WRAL-FM is featuring the future of radio on Thursday nights this spring. MIX 101.5’s DJ U calls on Triangle students to give radio broadcasting a try. Thursday nights are unique and exciting, giving the fledgling DJs the opportunity to guest host part of the nighttime show, learning what it’s like to be on radio.
The new program is the brain child of WRAL-FM Program Director Michele Williams.
“We are so excited about DJ U,” said Williams. “With MIX being a family oriented radio station I felt a feature that gives parents a chance to hear their kids on the radio would be very compelling not just to them but to all our listeners. Kids can be so entertaining and DJ U gives them a chance to share their chatty skills with all their friends and family and a few thousand others along the way.”
Students of all ages, elementary through college, are invited to put their name in the hat to DJ on the program. Each week, one entrant who signed up on WRAL-FM’s website is selected. The family comes to the station on the night of their show, and WRAL-FM Air Personality Doug Miller sits down with them to get some background info on the “guest DJ.” He culls from that material to create the content for what they will discuss on the air.
“Doug Miller is a great ‘professor’,” said Williams, “and we’ve had a really strong response with kids of all ages enrolling.”
Williams explained his process.
What I do as we get ready to go on air is talk to them about what they had for lunch, or who their best friend is, just to try and put them at ease. I try and put myself in their shoes as I will always remember a radio station tour I took in my hometown when I was in Cub Scouts and how cool it was and I want them to feel that as well.
On the show, one of the fun things I like to do with them, since this is “school,” is give them a “Pop Quiz” where they answer various kid-friendly questions, for example, “True or False- Mom never has to ask me to tidy up my bedroom.” Their answers are always honest and I get to laugh and have as much fun as they do!
The candid responses make for entertaining radio.
“It’s fun and spontaneous and a feature that is another way to highlight the fact that we are a live and local radio station all day long with real interaction with our listeners,” said Williams.
After the show Miller presents the DJ U “graduate” with a set of MIX 101.5 headphones as a souvenir as well as a DJ University “diploma” on a plaque. He also sends a copy of the show’s audio to the guest DJ’s parents as a keepsake for them.
The program has turned a mundane week night into an educational opportunity for Triangle students and a fun listen for MIX fans.
“The response from the station’s listeners has been terrific! Really, far exceeding my own expectations,” said Miller. “It really is just a win-win for the kids, the parents, MIX (and for me too.)”
Tune in to WRAL-FM on Thursday nights for the latest edition of MIX 101.5 DJ U!
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Thanks to WRAL-FM’s Jason Newton for this capcom scoop, graphic, audio and for these capcom photos.