Broadcast journalism has officially returned to campus and is looking to stay. WEUR, Eastern’s newly established radio station is giving students new opportunities and providing the Eastern community with a new way to stay connected.

The development process began about two years ago when junior James Laughlin sought out communications professor Kevin Maness in hopes of setting up a broadcasting program that would unite the students, faculty and friends of Eastern.

The school’s previous radio station, WECR, was a regular FM station that originated in the 1980s, but due to improper programming and fines from the Federal Communication Commission, it was shut down in 2000. Now, thanks to careful planning by Maness, Laughlin and last year’s addition of sophomore Matt Curcio, students can once again look forward to a unique representation of Eastern’s diversity.

Having gained student government approval last year, general director Laughlin and program director Curcio look forward to the future possibilities that are in store for the station.

According to Laughlin, the station has great educational opportunities. “Radio broadcasting provides an experience that nothing else can,” he said. “Every department mixes in some way to the radio station.”

With the programs that Laughlin and Curcio have planned, students in all areas will be given the opportunity to share what they know and learn from others in the process.

Such programs include live sports broadcasts, news reports, poetry readings and even a new show developed by Laughlin called “Faith, Reason, and Justice.” This weekly production will include half-hour segments that will give students the opportunity to share testimonies, debate theological topics and explore the need for missions in the world.

In addition to educational benefits, Curcio has looked to the community that WEUR will bring. “Our community already stands out as one of the best, but the addition of a radio station provides a new medium for students, faculty, staff and people at home to connect,” he said.

Because of FCC frequency regulations, the majority of this year’s broadcasts will be done online, giving an international range to the station. Curcio has also been looking forward to a program called SNOW (Sunday Night of Worship) during which students will be able to listen to worship music or hear various theological speakers.

With the programs and SGA approval set, only a few more things need to be done, not the least of which is getting the proper equipment. The team still needs to purchase a computer that has the ability to run twenty-four hours a day as well as a special broadcasting program. Audio mixers, microphones and headsets for sports broadcasts are also on list of equipment that will be purchased.

Other major goals include the search for a tech director, plans for business management and the gathering of money and FCC approval for a regular FM station. Despite what still needs to be done, Laughlin and Curcio are encouraged by how far the station has come in a few short years and the tremendous amount of support given by the Eastern community.

If anyone is interested in joining WEUR, contact James Laughlin at jlaughli@eastern.edu.

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