Changes on Air for WPAA Radio; New Website, Shows Attract Listeners

WPAA has never been known as a traditional radio station. The network is a source for all varieties of music and talk radio, featuring the live shows of 32 different students four nights per week. All four classes are represented in WPAA’s programming.The two proceeding hours are filled by Uppers and Seniors who have received permission from the Dean of Students to broadcast during those hours. Only Seniors are allowed on the air after ten o’clock at night. When live programming is not on the air, the station fills the gaps with a 24/7 playlist of eclectic music. WPAA also plans to start playing more re-runs of its original programming this term, so that listeners who missed a show during its original time slot will be able to hear it. In the past, WPAA has also featured live broadcasts of PA sporting events and debates between candidates for student body president. The network boasts eight new programs this term, courtesy of a record number of applications. The board made the decision to offer four half-hour programming blocks to applicants for winter term. WPAA’s schedule is not without turnover, as only four shows remained in their fall term time slots. Six of the prior term’s shows did not return to the air, partly due to a realignment that brought talk radio to Monday and Tuesday nights, with Wednesday reserved for music and Thursday providing a combination of the two. The changes are part of an ongoing effort to increase WPAA’s profile. “Ten years ago, it was one of the most important things on campus. The station has a lot of potential to be a creative and innovative force in the community,” said Henry Frankievich ’07, WPAA’s General Manager. The station also launched a new website in October, in an attempt to increase listenership. “The old website was buried under many links on PAnet. Students really weren’t thinking about it,” said Frankievich. He and Steve Farquhar ’07, Technical Director, decided to create a website that gave the station optimal exposure and ease of access. The new website, hosted separately from the Andover intranet at, has boosted the station’s nightly audience to 20-30 listeners on average. Tuesday night’s programming is the most popular, spiking between 50 and 70 listeners at various points during the evening. The present board also took another route to increase the number of listeners. They have provided downloadable audio and video content from the station’s shows and special events, including footage from WPAA-sponsored events like Battle of the Bands and Acoustic Night. Also available online are interviews with political figures conducted by Alexander Heffner ’08 originally aired on his Thursday night show, “The Political Arena”. Heffner, the station’s Director of Personnel, has also planned a series of political specials, including one slated to air tomorrow about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Frankievich and Farquhar also decided to promote WPAA by hosting their own show – “Whupah! with Henry and Steve.” The flagship show features a mix of talk and music. “Whupah!” is accompanied in the Monday lineup by other new programs, including “The Abbot Report” and “Pure Jazz,” as well as returning shows “Sportsnet Radio” and “The Backups.” Tuesday boasts more talk shows, including “Minority Report,” “Ben and Jim’s Excellent Adventure,” “Bon Appétit Radio,” “The Underground Gamer Hour,” and “The Study Hour with Cuthell and Wall.” Musical programs “Ryan and the Feminists,” “Old School: Motown, Soul, and Rock ‘n Roll,” “Dogwalkers of the Apocalypse,” and “DJ Mozz’s Request Line” play on Wednesday nights, while the week’s programming is rounded out by “Rock ‘n Roll Radio,” “Underground Beat,” and “The Political Arena” on Thursdays. WPAA’s studio is a small room in the basement of Morse Hall, complete with a large audio mixer and a computer setup. The studio has three microphones and other sound equipment that can be used to play outside music in all formats. The studio also allows DJs to converse with callers, although all of the shows are broadcasted with a seven-second delay.