With nearly three years of radio experience, WGSU Station Manager Joe Cooper, a senior, has seen the station evolve throughout his college career. Cooper first went on the air in fall 2006, and had the good fortune of landing a specialty show his first semester, in which DJs have full choice of the songs they play.
While he started out on WGSU for its relevance to his communication major and just out of his love for music, Cooper quickly climbed the ranks within the organization, filling the role of news director in his junior year and running all station operations as his full-time job this past summer.
As this year's station manager, he's responsible for much of the organizational and daily administrative tasks.
Cooper oversaw the recording for 12 hours of solid material to be looped indefinitely in the absence of a DJ, and aims to record a full 24 by the end of the semester. Though most of the slots are filled throughout the year, this loop keeps the WGSU interesting for breaks and finals week.
The station has also added a master board and an Audio Vault, which simplifies the system for the DJs, also allowing for greater functionality and efficiency. "I think we're still lagging in some areas," Cooper said, "but we've taken some big steps."
Cooper chose Geneseo because the program and price were right. As a senior, he doesn't regret the decision. He enjoys the community of students on campus, who seem far more down to earth than those of other colleges he's visited.
Likewise, the community within WGSU has proven to be one of its greatest appeals. The staff gets together outside of the station itself, not only in meetings, but also in social and community service events.
Cooper acknowledged many former members of the radio who have since graduated for inspiring and guiding his own progress on the station. "We've had a lot of people who we really like, and it's a shame to see a lot of those people go."
Cooper enjoys "imposing" his personal taste in music on the Geneseo station, but doubts that he'll continue with the medium in his career. "I don't think a lot of the charm of college radio still exists on the commercial level," he said. "I just want to put my music on the air… That entire aspect of commercial radio is kind of dead."
While he may be interested in moving away from radio, Cooper's passion for media studies has drawn him to a possible career as a watchdog. "The media often try too hard to cover both sides out of fear of being biased," he said, and fact-checking organizations serve to keep them honest.
The struggling economy adds challenge to every 2009 graduate's job search, but Cooper expects to fall back on Americore as an opportunity to travel different cities and do community service if no employment opportunities strike his interest right out of the gates.