The sounds of something different

Throughout the semester, the Features page will spotlight various campus leaders. This week we are featuring Chuck Clenney, the general manager of WRFL. Broadcasting on 88.1 FM, WRFL is a commerical-free, student-run radio station on campus.

Q. What makes WRFL different from other stations on the dial?

A. The fact that we don’t have to cater to sponsors at all, so we’re concerned about programming, not profit. So basically, what makes us different is that all of the Clear Channel stations only play the same 45 songs, over and over, but WRFL plays all the other music. So literally, we have 80 different DJs who constantly spin records throughout the week and play such a wide variety of music.

Q. Why did you decide to become the general manager?

A. I got involved with WRFL my freshman year, and I’ve always been a big fan of music. I think that the service that WRFL provides to this community is tremendous as far as educating people about different types of music that’s out there, bringing shows into town, bringing in national acts, just providing education and providing independent news and music that otherwise wasn’t there. I guess I really wanted to get involved because I felt really passionate about independent media, and I felt that I could certainly help to make things a little better around UK’s campus.

Q.  What goals do you have for WRFL this semester?

A. Our goal of upgrading is number one. It’s paramount. We have less than two years to build our new tower that we’ve been approved by the FCC to construct. So we will be going up to 7,900 watts here very soon. My main priority is fundraising for that, and making sure we’ll have enough money to do that next year.

Q. How much money have you raised so far?

A. We have an increase of student fees, so we’ll get an additional $50,000 or $60,000, and that will go straight toward it. And we raised a good amount of money from FreeKY Fest last year.

Q. Why should freshmen, or students in general, care that their money for student fees is going to WRFL?

A. Because we are providing them with home grown organic radio that is completely diverse. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week they can tune in and get an education anytime they want. They should be happy and be willing to pay the fee because we bring in national acts all the time and we are there for them. If they are interested in getting involved in radio, if they are interested in how to get experience in radio, if they are interested in how the music industry works, we provide all those things. So they have the ability to join in. We are an educational vehicle and anybody can hop in and take it for a ride, I guess.

Q. Say I was a freshman, or just any student in general on campus, how would I go about getting involved with WRFL?

A. They would just have to come down to the station and fill out an application. That’s one way they could get involved. They can also get involved through the journalism department. We work with journalism classes and (associate professor of journalism) Scoobie Ryan to provide news programming every day and the many different shows that we do. So there are a variety of ways that they can get involved with WRFL. Even just volunteering. We have people that will just come in and review CDs or things like that, or just help out when we have concerts. So there’s quite a variety of ways. But I would say don’t hesitate to walk in and start asking questions.

Q. Do you have a favorite show on WRFL, or do you like them all?

A. I’m partial to say, that “Music From India,” with Veena Bansal, which is on Thursdays from 8-10 p.m., is one of my favorite shows on WRFL, but I have a lot of shows that I really enjoy. And, of course, there are some shows that I don’t like personally, but I know a lot of other people do. So, it’s kind of like the great thing about WRFL — there is something for everyone. You don’t have to like everything. The great thing about it is that if you tune in, and if you don’t like what you hear, you can tune in two hours later and it’s something totally different. That’s the great thing about it.