WUTT Renovates Campus Radio

Published: Feb 18, 2010
When the clock strikes 7 on Thursday evenings, Jeremy Donovan ’11 becomes Donnie Dark.

As a volunteer at WUTT, the campus radio station, Donovan spends two hours every week live broadcasting the radio show “Black Noise,” bringing the best in alternative rock, news and pop culture to the airwaves floating around UT’s campus.

And since January, “Black Noise” and the station’s 28 other live shows can be heard in Australia, Bangladesh and Madagascar, in fact anywhere there is Internet.

The live Web streaming at wutt.ut.edu is just one of the new upgrades to WUTT. An undergraduate class developed a comprehensive marketing plan for WUTT to help increase its audience. During the winter break, the station’s headquarters at North Walker Hall underwent a renovation, receiving updated equipment and creating a more ergonomic workspace.

“It feels more like a professional radio station,” said Adjunct Instructor Valerie Ingram Hinkley who teaches the Practicum in Broadcast Management class. Her students help out a handful of volunteers who keep WUTT humming.

WUTT has deep roots at The University of Tampa. The campus owned an FM frequency as early as 1952 under the call letters WTUN, transmitting on 88.9 FM. In 1962, due to lack of funding, the station switched to AM where it broadcasts still today via on-campus TV channel 95 and radio station 1080 AM.

Run as a student organization funded by Student Government, WUTT hosts promotional events like pool parties and participates in campus events like PirateFest and Campus MovieFest.

While there are 28 live shows, Hinkley said she’d like to have either live or pre-recorded programming going 24 hours a day. She said they hope to diversify the programming too, adding in more art, theater and sports coverage.

“I’d like a good jazz show, a contemporary Christian ‘Uplifting Hour,’” said Hinkley. “I’d like an ‘Ask the Dean’ call-in show.”

Zack Greenfield ’12, a communication major, provides film critiques for WUTT. A recipient of the Jay Forry Merit Award, Greenfield works with professional film critic Jay Forry as a mentor, helping shape his craft.

“I send him my review, and he tells me how or what I can do better,” said Greenfield, who commits to producing at least eight reviews a semester. “I’ve learned to really have fun doing the reviews.”

Donovan started volunteering as a freshman, then took the class, then became general manager and now is back to volunteering. He runs “Black Noise” with his three buddies who are all juniors majoring in communication: Damian “Sweet” Sweet, Jeremy “Dr. Pie” Laboy and Brian “Optimus Prime” Himert.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Donovan said. “It’s added to my UT experience and given me a good idea of what it’s like to work in a radio station.”


Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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