Radio DePaul does it again.
In 2013, the student-run station was named the Best Streaming College Radio Station in the nation by the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System. Radio DePaul was also nominated in the categories of Best Overall Radio Station, Best Talk Show, and Best Public Service Announcement (which it won) from College Media Advisers.
“For the past several years, we’ve been super ambitious,” says Scott Vyverman, the station’s faculty manager and a senior instructor in the College of Communication.
“We’ve been pushing the boundaries of student radio. That’s why we have live news at noon and 5:00 and breaking news throughout the day. It’s why we’ve got live sports coverage, and not just for Demon games. It’s why we sent a reporter to Daley Plaza for the Olympics announcement, and it’s why we had a team on the air for the presidential election in 2012. Our students are plugged in and professional; our production is tight; and our shows really serve the DePaul community.”
According to Vyverman, success breeds success.
“At the station, we have this running joke — ‘not that it’s all about the awards’ — but in truth if we set the bar high, if I say we have to be good enough to win national recognition, than our programming rises to that standard. Of course, working at the station is all about learning — it’s OK to make mistakes. But I absolutely want our students to understand that jobs in commercial radio require nothing less than excellence, and they can achieve that here. I expect students to give the station their best efforts, and they do.”
That’s why Jacob Alderman (BA ’16), chief engineer and production director, picked DePaul. “When I was visiting colleges to choose one, I ended up hanging out at the station, and Scott took the time to talk to me — no teacher anywhere else did that — and he told me about where the industry is going, about the skills I’d need, and about the opportunities I’d have at Radio DePaul. He saw me fitting into the team here, and I felt that I was more than welcome: I was wanted. My search was over.”
One of Alderman’s first jobs was to convert the station to digital format.
“Coming out of DePaul, I’ll have a great resume,” he says. “The real-world experience I’m getting with Radio DePaul is more valuable than a zillion class projects that never see the light of day. Scott gives us the freedom to run the station ourselves — he lets us treat the place as a laboratory to learn in — and he’s continually pushing us beyond our limitations, pushing us to do more and do it better. That’s what makes Radio DePaul such a special place for students.”
One of the highlights of Radio DePaul’s programming in 2013 was its coverage of Demonthon, the 24-hour dance marathon that raises money for the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. “Our crew for that was the best of the best, and I’ve never been more proud of what we do,” says Vyverman.
“As a radio station, we’re in the business of providing content, and it’s easy to get caught up in the production side of the business. But everything we do, everything we offer, is designed to play a part in spreading the mission and values of DePaul.”