August 14, 2014

WIRE Goes on the Air with WBZ

From left: Josh Ramirez, Jordan Rich, Justice Wright, and Marshall Stoneham

When Stephen Fusi, ME ’74, and Mindy Pollack Fusi donated a new radio facility to Wentworth in 2012, they set in motion a series of great successes for Wentworth’s Internet Radio Experience, otherwise known as WIRE. Those successes, including multiple awards at this year’s Intercollegiate Broadcasting System conference, led to a recent opportunity to promote the station on WBZ NewsRadio.

In an airwave meets new-wave moment, WBZ, the very first commercial radio station in America, hosted Stephen Fusi; Josh Ramirez, CIS ’15; Justice Wright, BSCN ’17; and Marshall Stoneham, BFPM ’15; a group dedicated to preserving the ideals of traditional radio, while also progressing it through the 21st century. The meeting took place on “The Jordan Rich Show” on July 26.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Ramirez, who had never been on terrestrial radio before. “We went on during the first hour and discussed WIRE, and then we did a Q&A with listeners who had questions for us.”

Rich asked Fusi to sit in with the Wentworth students during the show. Fusi explained on the air why he strongly believes in the WIRE program and where he sees future opportunities (including making it a focal point for student involvement and education). He also saw it as great experience for the students.

“I fully expected that the opportunity to be live and fully engaged in discussion would help firm up the students’ skills,” Fusi said of the appearance. “Nothing was scripted, but Jordan was such a professional that he assured the guys it would all run smoothly and be fun. This was all true and the students came through with flying colors.”

Ramirez found the appearance to be extremely beneficial for promoting WIRE to potential new listeners. “We’re an up-and-coming station, but we’ve been successful lately,” said Ramirez. “We have a more robust program than ever before and we want people to know that. It was great to get that kind of exposure.”

Fusi related that he would be open to visiting other radio stations with the Wentworth students. Additionally, Rich promised Fusi that he would visit the WIRE station in the fall.

While some traditional radio stations have shown dwindling listenership in recent years, Internet radio stations like WIRE, as well as apps including Pandora and iheartradio, and the popularity of podcasts have all shown that listeners are still out there—they’re simply tuning in through different methods. “People have said that radio is dying, but I think it’s more that the medium has changed,” said Ramirez. “The desire to listen is still there, and we are providing that.”

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