higher standards.
Rachel Warfield is the station manager for the summer and is the year-round sports director and a senior graduating in December with an RTVF Communications degree.
Warfield said this increase in effort will not only benefit the station, but also the DJs by giving them pride, more individual recognition and a better work experience that will be advantageous for their future endeavors within the field of radio and television.
The WEGL Promotions and PSA Director and broadcast adviser Scott Waters, provides a non-student perspective on the station’s current state.
“I’m trying to make WEGL more of a staple to the community,” Waters said.
By reaching out to and developing relationships with local vendors, Waters said he hopes to expand the station from its university perimeter to the community.
Waters said he feels that both the station and community can benefit from working with each other to give and receive support, and, with this support, he said he hopes to steer the station into the direction of demonstrating more pride to become more reflexive of the Auburn spirit.
“We plan to reach out, not only for quality staff members and to those interested in volunteering, but to new listeners as well,” Waters said.
Some potential activities and upcoming events for WEGL include an Open Mic Night, spoken word nights, poetry readings, black light parties, freestyle nights, an acoustic songwriter concert series, a Halloween party, WEGL Karaoke Korner, and a music festival called WEGL Fest.
The station’s goal is to host as many of their own events as possible, only searching for other venues other than campus if necessary in order to make them more WEGL-oriented.
“We don’t mind being the DJ service, but we want to be more than a DJ service,” Warfield said.
Other future WEGL plans include broadcasting Radio Flyer Theatre and live shows around town, as well as bringing local bands into the station.
“As we delve into looking into the future of WEGL, I think we need to realize in terms of our programming and DJs that it’s not just reflective of that person’s show and it’s not just reflective of WEGL, but its reflected upon Auburn University as a whole and the entire Auburn family,” White said. “We’re just encouraging our DJs to put more pride into their shows and strive to do a good show that people want to listen to. We’re trying to make WEGL and professionally-run and well-organized outlet that Auburn can be proud of.”