With an absence of live media broadcasting on campus, first-year student James Laughlin decided to bring back the idea of having a student-run radio station on campus.
With the experience of running a radio station from WKYW, a local station in his hometown, Laughlin teamed up with communications professor Kevin Maness who had experience with Eastern’s former radio station when he was a student.
They brainstormed ideas and wrote a proposal to get the radio station off the ground. Vice President of Student Development, Bettie Ann Brigham, loved the idea and the written proposal.
Before they could actually get started on the radio station, there was one problem: The cost of the radio station and licensing fee for the Federal Communications Commission would be so expensive that Eastern’s budget would not be able to afford it.
“To actually fund and broadcast a radio station is pretty expensive,” Maness said. In agreement, Laughlin said, “To get FCC funding alone would be most of the difficulty.”
To help out with the financial and business proposal, Al Socci, chairman of the business department and head of the business group Students in Free Enterprise, offered his services to Maness and Laughlin.
“I feel more optimistic than I did the past year because SIFE is helping us out now,” Maness said.
One of the goals Laughlin and Maness have for the radio station is for all students, not just communication majors, to become active with and hopefully receive credit for working with the radio station.
“I like how the journalism majors work on the newspaper for credits,” Maness said. “My hope is that the media concentration majors would be able to do the same thing as journalism majors, but with the radio station. I would like for them to get credit or internship hours.”
Another goal of Laughlin’s is for the radio station to be a part of the curriculum as well as the identity of the school.
“I hope the radio station will be a place where people of the same and different interests can get together,” he said. “I feel that the radio station will unite society around us – the campus and the material.”
As for now, Maness and Laughlin plan to begin with the Internet with hopes that financing and space for the radio station will become available sometime next year.
“Hopefully we could start streaming over the Internet,” Maness said. “It would be much cheaper and easier.” With streaming, you can transfer information on the computer continuously.
Laughlin and Maness would like to build the station around the voice of the student body.
“We want everyone to get involved,” Maness said. “We want talk show and discussions that don’t just involve communication majors, but all majors.”