By Meghan Fitzgerald, Special to The Chronicle
Hofstra University's radio station, WRHU, is most definitely one to look out for! Along with WRHU's long list of awards, including a first place Mark of Excellence Award for "Best All Around Radio Newscast" from the Society of Professional Journalists and the 2011 MTV Woodie Award for a Top 25 College Radio Station, WRHU has most recently secured the Princeton Review's fifth spot in the national competition for Best College Radio Station.
On June 9, 1959, WRHU first signed on to the air, and since then Long Island's oldest non-commercial radio station has broadcasted twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. WRHU broadcasts to an audience of an estimated fourteen million people, 300,000 of which are regular listeners.
As a further honor to WRHU's list of accomplishments, the station now boasts the title of the New York Islander's official flagship radio station and is the only college station in the world to have students as the primary source behind broadcasting for a professional sports team.
With this being said, it is no wonder that Anthony Barra, WRHU's station manager, is thrilled to be part of what he calls the "WRHU family." In response to Hofstra's radio being ranked in the top five by the Princeton Review as a Best College Radio Station, Barra said, "It is about time! We have been doing this at a high level for a long time and it is a huge honor to finally be recognized." Barra added that the recognition is important to the station's internal reputation: "[It] validates what we say to the staff, since a third party is saying WRHU is better."
As an integral part of The University's School of Communication and as a station located in the largest radio market in the country, WRHU has proved to be a valuable institution for learning, opportunity, networking and experience. It exists with the purpose of providing professional training to The University's broadcasting students. Barra says that the station's future goals will be to "stay ranked, improve and ultimately become number one."
Sarah Mori, a sophomore Mass Media and Political Science major at The University, was equally happy to hear about WRHU's recent recognition.
"I think it's really great and really exciting," Mori said. "I know how hard they work and their product is great...I know they do it because they love it but it's a great bonus."
When asked how often she tunes in to Hofstra's radio, Mori replied that she is a casual listener who uses WRHU when she is relaxing and surfing the web. Although Mori does not have a favorite program, she is happy to listen whenever the mood strikes her.
"I don't have a radio in my room, so it's hard to listen too often. But you can listen to it on the internet, which I think is great," Mori said.
Barra said that the Princeton Review's recognition definitely will help build a future "WRHU family" as well. The acknowledgement, he said, "[will] help recruitment because if the Princeton Review says we are a great radio station, then we must be pretty legitimate."
Princeton Review's top four Best College Stations were St. Bonaventure University (NY), DePauw University (IN), Ithaca College (NY) and Emerson College (MA).