March 16, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 86  

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CHRW aiming for relevance
Radio station under microscope

By Laura Katsirdakis
Gazette Staff

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 few weeks.

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 focus [entirely].”

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 community.

“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 campus.

“[CHRW] is presently relevant to the community and students — we need to shift it, within the CRTC regulations, more to students,” Sellars explained.



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