Students, not community
Most campus radio stations are recognized
for their ability to tap into the independent music scene and
stray from the all-too-familiar Top 40 mix. Although CHRW 94.9
FM is no exception, it is a station that could use some polishing
in order to appeal to a greater number of students, something
the University Students’ Council has recognized.
What direction does the station need to take in order to achieve
this goal? CHRW prides itself on its ability to embrace diversity
and offer a “cure for corporate radio.” And it
does — to an extent.
All students at Western are required to contribute to campus
media as part of their student fees. TV Western and CHRW are
grouped together, costing students a total of $14.07 a year.
Since each student helps fund our campus station, CHRW should
focus on achieving a broader appeal.
However, when the average student decides to rotate the dial
to 94.9 FM, they likely won’t hear samples from independent
artists, but rather receive a taste of some multicultural or
The ability to appeal to smaller groups and cultures is important,
but by allotting Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
to such programming, along with specialty shows scattered throughout
the week, the station is only successful in alienating more
listeners than it attracts. When programming becomes too specific,
it fails to appeal to the average student.
Some people may tune in for the “S.O.F.A./Rock Christian
Radio Show” and “Splendors of the Catholic Church,” airing
Saturdays from 2 to 4 p.m.; however, all the other students
who wanted to hear some catchy, quality indie sounds on a lazy
Saturday afternoon are left disappointed.
Common sense would indicate that Christian beats would be
better reserved for a time other than Saturday afternoons.
Evenings and weekends, when most students aren’t attending
lectures, would be the ideal time to include a wide mix of
music. At the very least, popular tracks could be integrated
with the rest of the music.
It would be beneficial for CHRW to take a closer look at their
programming schedule to determine peak hours of listening,
and fill such time slots with sounds enjoyed by people looking
to discover some new indie music. Also, the station needs to
ensure people are knowledgeable about the topics on air; for
example, the genre of music.
At the same time, shows like Wake-up Western have successfully
integrated music, interviews and loose discussion regarding
Fanshawe College’s station, 106.9 FM, seems to appeal
to more students than CHRW, and this is a problem that needs
to be fixed. CHRW needs to establish a plan of action, but
the basic request will always remain the same: play more music,