WUNH nominated for two CMJ awards
Published: Friday, October 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
It takes a huge amount of talent, commitment and passion to find success in anything worthwhile in life. A busy college campus might seem to be a difficult place to get out there and rise to the top of something meaningful, but Music Director Sean Riley and Alicia Jacobs of WUNH have done just that.
WUNH is one of the only stations around the Seacoast area that plays new, up-and-coming artists who are under the radar of mainstream music. WUNH has taken advantage of their unique selection of artists, along with the influence they have on their listeners and has recently gained national recognition from College Music Journal (CMJ).
This year, the station has been nominated for two awards. Riley has been nominated for the “Will Never Sell Out” award, and the entire station has been nominated for the “Biggest Improvement” award. The voting will take place at the CMJ Music Marathon, held at New York University in Manhattan at the end of October.
Riley has been involved in WUNH since Feb. 2011. He started his career at the station as a DJ, and in May of 2011 he was hired as the assistant music director. Riley was interested in a future in the business side of music, and became the music director during the fall of this year.
Riley’s commitment toward WUNH isn’t just strict business; it’s a job he truly enjoys.
“They say that if you’re not having fun then it’s not good work, and I’m having a lot of fun here,” Riley said.
Riley found himself having to rebuild the music department within WUNH, as there seemed to be many flaws when he arrived; there was little participation at the time, and the higher-ups didn’t seem to be communicating with labels and sponsors. Riley had spent a lot of time at WUNH making sure that the communications aspect of the station would improve greatly. He now speaks with every label that WUNH is affiliated with at least once a week.
WUNH had been popular in the local scene and around campus when Riley started working with the station. Making WUNH nationally recognized was an important priority.
“We don’t have a choice whether we get national recognition or not, we have to work nationally,” Ryan said. “I have to be on the phone with people from N.Y. and L.A.”
Riley put in a great deal of work so WUNH could reach the point where it is today. It is vital for him to stay in contact with those outside of the Seacoast so that the station can continue to grow nationally.
Jacobs started working with WUNH in May 2011 as the events coordinator, and has since worked her way up to promotions director. Jacobs explained that there are two main aspects that promote WUNH: programming and community outreach.
A campus event, like the Hi-Fi Music Festival in the spring, is an example of how promotion works for WUNH. Jacobs said she hopes to do more local events and involve the local community. She said there is room for WUNH to sponsor more events, which would also help promotion.
The recognition and nominations for the awards actually came through programming.
“We didn’t reach out to anyone. It’s just that we have good DJ’s and the music department is cracking down on what is played, and what is not,” Jacobs said. “It’s nice to be recognized for something that we didn’t necessarily put ourselves out there for.”
Riley was extremely shocked when he found out he was nominated for the “Will Never Sell Out Award.”
“It took me by surprise. I realized that a lot of people in this industry knew who I am now, and I had no idea how to handle it,” Riley said. “I’ve done a lot of work in upholding the values that WUNH has, such as not playing overexposed artists, and a lot of work to maintain the integrity and the uniqueness of WUNH in my dealings with labels and promoters.”
Jacobs mentioned that the “Biggest Improvement” nomination is due to an increase in DJs, and also a consistency with programming rules. The steady habit of talking to promoters has helped with gaining the nomination for “Biggest Improvement” as well. Promoters know that they will be able to count on hearing from WUNH, and a strong relationship has been formed with the labels they deal with.
“I think that it’s really unique how we were nominated for the two at the same time,” Jacobs said.
Even though Riley and Jacobs are graduating at the end of this year, they are very confident that WUNH will maintain its status in the coming years.