'U' Radio Stations Teach Many Skills
--Michigan Daily Freshman Edition, September 1974
Tucked away in the basement of the Student Activities Building is a door initialed with the letters "CBN." Inside, University students operate two radio stations -- WCBN and WRCN.
"People often ask if you have to have any particular talent or radio experience to be a member of CBN," remarks station manager Stuart Goldberg. "Nothing could be farther from the truth. You don't have to be a speech major, or have a great voice, and you certainly don'y need to be considering making a career out of radio. All you need is a love of music, a desire to spin records -- and the willingness to come in regularly for your show."
WCBN and WRCN offer disc jockeys valuable experience in two very different realms of radio. WRCN is an AM commercial carrier current station, 650 on the AM dial, which broadcasts only to forms.
"WRCN is a very upbeat, tight, clean station following the format of 60's gold," states the lanky, wiry-haired AM program director Bill Champion. "To make a good show the AM jock must be tight, quick, and on the ball. It takes a while to develop this kind of sound, but when you're really into your show, you've got a program you can be proud of."
WRCN is very request-oriented, and there is a constant interflow between audience and the jock on the air, which, according to Champion "can be exciting and nerve-wracking as well."
WRCN is proud of its history of success in dorm remotes, which consists of a live broadcast from inside the dormitory with the station providing the music and record giveaways to what is inevitable a lively party.
WCBN, on the other hand, is a 10 watt class D non-commercial FM station, located just down the hall fromthe AM station. "WCBN-FM has a block format," explains FM director "Jumpin" John Raftrey. "This means that, during specific hours, we play certain types of music -- folk, blues, classical, progressive rock, specials, talk shows... I guess you can say WCBN has something for everyone."
Disk jockeys on FM are required to take the 3rd class test for an official FCC license, which, according to Raftrey is "quite simple." "Study for a few hours from a booklet, go down to Detroit, and take the test," he says.
There is also a multitude of other things to gte into at CBN besides being a disc jockey. For many, news-journalism holds more promise. The CBN news department presents round-the-clock sports and newscasts on both stations.