Western's student-run radio station earns national award nominations

Contact: Erin Flynn

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Flexibility fueled success this school year for Western Michigan University's student-run radio station, 89.1 WIDR-FM. The group picked up multiple nominations in the 2020-21 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) Awards.

Kyle Petronio

"This is truly a remarkable accomplishment for the 89.1 WIDR-FM team," says Glen Dillon, assistant director for student media. "They have done an amazing job in spite of the pandemic and having to do most of their work away from the actual studios. Student media is strong at WMU!"

Max Reist

Winners will be announced at the IBS International Media Conference in March. Western students Kyle Petronio, a senior from Hartland, Michigan, and Max Reist, a senior from Kalamazoo, are nominated in the best use of sound and best liner/sweeper categories. Petronio credits WIDR and the multimedia arts technology program for helping him and Reist develop their production skills.

"I am so proud of WIDR and the individuals whose work has been nominated for the IBS awards. Navigating how to run a radio station remotely has been no easy feat," says Molly Farrell, a junior advertising and promotion major from Kalamazoo and the station's general manager. "I feel as though the staff at WIDR has continued to use the pandemic as an opportunity to be even more creative, make some much-needed changes and show how passionate we are about making the station sound its best."

The station is no stranger to accolades. For the past three years, 89.1 WIDR-FM has consistently been nominated for multiple IBS Awards. Farrell attributes the continued success this year to her team's ability to adapt to new technology and run with it.

"A huge part of how we've been able to work through this challenge has really just been being able to rely on each other and expect that we are all doing our best with what we have," Farrell says. "I am incredibly lucky to be part of a team who has worked so hard to persist through the challenges of COVID-19."

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