WRGW is taking several steps to increase its presence on campus as it celebrates its 75th anniversary this weekend.
The University radio station will throw a concert Saturday with the band Something Corporate, a dinner gala before the concert featuring ESPN’s Mike Patrick – a GW and WRGW alumnus – an open house and other receptions. A full schedule can be viewed at http://www.gwradio.com.
Brett Kaplan, WRGW general manager, said he expects 800 to 1,000 people to attend events this weekend.
“We have a lot of respect from the students here on campus,” Kaplan said. “The greater access the students have to hear WRGW, the more the students will be able to enjoy our great programming.”
To coincide with the station’s 75th anniversary, WRGW will switch to a new Internet broadcasting system called SHOUTcast, which members said will attract more listeners. Kaplan said the station accumulated almost 70,000 Web hits last year.
Listeners currently visit the Web site www.gwradio.com, where they can listen to music and shows throughout the day. Students listen to WRGW through RealPlayer, which they must download on their computers.
SHOUTcast, which is free for listeners and the radio station, lets users utilize default media players they already have on their computers.
“SHOUTcast allows you to broadcast the highest quality in an Internet stream,” Kaplan said.
Kaplan said WRGW is also in talks with iTunes to “become part of the iTunes family.” iTunes, a legal file-sharing system, allows members to download MP3s, movies, software, TV shows, music and videogames.
“It’s a really big deal to be on iTunes. They get millions of hits,” said Caryn Clippert, the station’s program director.
There are currently about 30 million members, according to iTunes’ Web site.
WRGW is also “in negotiations” to set up a low-powered AM signal that would broadcast across most of campus by next year. Kaplan said the station hopes to have the signal on both campuses but is currently focusing on Foggy Bottom.
Michael Berger, WRGW Internet director, said FM is “a lot more difficult in a city like Washington” because the undefined campus makes it hard to keep it in a confined place.
Although there would be a “quality drop-off” with AM, Berger said, “you could be outside listening to a basketball game and go inside and not miss a beat.”
This article appeared in the February 20, 2004 issue of the Hatchet.