UCF students, alumni find niches with local radio stations
With KnightCast no longer broadcasting over the UCF radio waves, some UCF students have still managed to find their way to a station to have their voices, and music choices, heard.
Vincent Prano, a junior accounting major, had never considered hosting his own radio show until recently presented with the opportunity at WPRK, a college radio station out of Winter Park run by Rollins College. Prano has been volunteering for the station for two months now.
He co-hosts the White Kids, Black Moms segment at Rollins' WPRK 91.5, playing a variety of psychedelic rock while also switching things up with bands such as Smashmouth.
"At WPRK, they give you complete control of your show. The only things you need to worry about are playing one local track and five new tracks per hour," Prano said. His segment is from 10 a.m. to noon on Fridays.
"Smashmouth is the running joke," he said, because it is not what people expect to hear on the station. Working for a radio station is more laid back than anticipated, Prano added, and he advises students looking to work for a radio station to apply.
For those not interested in hosting a show, there are still ways to get involved at radio stations, however.
WUCF is a donation based, public broadcasting station affiliated with NPR music. Rather than broadcasting locally, the station is streamed online, which allows for no commercial interruptions.
"I love radio as a whole," said Alex Gasparini, a junior human communication major, who landed an internship at WUCF 89.9 this semester.
For his internship, he spends a lot of time at events, luncheons around town and festivals promoting the station.
"My intention first was to be a host on a show, but at this point I'm not really sure because I like the marketing aspect," he said. "I like going out and talking to people rather than sitting in the room and talking to people."
His major has helped him in speaking with people about WUCF, while his minor in marketing has helped with promoting.
"Marketing yourself is the biggest thing, and if you can do that you can do any job," he said.
Some Knights have taken their radio experience from UCF and turned it into professional opportunities.
UCF alumnus Demetrius Watts, who graduated with a degree in interdisciplinary studies, works for FN Pregame Radio, a local station streamed online and through the Friday Night Pregame Radio app.
Before working for Pregame, Watts hosted a show for KnightCast before graduating. When KnightCast lost funding from SGA, Watts started his own show, Playersville, with FN Pregame.
Watts co-hosts Playersville, which airs every Tuesday from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
"The music we play is real southern rap, along with well-known artists like Drake and J Cole," Watts said.
In the past, Playersville raised discussions on Ferguson and the Muslim shooting in Chapel Hill. Discussion topics are centered on raising awareness about different cultures as well as more light subjects, such as sports and pop culture.
"I choose topics that get people thinking," Watts said. Along with his other two co-hosts for Playersville, Watts alternates story pitches through a weekly cycle.
One segment Watts particularly remembered was the "Culture Jacking" segment where guest speakers came on the show to discuss topics about what is acceptable for one race and what may not be socially acceptable for another.
To keep up with FN Pregame Radio, you can download the app for both or follow them on twitter.
Alexis Minieri is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.