The New Radio
The stretch of the headphones, the flick of a switch and a breath into a microphone can immediately connect you to millions of people.
Radio can be credited for being one of the first technological advances in American society. Prior to the 1920s, radio communication was only used as the main form of communication during combat. The increase in public radio began in the 1920s after the World War I. In a blink of an eye, radios were everywhere.
Kent State University’s student-ran radio station Black Squirrel Radio (BSR) started in 2005. On their website, they state that their vision is “dedicated to providing professional industry experience while continuing to be a platform for experimental programming.”
Community is a key message at the radio station. BSR hosts multiple events for their student-ran staff throughout the year, and have an annual award event. In November, BSR sent several students to an Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) conference in Boston, Massachusetts.
“The opportunities are endless for us on our show,” said Beau Kuhn. Zach Eckert and Beau Kuhn are the hosts of The Zach and Beau Show. They have had their radio show since 2014, making them the longest student-ran show on BSR.
“It’s harder to connect with an audience when you eliminate the face-to-face communication. We understand that we’re a college radio station and that’s why we depend on social media,” said Eckert.
The Zach and Beau social media platform has grown exponentially, with 2,892 followers on Twitter. They’re able to easily promote their guests, who are mostly musicians.
Zach and Beau communicate with their followers and listeners by having multiple giveaways each semester, including concert tickets and Victoria’s Secret, PINK merchandise.
In every interaction, Zach and Beau easily create a conversation. They highlight the best attributes and accomplishments of their guests, while making them laugh until a few joyful tears are shed.
JD Eicher, the musician behind Nicholas Sparks’ romantic films, even congratulated Zach and Beau on their show.
“I’ve listened to you guys grow into a professional radio show,” Eicher mentioned, “I can tell you know what you’re doing and enjoy it.”
Zach and Beau are grateful for BSR, and thank them for their crucial career advancing opportunities.
“I wasn’t even going to put the radio show on my resume, until my advisor told me it sets me a part regardless of what career field,” said Eckert.
Beau, on the other hand, plans to stay in close proximity to the radio world.
“I’m going to London next semester and have already networked with a few people who feel very confident in my ability to work in London due to my BSR experience,” said Kuhn.
When radio first began, it wasn’t just for music. Radio was a crucial part of communication for families. It was the entertainment that we now enjoy in the palm of our hands. The Zach and Beau Show has mastered keeping the original communication charm of radio while incorporating social media.