It appears that due to the new age of instantaneous communication, radio will soon be a lost art. At The University of Tampa however, radio is still alive and well.
Jan-Michael Archer the general manager of WUTT is optimistic about what the station has to offer UT students this year.
“With the diversity of shows any student on campus can find something that appeals to them,” he said. “If not, they can come in and be a DJ and the payout for being a DJ is phenomenal, especially if you’re in the com and broadcasting field.”
This year, the participants of WUTT are a club instead of a class, which Archer says offers them more freedom in regards to programming. Their lineup includes such shows as “Sex in the Dark” and “The Hump-Day Heroes” which is hosted by Alvaro Gabaldon on Wednesdays from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“I would describe my show as being a very eclectic mix of music and talk radio,” Gabaldon said. “Most of the stuff I play tends to be indie rock/alternative, but every now and then we’ll play techno, chiptune, rap, 80’s disco, 50’s doo wop and live acoustic covers ourselves.”
Archer attributes the variety of programming they are able to broadcast to the size of UT.
“We’re such a small school and that gives us the freedom to do pretty much whatever we want as far as programming. We’ve got tons of sports talk shows and [strictly] music shows and ranting shows,” he said.
The WUTT radio station has been on the air since 1946 and lost its FM status in the 60s.
Originally called UBS (United Broadcast system), the station was founded by Professor Ray A. McGillivray to integrate the study of radio into the broadcast curriculum. In 1962, the station moved to 580 AM because they were unable to raise enough money to keep their FM status. The station went down in 1965 but was reopened in 1988. Adjunct Professor Valerie Ingram Hinkley changed the name to WUTT in 2005.
The WUTT radio station can be heard by students from three avenues: 1080 am on the radio, cable channel 98 on campus and it can be streamed through the website WUTT.ut.edu.
Gabaldon says that being a DJ can offer more to students than just another hobby.
“It’s a really fun way to blow off steam, to de-stress…being on air allows you a certain amount of anonymity,” he said. “A lot of people are more confident and this confidence carries over to when you’re not on air too.”
WUTT plans to offer students more ways to get involved with their organization this year.
“We’re also planning a lot more events this year. We’ve got stuff lined up with the Straz hall council and we’re going to have some local radio personalities come and everyone on campus can come and ask questions and talk about the field,” Archer said.
Another aspect of the organization that WUTT plans to expand, is their participation with other student events on campus.
“We’re going to start broadcasting live from the games so you can still listen if you have homework or something,” Archer said. “This year we’re all about promotion. If you want us to promote something we will be out there with our microphones and our PA system. Also we want people to send us stuff that they want be on the radio.”
Gabaldon says that the best part of being a DJ is the freedom he gets to have while on the air.
“The thing that makes WUTT so great is it lets DJs be who they want to be, play the music they want to play. Aside from formalities like being courteous about your subject matter and keeping the language PG, your show is whatever you want it to be,” Gabaldon enthused. “I love listening to music and sharing it with other people, showing them a whole new way to enjoy listening. There’s a whole world of music outside of MTV and Top 40 and my hope is that I’m helping people find it.”