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NC State News

You Say You Want a Revolution

For a college radio station, WKNC 88.1 FM is a remarkably tidy place, especially considering its nickname is “the Revolution.” But then, who says a revolution can’t be professionally organized and well managed?

The station, wedged into a half-dozen rooms on the third floor of the Witherspoon Student Center, is entirely student run, featuring dozens of disc jockeys vying to fill airtime in two-hour shifts around the clock. In fact, the place runs like clockwork, serving up a steady mix of mostly indie rock on weekdays, with side dishes of reggae, punk, dance, R&B, metal, blues, rockabilly and even a cappella music on weekends and after hours.

Media Powerhouse

“We’re in a unique niche,” says program director Kieran Moreira. “We don’t have to worry about the requirements of commercial radio. College radio has the liberty to play what they want to play. That gives us a lot of freedom and brings a lot of creativity.”

Tommy Anderson

General manager Tommy Anderson runs award-winning radio station WKNC with an iron fist.

The station’s creative streak has established it as a local media powerhouse, earning it recognition – once again – as the best college radio station in the Triangle in the Independent Weekly’s annual reader survey.

“Only one in 10 listeners is a student,” Moreira says. “So that shows that we really reach out to the community itself – it’s not just NC State students. We’ve been pretty influential.”

That influence is felt by local groups, who often gain a considerable boost from airplay on WKNC. Broadcasting at 25,000 watts, the station has enough power to reach the entire region. And the Triangle is well known in the music industry for its vibrant local music scene. General manager Tommy Anderson credits WKNC with helping at least one Raleigh band land a recording contract.

The station is supported in part by student fees but augments its operating budget each February through a fundraising event called the Double Barrel Benefit.

“Typically we try to pair bigger local bands, bands that are already established in the area, with two or three bands that we’ve been playing, that we think are awesome but more people need to know about,” Anderson says. “That’s a great way to generate buzz.”

Meet the Voices Behind WKNC

10 responses on “You Say You Want a Revolution

  1. Dee says:

    I love KNC! Something the Wolfpack can be proud of for sure!

  2. Eric Larson says:

    I’ll start listening for sure!

  3. AmesStarLoveTrain says:

    The best thing I ever did as a NCSU grad student was become part of WKNC. Wicked cool people, fantastic music, and a bomb of a boss (both Tommyboy and behind the scenes maven, Jamie, are amazing). Great job WKNC!

  4. Suzanne says:

    Great story and video! Love KNC. Thanks for the sneak peek behind the scenes!

  5. Andrew B says:

    Best radio station in the Triangle, bar none. It may even be the best in the state, though WNCW Spindale would be a tough challenger.

  6. NCSUGrad says:

    Article needs to give credit to DJ Adam Kincaid. He started the The Local Beat, Local Lunch hour and organized the music library to make it a “tidy” place.

  7. William Giles says:

    I was a DJ at KNC for a brief period back in the mid 80s. I had no idea what I was doing most of the time, but I had a lot of fun and significantly expanded my musical horizons.

    Back then the station was all vinyl with a room the size of a big walkin closet stacked floor to ceiling with well worn albums. I often wonder whatever happened to all those old LPs once everything went digital.

  8. Jenny Anderson says:

    I love KNC!!!!

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