Welcome Back, Laurenellen McCann!


Photo by John Ulasek

On this week’s episode of “Welcome Back” we talk with Laurenellen McCann ’09.   Some of us remember Laurenellen as Hailey Bop, host of Dimension X, the 1950’s radio drama  revival show Laurenellen produced at WESU during her undergraduate studies at Wesleyan.

These days, Laurenellen is the executive producer of  The Good Fight with Ben Wikler, a podcast she describes as “a little bit This American Life, a little bit Colbert.” She’s also been a champion for open data and transparency-related policies during her time as the National Policy Manager at the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit organization that champions increasing government transparency.

Recently Times Magazine included Laurenellen in their  article on the 30 People Under 30 Changing the World.

Click here for a 30 minute conversation feature don this week;s episode of Welcome back with Ben Michael.

Spring Record Fair!


Get ready for our Spring Community Record fair and sale, where you’ll find dozens of vendors selling tons of vinyl and CDs from all musical genres.

The event happens on Sunday, March 30th from 11am – 4pm and will be returning to Beckham Hall, located at 45 Wyllys Ave. on the Wesleyan University Campus, Middletown, CT 06459

WESU DJs will be spinning the wax live all day and there will be WESU merchandise for sale. Plus, the Whey Station food truck will be in the house selling their signature gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and other vittles.

Limited vendor space is still available. Email Lee Berman (lberman@wesleyan.edu) if you want to rent a table to sell your merchandise.

Hope to see you there!

Last Weeks Notes

Training starts Sunday March 2nd (BS can you send a final schedule)

               -BS can you send a final schedule?

Student group activities fair??? What’s the deal?

-Mary can register us

-Mary 1-2, Katherine 2-3

-Mary should get materials together (BS will make google doc)


HR give KC Public Affairs email list


Map out pledge drive time frame? Start up in April? Goal? Maybe 15K?? We nearly hit that this past fall… Packets??? When to get them out? What’s the angle?

-separate things?

-same goal as the winter ($13,000)

-packets (extra efforts)

-went out too late, send them earlier

-hand out packets

-mini version of packets before spring break (talk about it at staff meeting at least)-a flyer (VT)

-packets by April staff meeting

-angle: could it be 75th? Pledge drive on air

*maybe not make block sign-up sheets


Staff resource page (WESUFM.org/STAFF) per suggestion last week..  Who can do this? WP savvy..? NB WILL TRY


Clean up outdated shows on stream rewind? There are many shows listed that ar no longer on air. Can Hannah cross reference? Ben can then double check list and then maybe NB can delete?


Record fair: Flyer???
 Need to print and send to venue list (Ben has list and can print labels). Need to send Rec Fair info to SS to get listed on Middletown’s  www.Arts2.go.org website  and in the City Arts calendar for March.  Can we get it printed in Argus and how do we get the fair promoted on Wesleying?


Bryan’s Swedish Friend’s Label’s band Like Swimming (former members of “You Say France and I Whistle”) did anyone even respond to Bryan?

*Izzy will communicate with Bryan


Program guide – Now 2 sided – Show titles/times on front – descriptions on back  -VT was up at archive checking on vintage pics this afternoon.


75 years of” radio show needs our input big time. According to BS here are the latest stats:
 WESU and Wesleyan Related Musicians: 10 songs suggested by 3 people.
Poetry – 5 Pieces suggested by 2 people.
African-American Musicians –  songs suggested by 1 person

The board should step up and help make sure this is a success  by making suggestions and figuring out how to promote it right. For starters, let’s include it in daily face book posts. Ben will make a pitch in his forth coming update email.  We can also keep talking about it at the meetings. There’s still time to pull it together. March is supposed to be fine in terms of suggestions..

75th anniversary

Promos (all) We need a bunch of new promos announcing this landmark occasion! We can certainly offer service hours to staff as well. Contest???



Website needs 75th anniversary landing page www.WESUFM.org/75  Who can do?

Danielle’s Press release pretty much ready to go: this can be sent to Middletown Eye, The Middletown Press,  The Record Journal,  the Argus (Weslying?). no more patch, The Connection, Wesleyan Community blog etc, brain storm any other pertinent places? FB? WESU Website…

This press release can also be worked into Mary’s upcoming Letter to all alumni that will include a survey about commencement reunion events and a gala event for home coming 2014? Need to find ou which of our alumni are celebrating reunions this year…  ben will also use it in his pledge drive communications.


75 Events:
 Oldies concert update: Ben is reviewing band and pricing info suggestions from Oldies staff and supporters.  Thinking early April. Trying to come up with a proposal for the board ASAP.

IZZY/Mary Event Concept: >>>

-air WESU around campus

-ask Usdan to play it

-put secret radios around campus

-special programming?

*student bands, alumni, OR community members call in and a stage on campus where people can play

-culminate in concert at psi u (ticketed)

-it needs to be good programming! (2 hours)

-during WesFest?

