New radio station at GVSU helping students gain experience

Ottawa County

ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — There’s a new radio station on Grand Valley State University’s Allendale campus.

WLXS 900 AM is giving students a real-life breakdown of the industry.

The university has another student-run radio station, which doesn’t have the same rules as WLXS 900 AM.

“We created the station because we wanted the students to get an experience that was much more in line with what they’re going to see in an actual radio station,” said Len O’Kelly, the associate director of GVSU’s School of Communication.

WLXS 900 AM is a station that plays 80s and 90s music. As part of their coursework, students help run the station at least two hours per week.

“That’s hardest thing, coming up with stuff to say to keep the audience tuned in between songs,” student Jodie Miesen said. “Really good practice.”

The station debuted this week and much like any other endeavor, students faced some issues at the start.

“Kind of freaked out in beginning. Showed up and didn’t know how to do anything,” student Emma Armijo said. “Couldn’t turn mics on, but it ended up being fun.”

GVSU student Nicholas Matthews is known as “Diet Matthews” on the radio. He loves to show off his voiceover work. He has hopes of getting paid to talk for a living. He says the class is a great way to get experience.

“This class is absolutely awesome,” Matthews said.

O’Kelly has more than 30 years of on-air experience. He says radio jobs are hard to find, but he hopes the new station can inspire his students.

“Tough field to get into,” O’Kelly said. “Those that persist, there are opportunities to get in.”

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