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WUNH In the Age of Streaming

WUNH dishes out what they are doing to boost listeners and a sneak-peek at what they have planned for this semester and beyond.
Courtesy Photo
WUNH’s studio can be found on the first floor of the MUB.

Located on the first floor of the Memorial Union Building, 91.3 FM WUNH is one of the most active organizations at the University of New Hampshire. Reaching as far north as Portland, Maine, and as far south as Boston, Massachusetts, WUNH broadcasts over 50 shows throughout the week, spanning multiple genres like sports, rock and even polka. They also hold information sessions, with interested students packing into MUB Theater 1 at the start of every semester. 

But as listeners move away from radio and onto streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify, the college station, much like the industry as a whole, has had to adapt.

A 2023 Nielsen Media Research study found that 86% of people aged 35 to 64 stated that they listen to the radio at least once a week. Similarly, people aged 18 to 24 are not much further behind with 73% saying they listened to the radio in the last week. 

Despite these percentages, Abbie Weckesser, WUNH’s general manager and UNH junior, says there is no way for them to see how many people are listening through their tower. However, they are able to see how many people listen through their website, which Weckesser says is, “usually around 30 to 50 on a normal day.” In addition to student-run shows, WUNH also features shows hosted by community members, many of which have run for at least seven years, like “Polka Party” which plays every Saturday at 9:00 am.

“‘Polka Party’ is easily one of our most popular shows, and you can expect at least 120 listeners on our website on top of the countless others through FM,” said Weckesser. 

WUNH also recognizes that the type of music they play is not always as approachable as what might appear on more popular radio stations.

“I really love our programming, I think it’s great,” said Weckesser. “But our programming is not popular across everybody; it’s very niche. And also, especially for people in our age range, the radio is not your immediate source of music and hasn’t been for a while.”

WUNH, whose Instagram boasts that they are the “University of New Hampshire’s alternative seacoast sound,” does not play any music that charted in the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, and has its DJs follow the “60/40” rule, meaning 60% of whatever DJs play has to be out of their new music catalog – a binder of music that Music Director Katie Clayton updates weekly. The other 40% is whatever else they want to play, so long as it adheres to the no-top-40 rule. 

While Weckesser recognizes that WUNH’s music is not exactly the most accessible, she also notes how enthusiastic DJs are to show the community how “fun and inviting” the station can be.

“When I ran for General Manager last semester, one thing I really pushed was that I wanted to do more events,” said Weckesser. “I want to merge the community of people that listen to music that maybe isn’t Top 40 and those that do.” 

Weckesser said WUNH has some big events coming this year, and, although they did not want to give specifics, they did have a few previously announced events they wanted to highlight. One of which is a new interview news show hosted by WUNH’s News Director, Jackson Scheele. Many of the interviews are centered around professors and their respective research. 

“[It makes for] a really great interview, because you have a really passionate professor, who has spent their [life] dedicated to a specific subject, mixed with some really awesome qualitative data,” said Scheele. 

Scheele also shared about an interview coming later in the semester that he is excited about.

“We actually just confirmed this at U-Day, but we will be interviewing President Dean on Nov. 15,” said Scheele. “We’re not quite sure what it’s going to look like yet, and we aren’t going to use it as a way to cut against UNH policy, but we are really looking forward to that.”

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