Remote But in Control

By Rachael Powles '22, August 11, 2023
Students keep WICB radio running over the summer.

Ithaca College’s student-run radio station 92 WICB is known as “The Station for Innovation,” broadcasting from the Roy H. Park School of Communications 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Keeping the radio station running during the summer months is the job of a small-but-mighty group of student employees, maintaining a tradition of broadcasting that sits at the heart of their community.

But innovation proved to be a critical part of the station’s broadcasting in the summer of 2023. Thanks to technological advancements, members of the executive staff were able to work from their homes after the end of the spring semester.

For WICB, remote programming began out of necessity in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, and while the majority of the station’s content is still produced in-studio, the team realized that there were elements of broadcasts that could continue remotely, thus allowing staff greater flexibility.

Alongside the staff who remained in Ithaca, their efforts ensured that WICB broadcast at least 10 hours of live programming every day alongside pre-recorded content, including specialty shows, sportscasts, and local and international news.

Program Director Nichole Allan ’26 scheduled each week’s broadcast from her home in Long Island. Using the application TeamViewer, Allan was able to access WICB’s servers in the Park School from her own laptop, letting her program music, news reports, and talk segments remotely. Allan says the experience has taught her much more about the nuances of what it takes to make a radio station function.

Ashlynn Richardson ’26

Ashlynn Richardson ’26 didn't need much more than a laptop and a mic to record the station's promotional materials from Kansas City.

“When I would just DJ, I’d go into the studio and all the songs would be set,” said Allan. “I never had to think about how all that came to be. For me, the most interesting thing has been learning how all the songs are selected and how the logs are made for each hour of the radio.”

From Kansas City, Missouri, Production Director Ashlynn Richardson ’26 recorded promotional material and content for breaks in between songs.

“Production keeps going during the summer,” said Richardson. “On campus there’s a production room with Adobe Audition and multiple monitors, but at home I just sit down with my laptop and my snowball mic!”

In Washington, D.C., Station Manager Bec Legato ’24 balanced her responsibilities at WICB with an internship at CNN’s Inside Politics. Legato began working with the station remotely during her semester in London this past year, and said the transition to the executive board has helped her immensely in her work.

“A lot of the audio editing I’ve learned on the radio I’ve been able to use in this internship,” said Legato. “I’ve learned how to be an effective leader. It’s been helpful to learn about these kinds of things at WICB and then be able to apply them in a professional setting.”

News Director Inbaayini Anbarasan ’24 recorded her newscasts and edited her team’s content from home—even while staying in Ithaca. The summer session gave her the opportunity to train in her new position before the academic year is in full swing.

“Radio has become a part of me, and I don’t think I can imagine being an Ithaca College student without being on the radio. You don’t always realize how many people listen until they start calling in. It’s nice to hear someone’s day has been brightened by me.”

Danka Hlinka ’24

“It was a very easy decision for me to stay on over the summer,” Anbarasan said. “Everyone who works at the station is so talented and has so much to offer to the world. They’re so dedicated to what they do. Because WICB is so widely listened to, it’s very important that we take ourselves seriously. I’ve been working here since I was a first-year student, it’s genuinely one of the best things I’ve done in my college career so far.”

While a lot of production work was done remotely, a team of in-person DJs in the Park School’s first-floor studio kept the tunes pumping. Anton Piery ’24 has played everything from punk rock to Broadway in the last three months.

“The summer has been my favorite time for work, because that’s when I get to try out new things,” said Piery. “I’ve been able to try every show on the station. I’ve learned a lot about my community and what people want to listen to.”

Danka Hlinka ’24 agreed.

“Radio has become a part of me, and I don’t think I can imagine being an Ithaca College student without being on the radio,” said Hlinka. “You don’t always realize how many people listen until they start calling in. It’s nice to hear someone’s day has been brightened by me.”

Whether remote or in-person, the passion and dedication of the WICB summer staff is always on display.

Manager of Television & Radio Operations Jeremy Menard ensures the station’s programming is always high-quality and professional.

“Our programming does not change at all during the summer,” said Menard. “That is extremely unique among college radio stations in the United States. We recognize that WICB is near and dear to a lot of people’s hearts. It’s important to us that even when classes are not in session, we’re keeping to that format.”

“Everyone can connect with the universal language of music,” said Ashlynn Richardson ’26. “That’s all radio is, and we all love it.”