For the second consecutive year, UTA Radio has been nominated for the CMJ College Radio Awards.
The nomination is in the Best Student Run Online Radio Station category. Voting will take place Oct. 17 at CMJ Music Marathon in New York City, N.Y. Faculty advisor Lance Liguez will attend the festival along with two student Directors.
Liguez said it is evident that UTA Radio is becoming an eminent addition to student radio. In 2011, the station won the student PSA category in the Radio Mercury Awards. Liguez is hopeful for the future of UTA Radio.
“When we won [the Radio Mercury Award], that’s when you saw a lot of attention focused on what we can do,” he said.
The station has grown over the past few years. In the 1970s, UT Arlington did not have a radio station; students read from student publications within classes or played music on the school’s speaker system. The transition to Internet radio occurred in 2000, and since Liguez joined the UTA faculty four years ago, he has taken measures to better ensure its success. In 2012, for example, the audience base grew from 1,488 to 3,150 daily listeners.
“Running it like a traditional radio station, putting some parameters down, and getting a good staff behind it has really paid off,” Liguez said.
As a student-run station, a vast amount of time and work comes from the students of UT Arlington. The five directors and 10 advanced DJs make up the student workforce. It is compulsory for aspiring DJs and station coordinators to come up through UTA’s radio production class. This gives them the opportunity to be a DJ for one hour per week, and allows students to show initiative and provide them with the chance to be a staff member.
The student directors of UTA Radio believe that there have been very notably improvements with the station. And although the radio station predominantly broadcasts from campus locations, they hope to expand to cover festivals and other live events.
UTA Radio is also an affiliate of iHeart Radio, a prominent channel which selects 22 college stations to stream from a nationwide platform. This association with iHeart Radio has provided UTA Radio with an unofficial certification of their ability, Liguez said.
Coordinating events is also an important aspect of the station’s work. For the fourth year in a row, UTA Radio hosts Rocktober. Every Wednesday during October, the UTA students are provided the chance to hear the best unsigned local artists, such as The Breakfast Machine and The Raven Charter. Liguez said the importance of Rocktober boosts recognition for the station and the artists it plays.
“It’s something we do to bring attention to ourselves, but also to expose the students here to music that maybe they are not going to get a chance to hear,” he said. “We do a great job by being the small little station that we are. We take advantage of opportunities, so we’re going to continue to do that.”
(Story by Charlotte Whiteley, COLA Communcations)