Sunday, April 21, 2013

Radio Station Field Trip 42 - WZRD at Northeastern Illinois University

Brand new WZRD T-shirt, featuring the original WZRD logo (all photos: J. Waits)

I was really thrilled to finally get the opportunity to visit college radio station WZRD 88.3 FM at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) in Chicago. Embroiled in controversy last year, WZRD was in the news for the dramatic lock-out of student DJs for more than five months.

WZRD record library

As I reported on Radio Survivor, on June 29, 2012, staff from WZRD were called into a meeting and told that student DJs were being suspended. The station was put on automation and the administration issued a statement that, "The WZRD student organization is currently under university review and on inactive status." In the days following the shut-down, a university spokesperson indicated that the station was still being operated by students (albeit, students selected by the university rather than by the WZRD club) and that there were hopes that student radio would continue at NEIU.