CHRW aiming for relevance
Radio station under microscope
By Laura Katsirdakis
Two of the University Students’ Council-owned campus
media outlets are under the microscope and may soon be undergoing
a change of direction. This will likely mean an attempt to
tailor CHRW 94.9 FM radio more directly to students.
“We need to make the campus radio station relevant to the
main stakeholders, the students,” said USC general manager
Mark Sellars, noting that changes to CHRW have been a concern
over the past two years.
In a move that will undoubtedly impact campus media, general
manager of CHRW and TV Western, Mario Circelli, left his position
after 15 years last Friday.
“We are parting ways; we wish him all the best,” said
USC President Paul Yeoman.
“[Circelli] built up this station to something that
volunteers are happy to use in their resumés — he
will be sorely missed,” said Kaarlo Koskiala, CHRW news
and sports director.
“A report is being done [on CHRW] by a group as part
of an Ivey Client Field project,” said Rohan Belliappa,
USC VP-finance, adding a review of TV Western is also being
done by himself and his commissioner-at-large. These reports
will be made public after their completion within the next
According to Belliappa, a plan will be formulated based on
the recommendations of these reviews. “One can expect
our focus on TV and [radio] services to students to increase
over time as an intention of this plan,” he said, adding
no specifics could be released yet. “The board is working
on a plan and collecting information on this.”
“There is no formal plan right now,” Yeoman said,
explaining that the current USC board and the newly elected
one will be working on this.
According to Koskiala, there have been rumours floating around
about a change of direction for the radio station. “Aiming
towards students has been a topic of concern for years — we’ve
got to be careful that we don’t eliminate the community
He explained that the station’s direction, as their
Canada Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission
license directs, is that of a community and campus station. “We
need to be a part of, and be there for, the campus and the
“We’ve got to get the message out to students
that we’re here for them,” Koskiala said, emphasizing
the station acts a resource for students, not only to listen
to but to use for raising awareness of events and issues on
“[CHRW] is presently relevant to the community and students — we
need to shift it, within the CRTC regulations, more to students,” Sellars