Who’s Who in WVOU

Chase Portarro (chportaro@ursinus.edu)

What do an improv comedy show and a music variety program have in common? You can listen to them both live, on-air, hosted by Ursinus students on the campus radio station!

    It’s no secret that WVOU, the Voice of Ursinus, is back in full-swing. Recently, The Grizzly printed an article on the station’s resurgence, but this week, we’re spotlighting some of the DJs who make WVOU possible. Emily MacKinnon ‘23, Matt Nieves-Hoblin ‘23, and Tyler Ways ‘24 sat down to discuss their shows and what listeners can expect to hear from them in the future.

   MacKinnon hosts a music program on WVOU. Describing her show’s content, she said, “it’s lots of R&B, Indie, and alternative stuff, but it definitely depends on my mood. I don’t do much talking, except at the beginning to introduce which playlist I chose, so I can really give the vibe for the show.” For MacKinnon, that vibe is the key to keeping listeners coming back for her next broadcast.

   Listening to music on demand has never been easier with today’s streaming services, but MacKinnon emphasized the unmet needs of some listeners. “Some people don’t feel like picking out their own music when listening to stuff, so if you don’t feel like doing that, come listen to me!” she added, with a tinge of hope.

   Ways explores radio from a more comical perspective. Cataloging his program as a “fake history” show in the style of “improv comedy,” Ways explained, “Each episode features me, as the host, coming up with either a real or fictional event. My co-host, Michael, calls out any inconsistencies, and even helps add to the fictional story that we build.” This open-ended format and comical approach he takes to his show will guarantee to accomplish his goal, which he said is “to make something light-hearted that can hopefully get a laugh.” Considering the whirlwind the past two years has brought us, a laugh seems more than reasonable.

    Taking full advantage of WVOU’s uncensored platform, Ways titled his show Bullshit. He’s well aware of the connotations of his title, but he’s banking on its shock-value to attract listeners to his comedic takes on topical events.

   Nieves-Hoblin hosts a show that combines music with relative commentary about the song’s artistry. He detailed, “I’m a musician myself, so I really enjoy playing my favorite songs, and then talking about the musicianship, or just fun facts about the band. I really love digging into the history of the band and following what artists do and what upcoming projects they have.” Nieves-Hoblin makes it plain that his show’s interest in music extends far beyond simply listening to songs. He’s interested in sharing the entire experience of music with his listeners.

   Nieves-Hoblin spoke about what listeners can expect. “It’s always been a dream of mine to put together something live in the studio. I watch Tiny Desk concerts religiously, and I’ve always wanted to mic up someone and have a live, in-studio show.” The “Tiny Desk Concert” is a live-radio format popularized by NPR, something Nieves-Hoblin hopes to bring to WVOU.

    “It’s always changing, and you can always expect something new and fresh to listen to,” Nieves-Hoblin concluded as he stood up, getting ready to broadcast his Tuesday night show.

   Whether you’re looking for something comical, topical, or musical, WVOU has it all and everything in between. If you’re interested in listening to any of the shows discussed above, click the link on WVOU’s homepage to start listening live! You can also find the DJ schedule in WVOU’s Instagram bio @wvou.radio. Happy listening!