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As we continue into Spring 2010 semester at St. John’s University, we not only find ourselves beginning a new decade, but continuing an era in which WSJU Radio changed significantly over the past few years.


In just over four months, WSJU Radio has not only changed and improved at an immeasurable rate, but did so under the “classic WSJU” style of each of our members enjoying themselves while doing so.


Not since 2000 has WSJU Radio kicked off a broadcast season with a new audience to entertain. 10 years ago, WSJU began the 2000-2001 broadcast season with a new audience via channel 36 in the on-campus dormitories at St. John’s University. While this was a major improvement in our broadcasting audience size, it doesn’t compare to the change brought on this past September.


WSJU Radio, for the 36th year, kicked off the 2009-2010 broadcast season on September 2nd 2009 while broadcasting LIVE, all around the world on WSJUradio.org.


Since that day, it has been nothing but an uphill journey for WSJU, improving and expanding in each of its departments.


The voice of St. John’s University was heard louder than ever this semester. Along with our several hundred listeners in Marillac Cafeteria and Ch. 36 in the dorms, an amazing 3,269 unique listeners tuned in live on WSJUradio.org, with 1,033 of them tuning in during November alone.


WSJU listeners heard the greatest quality of music and content this year due to the dedication of our staff, especially our Programming Director, Enisa Dervisevic. Enisa was proud to organize and assign an on-air schedule that included the least amount of computer-automated slots that WSJU has ever seen. Enisa led WSJU by presenting a strong and content-filled 24-hour schedule, specifically targeting our online and residence village audiences. Our staff members were also trained and prepared for on-air duties under Enisa who was a huge reason for our success this semester.


While a numerical figure of listeners gives a general idea of the success WSJU has seen this semester, it doesn’t compare to what has been done off the air in each of our departments.


As we have done in the past, WSJU Radio continued hosting and DJ’ing on-campus events. The Fall 2009 semester, however, included the most events WSJU has ever interacted with in a single semester.

WSJU hosted and took part in:

•The “Back to School Bagel Give-A-Way”

•The 2009 Labor Day Barbeque

•St. John’s Fall Activities Fair

•Latin Heritage Night

•The Chris Williams Coffeehouse Pre-Show

•The 2009-2010 Red Storm Tip-Off

•Club Monty’s Halloween Party in Montgoris Dining Hall

•Italian Heritage Night

•The 2009 “Festival of Lights”

•The 202 Productions: Super-Mega Video Game Contest

•The “One House Café” Coffeehouse

•STJ Laser Tag Event

  1. The 2009 Santa’s Workshop

  2. The D’Angelo Center Grand Opening Ceremonies

At each event, the WSJU Promotions team was always present and dedicated to spreading the Voice of St. John’s University. Thanks to our Promotions Department, under the leadership of Promotions director Idil Kirimca, the listeners of WSJU Radio were given several opportunities to win free valuable prizes from WSJU:


•Before the broadcast season began, we gave away two passes to the Electric Zoo Festival, a major concert featuring the world’s most talented DJs and Producers.

•We continued by giving away twelve pairs of tickets to go see Michael Jackson’s “This Is It,” which were highly demanded tickets since the movie was only in theaters for two weeks.

•Thanks to a good relationship with our local Dunkin’ Donuts on 168th street, WSJU gave away dozens of gift cards for Dunkin’ Donuts both on and off-air.

•Because of the excellent relationship made with Red Storm Sports, our Sports Department gave away tickets to go see the St. John’s Red Storm in the opening weeks of the season at Carnesecca Arena.

•Our biggest give-a-way event in WSJU history was this fall, when we rewarded our WSJU listeners with tickets to go see Lady Gaga at Radio City Music Hall and Mariah Carey at Madison Square Garden for her New Years Eve concert. At the event, we gave away prizes such as a ticket to go see Rihanna, an autographed Rihanna CD, a pair of Lady Gaga’s Heartbeat headphones, a Mariah Carey fragrance collection basket, and iTunes gift cards. The event was held in Marillac Cafeteria in front of the St. John’s students, as well as non-STJ students who entered our contest.

Our other departments at WSJU also achieved an incredible amount of success this semester.


When speaking of success, the heads and ears of our listeners instantly turn to the wild and crazy members that make up our proud department known as WSJU Sports. Since Reginald Bazile and Michael Lydakis were given the major task of restarting the department, it has seen nothing but major success. Coming off a 2008-2009 broadcast season that involved announcing games at Madison Square Garden and the Prudential Center, announcing the first game to ever be played at Citi Field between St. John’s and Georgetown, and a 10-minute spotlight on ESPN-U, it would be hard to imagine how the department could improve much more. Our two sports directors, Frank Qasim and David Berov, have once again showed us their true colors. The results of the department’s intense and detailed training that began over the summer showed instantly on air. The dedicated members returning from last year, including Derek Shepard, Michael Naclerio, and Phillip Martinez welcomed in two more extremely dedicated new members in Daniel “The Funny Man” Martin and Tim “The Greek” Dzeladini-Dimas.

