By Katie Krahulik
WRHU 88.7 FM Radio Hofstra University won the Marconi Award for best non-commercial radio station of the year at a ceremony in Texas on Sept. 7. The student-run station that broadcasts from studios in the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication won for the second time in four years.
“Marconi for radio is very much like an Academy Award. It is as prestigious an award as you can possibly get,” said John Mullen, director of operations at WRHU. The award is presented by the National Association of Broadcasters, a group of professionals in the radio and television industries that represents commercial and noncommercial stations in the United States.
Aside from WRHU, there are almost 4,000 other noncommercial radio stations in the country. Unlike the other stations however, WRHU is home to multiple programs with diverse range of topics. “We have 43 different program formats here. We do [a little bit of everything], and unlike a station that traditionally has one format and that is pursuing to do that one format to the best of their ability, our goal is to do all of those formats to the best of our ability,” said Bruce Avery, the general manager of WRHU.
But perhaps what sets the station apart from other stations is the fact that it is entirely student-run. Comprised of nearly 280 student-staff members, WRHU has been on air since 1959. “We’ve been providing entertainment and information to a widely diverse audience in the number one media market in the world for nearly six decades with a commitment to excellence,” Avery said.
In addition to its standout musical and news programming, Hofstra was the first and only college station to exclusively broadcast a major-league sports team – the New York Islanders and Long Island Nets. “As a person who has always thought about venturing into media and the various aspects of media to be at this stage of the game this early and to be at a national rank at a national recognized station is unbelievable,” said Bradley Clarke, a junior video and television production major.
“Our student broadcasters work incredibly hard to produce a wide variety of programming. We are incredibly honored to earn a Marconi from the National Association of Broadcasters. They are the people we look up to,” said Maria Santana, a junior video and television production major and the station manager for WRHU. In recent years, Hofstra has also earned honors from other prestigious media organizations, including: New York State Associated Press Association, Alliance for Women in Media, Press Club of Long Island, the Society of Professional Journalists and New York Women in Communications.