90.5 takes seat among top college radio stations

So, you just got out of that boring, overcrowded class in GC.

After finally making it out of the Patch or whatever tow zone you parked in; you turn on your car stereo. After turning through the commercial stations and hearing the all-too popular hits that have been played out, you rest your FM dial on WANM 90.5.

It’s the radio station with a low frequency but it resonates in high volumes.

Operating with little funding and no advertising budget, 90.5’s unpaid, overworked staff hustles to market the station.

So it was quite a surprise when the Princeton Review, which ranks the colleges and universities in the nation, listed 90.5 as the No. 2 college radio station.

“I was really shocked,” said Keith Miles, the station’s general manager.

Miles was at the football kick-off luncheon when he heard the news.

“I was talking to Vaughn Wilson, whose parents own the Capital Outlook, when he said ‘you know 90.5 got ranked No.2 by Princeton Review,'” he said.

Immediately following the reception, Miles ran to his computer to check the information for himself.

“I was like ‘this is incredible,’ and I was ready to run a mile.”

Soon after, he shared the news with the program director, Gregg Bishop, a senior business administration student.

“He came rushing out with the printout, and it was a good way to start off the school year,” the 27-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y., native said.

His initial reaction slightly differed from that of Miles.

“I was like, ‘so who is No. 1?'” he said.

It was Emerson College.

So how is “The Flava Station” going to replace them as the No. 1 college radio station?

“We’re going to continue to do what we do: being consistent and we’re going to continue to listen to the students and to where their interests are,” Bishop said.

Although WANM-FM 90.5 is in a market with three urban radio stations, it maintains faithful listeners.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Britney Kelly, a sophomore criminal justice student.

The 18-year-old from Miami said “The Flava Station” would get major recognition back home for the rating.

“We consider that the top where I’m from,” she said.

Bishop credits much of the station’s success to its eclectic format.

“We have reggae, gospel, jazz, hip-hop, but we also do specialty shows.”

The station’s repertoire is not only diverse, but also unusual.

“Last year, we did hip-hop infused jazz and now we play rock-alternative but more on the African-American experience. And that’s why we’re called ‘The Flava station’,” Bishop said.

“The Flava Station’s” on-air personalities and disc jockeys work diligently without pay.

Yes, they do it for love.

“We are student-run and operated, and the fact that we’re No. 2, even with a market with three urban radio stations, means we’ve achieved a lot,” Bishop said.

The Princeton Review bases its ranking off student surveys.

The staff of WANM-FM 90.5 wants to thank all the student supporters.

“The Princeton Review showed us our students do know us, and they do like us,” Bishop said.

As far as the No. 2 ranking is concerned he said, “it puts a stamp of approval to what we’re doing right now.”

When asked how does it feel to be the No.2 college radio station in the nation and the No. 1 HBCU radio station, Miles said, “It’s a very good feeling.”

“I think everybody that is associated with the radio station is walking with their heads held a little higher.”

Bishop agrees.

“It’s like you’re almost on this wave of euphoria: It’s almost like drinking a Red Bull right before that big exam.”

contact diamond washington at diamondw02@yahoo.com