With a new outlook, students and name, The U, the new name for the university radio station, once called The Growl, will soon be back up and running with a whole new approach.
Adviser of the station and political science professor Brian Calfano, who took over after Derek Haff left the position in 2010, believes the old radio station was out of control and wasn’t serving its purpose, a professional experience for students.
In spring 2011, The Growl was shut down by the university.
“The station went in the direction all unsupervised stations go — not a really organized format, so the department dropped it,” Calfano said.
The station is now in Calfano’s office in Strong Hall and consists of a soundboard, microphones and three computers.
“Even though a lot of this stuff is going to be pre-taped and be automated, I’d like to get to the point where it doesn’t reside in my office,” Calfano said.
Calfano is using his political science class, Women in Politics, to make a unique, female-friendly station that still has a male listenership. The class was split up into groups that each had a task pertaining to the development of the new station.
The station will have specialty shows, including a sports commentary, that will cover both male and female university events, an advice show about relationships and self-defense and a community show about what’s going on in Springfield.
Summer Rascoll, a senior broadcast journalism major, is a part of the talent search group, which is in charge of finding hosts for the shows. Auditions were held April 23, but a second set will be held at a later date. The group is looking for more females to take part in the shows. Each show will have a male and female host.
Along with a new name, a new slogan and logo is needed. Senior political science major Zach Braucher, a member of The U, is working with his group to come up with slogans people can take pride in for the radio show, which he believes is difficult.
“We are trying to come up with catchy phrases that are going to work well on the station that will bring people in,” Braucher said. “We want the entire university to feel like it’s their station.”
The group will also work with the graphic design department at the university to design and implement a logo.
The public service announcement group has decided on three organizations to spotlight at the station: Isabel’s House, Harmony House and Planned Parenthood. The group is also in charge of public service topics to discuss on the show.
For the music portion of the station, Dylan Kay, a sophomore political science major, is helping pick out what music will play on the station. The station will feature alternative music, ‘80s and ‘90s hits and the top 300 songs of today. The group also picks out songs collectively.
“We are trying to stand out from local radio stations and songs they play and also keep the vibe of a college station,” Kay said. “The big thing is to make it more women-friendly and find a balance of songs.”
The U will have a soft launch in May and will have its official launch next school year in the fall.
If anyone is interested in joining the station, or would like to audition to be a host, join the Facebook group Radio Talent Search. The audition will consist of reading from a script and a short interview. The group is willing to work around schedules. Individuals can also contact Brian Calfano at BrianCalfano@MissouriState.edu or talk to a member of the Women in Politics political science class.