The best college station in the nation: Fredonia Radio Systems nabs national award


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In the cozy corner of McEwen Hall that houses Fredonia Radio Systems’ station, the vinyl record covers and newspaper clippings that adorn the walls will have to make way for a new plaque—one that says “Best College Station in the Nation.”

The high honor was awarded to FRS’s WCVF 88.9 FM over the weekend at the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System’s 77th annual conference in New York City. The Intercollegiate Broadcasting System recognizes student stations of all sorts across the country, with separate categories based on qualities like campus size or type of school.

According to FRS General Manager and senior public relations major Rebecca D’Hilly, FRS was eligible for the top award because WCVF had won in the Best College Radio Station (Under 10,000 students) category just moments beforehand.

“I submitted for [that category] just hoping that we would win that, and then once we won, that’s when I realized, ‘OK, now we’re in this pool to win best college radio station,’” said D’Hilly.

Her initial thoughts were apparently not to get her hopes up; after all, winning for the best station among schools with less than 10,000 students was already a huge feat in and of itself.

“But then we ended up winning best college station in the nation, and everyone was so excited,” D’Hilly said. “We were up against really great stations, especially ones with bigger budgets, bigger enrollments. They had more opportunities than we do, and anyone at Fredonia can understand that … We do the best with what we have, but it’s the hard work that we put into it. I know that for a fact. It was a really great moment.”

D’Hilly, who has been a member of FRS since she first started attending Fredonia three years ago, said that she was shocked by the results and that the victory hasn’t quite settled in. But she is also quick to praise the club, which boasts a general body of 174 members, for all its hard work.

“I’ve always thought that Fredonia Radio Systems is something very special. I believe that we should be recognized so much more for what we do. We work hard every single day. I’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this organization, and a little bit of me knew that we had to have won this. I mean … we’ve worked too hard. We’ve worked too hard,” she said.

Attending the IBS conference is a staple of FRS’ year, but this is the first time the station has been recognized with top honors. D’Hilly is tempted to downplay the award but can’t help but smile while talking about it.

“It is a big deal when you think about it. So many stations, so many colleges across the nation submit into this awards ceremony, and they thought we deserved this award. That makes me really happy, because these are all people who are big in radio or in audio, different parts of that medium and they thought that we deserved it. And I couldn’t agree more,” she said, laughing.

Despite already having achieved so much, D’Hilly says the station is looking toward the future and aiming to push even further. Next year, FRS will be celebrating its 40th anniversary, sporting a new national title just in time.

“There’s a lot of opportunities for us in the future, and I put that responsibility in the hands of the people that will be running the station next year,” she said. “I think that winning this award is only going to drive us to strive for more and to strive to be bigger and better and to keep going, because that’s what we’ve been doing since I’ve been here.”

Aside from the general station awards, other awards received by FRS this year included Best On-Air Personality and Best Use of Twitter to Noah Maciejewski; Best Hockey Play-by-Play to Matt Pantano, Jaret Belschwinder and Jay Wilkie; Best Show Promotional Poster to Dan Salazar; and Best Use of Graphics to Alex Behrens.

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