UNA radio station expected to air summer 2015

Student Tera Broaddrick utilizes the Communications Building studio to finish a class project. Chair of the Department of Communications Greg Pitts said students will soon be getting real world experience in the Communications Building when WLNP radio hits the airwaves on FM 107.9 this summer.

by Staff Writer Anna Brown

UNA Radio is expected to begin making waves on 107.9 WLNP this summer.

Many people taking several steps to get the station up and running has slowed down the process, said Chair of the Department of Communications Greg Pitts.

“I had looked at maybe originally a March or April airing, but now about a June or early July,” Pitts said. “As of this point, we’re thinking of a soft on-air open of June 27.”

Communication students and faculty are working on the final preparations for the station’s opening, Pitts said.

“I’ve got some students in communications practicum who are looking at doing a couple sample programs, and we’re evaluating some software,” Pitts said. “Dr. Pat Sanders has an advanced creative audio class. They’re doing a couple things related to it.”

He said some of the public relations students have been working on a promotion plan to inform the community about the station’s existence.

“I think it’ll be amazing for students,” said senior Erin McAllister. “I think this will give them an actual practice run of what it takes to work at a radio station.”

The UNA National Broadcast Society chapter is involved with the planning and startup of the station, McAllister said.

“I’d like to hear a mix of campus news, current events on campus, and talk shows,” said senior Skyler Mansell. “But, I would mainly like to hear music.”

Mansell said he is going to tune into the station this summer.

Pitts said he would like to primarily broadcast music that reflects the Muscle Shoals Sound.

“We have a lot of people who are local musicians, and I think there is a good opportunity to give them radio airplay,” Pitts said. “There is also an opportunity to give people a chance to do a radio show.”

He said communication students involved with the station are currently working on talk show ideas that could be on the air for 20 to 30 weeks.

“We’ll just get the thing up and running, and then we’ll add more programming as people find out about the station and find things they can sustain so we can have some consistency in the sound,” he said.

The station will broadcast with 100 watts of power. Shoals residents may tune into the station within a 10-mile radius of the communications building.

WLNP, which stands for “Lion Pride,” is licensed to broadcast 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, Pitts said.

There is more than enough time for students to have a chance on air, he said.

“We’re going to hold our breath and wait and see if anything ever happens to change the station’s power,” he said. “If not, this is what we have.”

The station will also stream live online, giving those outside of the coverage area an opportunity to tune in.

“I just hope to see it take off, and I hope to see the communications department get a lot more attention than they’re used to,” McAllister said.