Z98.7FM Marks 100 Years of Radio on World College Radio Day

Savannah Richards, Radio Station Manager

Friday Oct. 2 marked the 10th annual World College Radio Day (WCRD), and Piedmont’s student-run radio station celebrated with 12 straight hours of live shows. 


The College Radio Foundation organizes a number of events to raise awareness for and support college radio, but WCRD is the most notable. According to Collegeradio.org, WCRD is the fastest-growing and most recognizable college radio movement around the globe, and has had nearly 600 stations from 30 different countries participate. 


“Radio is basically another form of expression for me,” said Sophomore McKenzie Rider, who hosts the weekly show “Flashback Friday,” at 3pm. “I find it so fascinating that something almost historic is still relevant.”


In order to keep WCRD as timely as possible, the organization chooses an overarching theme based on current events. The theme for 2020 was “Global Solidarity Rocks,” and was meant to promote the idea that students around the world need to band together to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 


The effect of COVID-19 on colleges across the globe has made it difficult for some students to access their studios and broadcast equipment. However, in order to counteract this and allow all interested stations to participate, the WCRD organization has set up a SoundCloud account full of content for the event. This allowed students that couldn’t broadcast from their station to participate via social media or remote broadcast.


Fortunately, since Piedmont is still allowing classes to proceed in an in-person format, students were able to participate and host their shows from the studio located in the Swanson Center. Overall, more than 20 students were involved in producing and hosting 11 different shows. 


Nearly every major genre of music was represented throughout the event. Seniors Abby Cox and Davis Barlow brought Piedmont listeners a throwback show featuring lost party hits of the 2000’s. “The Tea at Two,” Hosted by Olivia Justice, brought the audience back to the present with a dose of some pop favorites. Senior Nick Pope brought some hit country music in his show “A Trip Down South.” Metalheads and thrashers could tune in to “Thrash Fridays,” and jazz and R&B fans could get their music fix during “Easy Fridays.”


WCRD is meant to celebrate college radio as a whole, and showcase the importance of giving students a space to express themselves. This year marks the 100th anniversary of radio broadcasting in the United States, which translates to 100 years of giving a voice to those who have stories to tell and ideas to share–and who has more ideas to share than college students?


“Streaming services seem to have taken over how we consume our media now,” said Rider. “But college radio stations are a sign that radio is still alive and thriving–even after a century.”