Indiana State U. student-run radio station chosen best in nation
TERRE HAUTE -- Indiana State University’s WZIS FM student-led radio station took home “best college station in the nation” honors at the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System annual conference in New York City on Saturday.
The station swept several other top awards, including best sports interview; best program director; best training manual; best playlist; and best college station with over 10,000 students.
“I’m super excited for them. They were so happy,” said Rich Green, station general manager. It’s the second year in a row the station has been nominated for best radio station.
Green took seven students to the national conference.
“Seeing them grow and get excited ... is pretty awesome. They listen. They come up with ideas about how to push the station forward. They get along really well,” Green said. “They are really talented but work hard to sustain that talent.”
The station, 90.7 FM, has a variety format and plays music of various genres, including pop, hip-hop and rock. About 50 students are involved; some are paid directors while others work as volunteers or for class credit.
Five years ago when Green started, it had seven students involved. “We’re getting better and better every year,” he said.
Corey Clark, station manager and ISU senior, said that as he went up to receive the award on behalf of the station, “I had a few tears running down my eyes. It was surreal. I was definitely proud for everyone involved.”
He’s been with the station since he was a freshman and will graduate in May.
“This year, our goal has been to get better. This is kind of out of our wildest dreams,” Clark said. “But we’re greatly appreciative.”
Everyone at the station “has a piece of that award. It comes down to our hard work and the way we get along. We’re a big family here,” he said.
For one of the other awards, the best college radio station with more than 10,000 students, ISU beat finalists San Diego State, Indiana University Bloomington, Montclair State University, Central Washington University and William Paterson University.
For best overall, that included competing not only against those stations with 10,000 or more students, but also winners from best community college station, best station under 10,000 students and streaming-only radio stations.
Clark and Trent Buchanan won for best sports interview, which was with Stephen Holder, former Indianapolis Star sports reporter who now covers the Colts for the Athletic, a sports website.
ISU student Chris Lopez, who won for best program director, described it as “a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t expecting to win the award, because I was already grateful for the nomination. These past few days have been breathtaking and now we have to work even harder to keep it up.”
Phil Glende, executive director of ISU student media, said of the station’s accomplishment, “I am incredibly proud of our students and the work they do every day. The awards are a nice recognition for their hard work and the creative energy they put into WZIS.”
The station was a finalist for 11 awards.