Free your mind. That is what the student run radio station WCBN has been telling the University for over 25 years. Offering a refreshing aural experience that cannot be duplicated with any other station, WCBN has won as the Best Radio Station in Ann Arbor. The freeform format exposes listeners to various musical genres that no other local radio station would ever attempt to play. Broadcasting from the basement of the Student Activities Building, 88.3 FM emphasizes everything from reggae to jazz to heavy metal to Latin. This Best of Ann Arbor pick dedicates itself to the students on campus by giving them what they want. That makes this station the one to tune your radio dial to daily.
Most of the shows broadcast in freeform format, which means they really have no format at all. The DJs play whatever both they and the listeners are in the mood to hear. Requests are always welcome and appreciated, even when they don”t quite fit in with the theme of the particular show. This commitment to the listeners makes it the most favored radio station on the list.
“The slew of requests that come in are most often intelligent recommendations for good songs that are inspired by and inspire the DJ,” WCBN Publicity Director Candy Chang said. “You will never hear Britney Spears, unless it is within some ironic witty context.”
The many on-air personalities provide entertaining commentary while spinning favorites from both their personal tastes and call in requests. The Blast-Off Girls Sue and Wendy mix the cultural context of the worst drive-in songs with the sparkling wit of a girls” locker room. Their show airs Monday from 8 to 10 p.m. with classics such as “Video Killed the Radio Star,” by Lolita 18 and “Intergallactic” by the Beastie Boys.
Another popular show features D.J. Del Villarreal in his Go Kat Go! The Rockabilly Show airing Wednesdays from 7 to 8 p.m. The show presents timeless songs like the original “Blue Suede Shoes,” by Carl Perkins and “Killer Taco Stomp” by Runnin” Wild.
This radio station also showcases diverse ethnic musical collections that add to the diversity of campus. Radiozilla debuted this fall, bringing an hour of East Asian popular music to the forefront. Every Sunday from 9 to 10 p.m. the hosts transport students to the Orient to experience not only traditional music but also hip-hop, dance music, indy-pop and noise. Brazilian, Filipino and Latin American music also show up throughout the regular freeform format.
On Fridays from 12 to 3 p.m., Kelly and Katie control the airwaves with their own freeform adventure. Playing everything from Motown divas The Shirelles to the Fatal Flying Guilloteens, these two girls give a new definition to the freeform format.
The Best of Ann Arbor was awarded to WCBN because of its commitment to not only to musical freedom, but also local news and sports. The news department focuses on news that affects Ann Arbor directly. The sports department covers both revenue and non-revenue athletics. They also have sports related shows that cover all the hot topics circulating around campus. Weekdays at 5:45 p.m., they present the latest scores and news from all of the University”s varsity sports. They interview Wolverine athletes and converse in a round-table discussion of the top news of the week show on Mondays. Another feature that makes this station number one is the Game of the Week. Pre-recorded or live broadcasts of Men”s Hockey, Men”s Basketball and Women”s Basketball can be heard at this time. These events highlight 88.3″s devotion to Wolverine Sports.
WCBN allows students the opportunity to express themselves with all musical tastes. By listening, the entire university community can learn about local issues affecting all of our daily lives. For this reason, 88.3 FM earned the favor of students for the best radio station in Ann Arbor.