Farewell, WNIA Radio

WNIA studio
The studio at its finest.

Just like that, my final show at WNIA Radio has come to a close. It’s definitely been a fun ride, but it’s bittersweet nonetheless.

I joined the station in the fall of 2015. At the time, we had about 50 members and operated quite smoothly. I can remember the days when I only got half an hour to play what I wanted and couldn’t go over the limit. The next DJ was always right outside waiting to do his or her show.

Truthfully, I don’t know what changed in between. WNIA now survives thanks to a few loyal members who care about keeping it afloat. It’s certainly nowhere near the most popular club on campus. I’ll never forget the numerous times I clenched my teeth as I heard a university tour guide walk past and say the station was “only for communication students.” WNIA Radio was, and still is, open to everyone.

The way to actually listen to WNIA has always had its advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, the online frequency was great for someone like me trying to reach country music fans across the United States and beyond. On the other hand, it wasn’t out of the ordinary to hear a complaint about how inconvenient it was to listen to the station. Usually you’d have to go to our website, wnia.niagara.edu, and click the “Listen Live” tab. Like with YouTube, if you leave the page, you don’t hear any music, so you can see where I’m going with this.

Secondary studio
Many posts on this blog were written in our secondary studio.

My love for this radio station was tested heavily this semester, as our equipment failed not once, not twice, but three times, and to separate pieces of equipment as well. The station might be held together with duct tape and glue, but thankfully it’ll survive.

And despite all the chaos that occurred, I owe a lot to this radio station, and I’d easily do it all again. I can’t recall how many posts were written in our separate production studio. I won’t lie – my radio show wasn’t huge by any means. A good day was when I maybe got about five listeners. I had eight during my final show and was ecstatic.

But usually, the total floated around one or two, which was also fine. Ironically, despite the immense amount of freedom I had with my show, I always found it hard to play to multiple audiences. Some songs resonate well with some people, and others don’t. I don’t think I ever got to the point where I found it easy to talk on the radio.

I guess the major goal I had with my show was to offer an alternative to country radio – a station where you could hear old songs, album cuts or whatever else you wouldn’t normally find elsewhere. Yes, I leaned quite heavily on some of my personal favorites over the years, but that was alright. Still, I can’t believe how many artists and songs I didn’t play.

If I have any regret with the station, it’s that I didn’t do more with my shows. Most of my time was divided between other things (like this blog), so WNIA was a chance for me to kick back and relax with the rest of you. Maybe I should have planned more interesting segments. Maybe I should have tried to have guests on. Maybe I should have tried to start a podcast. I don’t know.

But I’m also happy with my WNIA Radio career. I can’t express in just one post like this how much I’ll miss it. I want to thank anyone who’s ever tuned in, especially more than once! Until the next adventure, I’ve been your host, Zackary Kephart, and if you’ve listened to WNIA Radio – thank you.

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