Radio continues to be a sustainable medium of mass communications.
At Nyack College, WNYK 88.7FM Warrior Radio is upgrading accessibility to a broader audience and exemplifying its core value of being globally engaged.
What does the “facelift” of radio station sound like? A conversation with WNYK Station Manager Brad Hickey unveils some of the new and exciting developments underway that will create a bridge to an international listeners.
What is your role as station manager of WNYK? How did your involvement in WNYK come about?
To me, my role as station manager is simple: to make sure WNYK reaches its untapped potential. In the fall of 2016 I was approached by Dr. Sharron Greaves, Chair of the Communications Department, and Program Director of WNYK, to take on the role of Station Manager at WNYK. I was a little anxious, as most of my experience had been in the film area of the Communications Department, but I was also excited for the new opportunity. I have really grown to love radio and the opportunity it brings to connect our students and the Nyack College mission with a global audience.
How long have you served as station manager and what are your responsibilities?
I’m going into my fifth year as station manager. My responsibilities lie in managing the day-to-day operations, which includes interviewing artists, editing podcasts, managing the social media accounts, and supervising student interns.
Who are the members of your staff?
Dr. Sharron Greaves is the Program Director, I am the Station Manager, and during the school year we have student interns, who throughout the semester learn how to run their own shows, host interviews, and prepare playlists.
Exciting things are happening at Nyack College as we prepare to re-open campus in-person for the 2021-2022 academic year. WNYK is a key vehicle for keeping members of the campus community informed and connected. What are some of the new developments at the station?
Our biggest recent development has been our transformation from a local FM radio station based out of Nyack, NY to an international online radio station based out of our Lower Manhattan campus at 2 Washington Street. The move also came with new equipment upgrades, including a new digital board and an upgraded online stream. Our stream is not only accessible via www.nyack.edu/wnyk, but is also now available for listening on apps such as TuneIn, Radio Garden and myTunerRadio, as well as smart speakers like the Amazon Echo.
Moving a radio station takes commitment, and I’m so glad to feel the support from our administration. We really want to serve our Nyack College community well.
Where is the studio located?
We are in room #1731 on the 17th floor at 2 Washington Street.
What kind of playlists are in your mix?
Our goal is to offer a wide variety of music that is a positive alternative to much of mainstream music in both its sound and its message. The playlist is intentionally based on the premise that carefully-selected and appropriate secular music can be used to create a window of opportunity for community engagement and outreach. WNYK also loves to showcase new talent, and has become a place that many new artists have started their journey towards gaining national radio airplay. We’ve hosted live interviews and on-air performances with budding new artists from across the globe—some who have been featured on The Voice, American Idol, and The Four, and some from as far as Australia—all who are trying to build a real human connection with listening music fans.
What are recurring or regular programs that are aired?
We have several recurring programs, such as our Ministry of the Month and our monthly Alumni Spotlight. Regular weekly programs include New Music Mondays, Warrior Wednesdays (sports news or athletic interviews), our live-streamed chapels, and our interns’ weekly shows. Some exciting new podcasts will also be introduced to the schedule this fall—stay tuned!
What do you love most about your job at WNYK?
What I love most about radio, and WNYK in particular, is that it provides a real human connection between music and an engaged audience, and between our students and our community. I love having the opportunity to interact and engage with our students and a broad variety of artists live on air. When I first started, I was extremely nervous about going live on air. I’ve really grown to enjoy that aspect and I still get a rush when I’m about to turn on that microphone.
Any ultimate goals for the station?
To be more than a station. Locally, we want to be a hub for the Nyack College student. We also want to connect with more local artists in the NYC area and give them a chance for airplay. In terms of more practical goals, we want to eventually incorporate live video into our interviews as well.
How can people become sponsors of programming?
We’re working on adding a “donate now” tab onto the website. We’re also looking to have different businesses sponsor various features, be it an alumni spotlight, ministry highlight, etc. This aspect will be new to WNYK, and it’s going to be exciting to navigate.
Anything else you’d like to share about the importance of WNYK?
WNYK is available live around the world. That’s huge. No excuses for us to not make an impact. With a click of a button parents of our student interns can hear their son/daughter live on our online stream. With a click of a button Nyack College alumni and international workers across the globe can hear a live chapel service. I don’t take that responsibility and opportunity lightly. WNYK wants to be a light, and it’s there for us to shine.
Brad Hickey is a 2007 graduate of Nyack College with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and was the Valedictorian of his graduating class. He has been the Station Manager at WNYK since 2016. Brad has also been a Film/Radio instructor for the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) at Nyack College.