I'm a senior at UConn and I've been at WHUS for six years. I've been a part of Radiothon on all levels, as an on-air personality, a volunteer, organizer and and manager, anything you could think of. I always enjoy Radiothon because of how nice it is to hear from our listeners every year. As Operations Manager, I am usually the one who gets sent the complaint emails and fields the angry listener phone calls. Those have their place, too, and we take each one seriously, but its not the most pleasant part of my job. Radiothon gives me a chance to hear from folks who like what we're doing.
When I came in this morning for day 2 of 9, I took a look at the logs of pledges since I had left last night, around 8pm. I was really happy to see a number of pledges in the books for Johnny's Timewarp's long running show "Dark Side of the Highway!" Johnny does a great show, playing old Americana and other fun stuff he finds on the proverbial side of the road. But what was really special to me was the fact that his show, which is on every Sunday morning from 3-6am, garnered listener support. Its not every year that we get 5 pledges during an overnight timeslot, and it reminded me of a story.
When I was new at WHUS, in the summer of 2005, I hosted a show on Friday nights from 2-5am called "The Good Times Party Brigade." I was 17, and the show was mostly an excuse for me to play music and hang out with friends on the front porch of the Rosebrooks House, late at night with no parents around. But I had fun doing it, and held that slot for two semesters. The following year, I had gone away to college in Chicago (I've since transferred back to UConn), and was home for Christmas break. This is fall of 2006, now. The DJ who had the Friday night slot was home for break, so I stepped up to take the fill-in. At around 4:15am, the time in that slot when most DJs are barely awake behind the control panel, the phone rang. It was a woman who drove delivery for a living. She was just calling to let me know how much she enjoyed hearing my voice on the radio again. I was blown away. I had no idea anyone had listened to the "Party Brigade" with any regularity. Admittedly, it was a pretty poor show.
That experience represents how great it makes all of us at WHUS feel to hear from our listeners that they are liking what we're doing for them. That's one of the reasons I was so glad to see the calls for Johnny's show last night. If you like what you hear on WHUS, give us a call this week. Even if you can't afford to pledge any money this year, call and let us know you enjoy the programming. We're always happy to hear from you.
The number to call to make your pledge is 1-800-599-9487.