The Radiothon, an on-air auction hosted by 90FM, is gearing up this semester with such prizes as a Packers lithograph football and gift certificates to places such as Great Northern Distillery and Rock n’ Roll Cafe.
90FM, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus radio station, will be auctioning off prizes every 15 minutes, which will be kept up for auction for one hour. During this time, callers can dial in to place a bid while the item bid on is announced on the air by a DJ auctioneer.
Senior communications major, Katy Strebe explains how the event is organized:
“From when school starts until the first weekend of November, everyone from the executive staff and other general staff volunteers go out into the Stevens Point community, Plover, Wausau, sometimes even Appleton and Green Bay, and get businesses to donate to us,” said Strebe.
Next, the staff puts the packages together as they will be auctioned off. The money goes to fund the station, which hosts events such as Jazz Fest, Dylan Days and Trivia. The auctioning promotes an excitement at the station, as staffers and volunteers try to raise as much as they can for the station.
“[We] try to beat previous year’s record. The last two years, we’ve broken the record of money raised. Last year we broke the record with $8008. The idea is to break it again,” said Strebe.
Jacob Ward, a junior wildlife ecology major and DJ at 90FM, has a blast aiding in the coordination that makes the auction possible. There are people picking up phones with listeners placing bids, people recording bids on whiteboards and people running back and forth between the DJ auctioneer and the call-ins, checking on the bids and making sure the listening audience is getting the most up-to-date prices on the packages.
Staff and volunteers at 90FM have a lot of fun with their work. Introduced to the station by friends, Ward voices his view of the station:
“I’m enjoying it a lot. I really enjoy working within a group of friends that, like, we get all our imaginations flowing to work on different things and compiling different people’s ideas and working together to make a cool end product that will advertise our station,” said Ward.
People can get involved in several ways. There are 11 paid executive staff members, five of which have teams. These are the music, production, promotions, news and sports teams. Each has weekly meetings. In addition to this, there are monthly general staff meetings every first Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. in Room 333 of the Collins Classroom Center.
“There we get people up to speed on what the station is up to. If there is anything that is changing… that’s usually where we talk [about that], but that’s a really good place for introductory stuff as well,” said Strebe.
After the general meetings there is free pizza. The general staff meeting is a really good way to get your foot in the door, though many first time participants find their way to the station through investigating one of the five teams.
There are several ways to tune in. On the radio, turn in to 89.9FM. To stream live from the internet, go to 90fm.org. Some listeners use a smartphone app called TuneIn Radio. After downloading the app, find the station at wwsp.90fm and listen via smartphone.