As a hard-working group, the department once again had another successful semester this fall. Their intense preparation for every game, show, and interview was shown instantly to listeners. There was a countless amount of positive feedback from listeners, students, faculty, and members of Red Storm Sports. To top this all off, the department concluded their extremely successful semester with a trip to Duke University to announce the exciting men’s basketball game that took place between St. John’s and Duke. While the spot on ESPN-U was a huge success, as the general manager of WSJU, I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever been more proud of our sports department as I was when I first tuned in to hear the team broadcast live from Cameron Indoors Arena.


With this exciting Men’s Basketball season coming to an end over the next month, and St. John’s Baseball and Softball approaching, I know that the hard work the department has done this Fall will continue into the Spring to conclude an excellent year.

To continue speaking about growth within our departments, our Production Department, under Director Michelle Pinto, grew in many different directions this Fall. Michelle was faced with a big task of recording new advertisements, commercials, and other on-air recordings to each include the announcement of our newly featured Internet broadcast feed. She also introduced new creative ways for recording our members’ advertisements. She has made every effort to include new members in each project and to also find ways for current members to improve the department. Michelle was also in charge of programming our computer-based automation broadcast system to control our 24-hour broadcasting schedule, another “first” here at WSJU. As a former Production & IT Director, I couldn’t be more proud of the work she has done with the department.


Also fitting the role of “growth” was our WSJU News Department, under director Louis Rashkover. Lou has worked hard all semester long in making the success of the department continue. At every 10 minutes before the hour, WSJU News was written and ready for its listeners. Each member of WSJU Radio, a frequent newscaster or not, has participated in assisting Lou to make the department better. Lou also did excellent work with making the department the best and quickest way for interested members to get their voices heard on air. Along with being the best recruiter for WSJU, Lou has been an extremely dedicated and fun member as always and I know that the News department will only continue to see more success in the Spring.


All of our departments have improved over the past 3 years; this also includes our WSJU Music Department. Under Director, Conner Garrison, and Assistant Director, Katie Malewich, the Music Department once again has given our listeners reason to tune in. Since the addition of our Latin and Jam departments, Conner has given the department its next biggest challenge. This Fall, Conner introduced a system of submitting rotations more frequently with more new music. The system has not only worked successfully, but it has also seen WSJU introduce more new music at a more frequent rate that has ever been seen here. The department has also found ways of allowing new members to participate by reviewing music and interacting with the genre directors. Our department also played a critical role in the reviewing of our music library, which represents the archive of music used for our non-rotation and specialty shows.


Outside of the station, our members once again continued the annual tradition of attending the CMJ Marathon in New York City, and Conner will also be joining Programming Director Enisa Dervisevic this March to attend the annual WSJU trip to Texas for the South by Southwest music festival.


Within this department are our six genre directors and two assistant directors that represent our six music genre departments.


Our music genre directors Steven DiLeone, Matthew Zazzarino, Danica Semexant, Asma Sarwary, Candace Hernandez, and Liam LaGuerre did an excellent job all semester in improving our four traditional music departments consisting of the Alternative Department, The Blend Department, The Loud Rock Department, and The Urban Department. On top of that, our 2-year old Jam Department has continued its improvement under director Edward Dixon, while our newest department, our Latin Department, has also continued to flourish under director Michelle Pinto.

Outside of our station, we’ve also seen a tremendous amount of growth and expansion on the technical side of our station. WSJU launched our brand new Twitter account, and expanded our horizons on Facebook with our new fan page, which now has over 600 members. 


Also, WSJUradio.org, which launched in September of 2007, received 32,256 hits from September until December. Our website has been updated on a frequent basis with more and more content for our visitors. Interested potential members had more information about joining WSJU, and were given a closer look as to how WSJU operates. The website also allowed each department to display its work throughout the semester. Along with newly renovated staff, department, and contact pages, interviews from over 12 major artists including Maroon 5, Tina Ann, Ghostface Killah, and Pretty Ricky were also posted. Finally, in the Spring 2010, WSJU will be launching our all-new “WSJU On-Demand” section, as well as our new WSJU Alumni Network.


In addition to all the previously mentioned accomplishments, we’ve also been maintaining a strong level of care for our WSJU office with equipment upgrades, improved station cleanliness, and who can forget the addition of Nintendo 64! Our newsroom has been redesigned to accommodate work for both the News and Sports departments, and our Production room was redesigned with a new system to record on-air material in addition to our standard production computer. And as we speak, plans for redesigning our floors in the station are currently being discussed.

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         As you can probably tell by reading so much, this semester has gone above and beyond what I’ve expected it to. Our station has never been stronger or more motivated to continue the tremendous amount of growth we’ve experienced over the last few years. All of our dedicated members are training newer members with hopes to keep this amazing, 36-year old tradition going. I have never met a class of new members this interested and dedicated in becoming part of this special place.


            As I look forward to my final semester as General Manager of WSJU Radio and as a student of St. John’s University, I have nothing but great faith and high hopes that this semester will be even better than the one we’ve just completed. All signs are pointing up for this amazing place known as WSJU, and I couldn’t be more excited to finish out this year.

            As I did this past June, I once again invite you to tune in as we return for the Spring 2010 semester. WSJU, “The Voice” will once again be heard better than ever.


        Thank you to all of our listeners, followers, alumni, and current members of WSJU Radio for an amazing Fall 2009 semester.


Best Regards,

Al Ragone


(General Manager, WSJU Radio)

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