-hire the Ride (already driving around campus)

-Izzy talk to Psi U

*WESU bands

-music from bands at Wesleyan/WESU, rebroadcast Wild Wild Live

Offshoot >>>> Gorilla Radio?  setup  phone line for listeners to call in to rant, Thanks/talk about WESU,  /announce something etc, . Those can be edited and broadcast as Gorilla radio. Also, We could have a campaign to collect used radios, slap a WESU sticker on them and plant them around campus and town…. Perhaps permanently tuning them to WESU? Scavenger hunt??

Top Five New Albums of the Week: February 25th

1    NATURAL CHILD    Dancin’ With Wolves    Burger

This follow-up to 2012’s Hard in Heaven has been a long time coming. At least it’s felt that way for me, a hopelessly devoted and childishly obsessed Natural Child fanboy. And goddamn if Dancin’ With Wolves is not every bit as groovy and hopped-up as you could hope for. From the angsty drunken twang of “Saturday Night Blues” to the downright Brazilian glow of the loungey “Bailando Con Lobos,” Dancin’ With Wolves is quite simply a pleasure. Who needs Kevin Costner when you’ve got Natty Chile?

2    TACOCAT    NVM    Hardly Art

These jangley palindrome and internet lovers are quite a bit more than meets the eyes and ears. Singing about everything from the surfy joy that can be your period to a quinciñera on acid, Tacocat seem to always find the perfect catchy melodies to fit their playful and distinct sense of humor. From overdriven riffage to playful lyrics about toxic shock syndrome, Tacocat have a distinct and endlessly enjoyable personality that the polished NVM showcases so well.

3    CHERRY GLAZRR    Haxel Princess    Burger  

There is something doubtlessly pretty and oddly spooky, it seems, about every song on Haxel Princess, Cherry Glazrr’s sophomore release on Burger records. Cherry Glazrr’s brand of guitar pop is uniquely unsettling, continuously shifting, and really really impressive. It’s impossible not to mention that these guys still have one more year left of high school. It’s certainly a part of their identity. But Haxel Princess is a seriously cool and great record regardless of any condescendingly “cute”  assumptions of age and talent. One thing’s for sure; these weirdos are here to stay.

4    ETERNAL SUMMERS    The Drop Beneath    Kanine

Equal parts shimmering and fuzzy, Virginia’s Eternal Summers are reminiscent of their good buds Bleeding Rainbow as well as a plethora of scuzzy ’90s guitar bands, all of which comparison with is purely flattering.

5    MICHAEL KIWANUKA    You’ve Got Nothing to Lose 7″    Third Man

Unfortunately for the clearly talented English soul singer Michael Kiwanuka, it’s quite impossible to mention a release like his on Third Man Records without talking about Jack White. Kiwanuka’s Richie Haven’s -esque spirited voice is undeniably sweet, reminiscent of the may rallying crys of singers of his musical ilk during the ’60s, but White’s production on both the A side single and the backing Townes Van Zandt cover is rich, spectacular, and absolutely necessary.

– Ethan Hill

Two Weeks o’ Notes

Feb 4


Random Fundraising: Can someone look into receiving donations via text message?
Just a suggestion from a donor worth pursuing… (VT)


More thoughts on the Daily FB posts:  Ideas include what’s on air tonight, links to cool archived shows (can be your own), articles, station pics etc… event promotions, etc



Programming: need to nail down one more Public affairs show (Alting weds 6pm)
Any other concerns?

-Brenna was a no-show today (02/04/14)

-99 % invisible, liberation radio, radio curious, building bridges (HR forwarding email to board, email responses tonight)

-DJs need help for first couple weeks if they’re new (be conscious during your board hours)

Program guide? 
Where we at?

-VT talks about logo


Virgil-SBC trip once receives info from Ben about cost of surveillance


Tech issue: computer not displaying anything on monitor (Nate?) 

New Music for automation? Any word on this? Forgot to mention at staff meeting… It’s needed ASAP especially helpful during snow storms etc… get music to RS.

-build a folder of music for automation, let BM and RS know

-will have it ready by Thursday


Training: Did we map out a schedule for spring training? Maybe check records?

-Danielle put a post on website

-info session Feb. 23?

-BR is sending an email with potential dates


Record Fair is March 30th: Need a flyer ASAP

-VT is on it

-better job flyering


-Izzy on Whey Station, public relations

-on-air promotions


IBS Radio Conference? March 7-9 anyone want to represent?

-maybe VT?

-NB might go…



Public Relations    DP is working on flow of our web posts to FB to twitter for online consistency.
DP is also a writing press release for 75th anniversary. Needs

-press release ready in a week or two 


75th Anniversary updates:


75 yrs of: We all need to suggest/submit songs so this thing works and reflects the diversity of WESU.
maybe we can work pitches for this into our daily FB/posts?

Leith (archivist)
 DP and BM will meet on Friday to go over university collection and start to map out how to share/display this stuff

Events committee update: 
 Can we come up with a feb event (even small scale)

-need DP to submit press release in the next two weeks

VT on imaging and graphic design branding 

               -grid with gray and black images on tote bag

-hand-printed special edition t-shirts


Plan to enforce Spinitron: How can we do this? Would be great to get non music show info displayed too. Need someone to enter that info for each episode…

-service hours

-if can’t go online, write down everything they’re playing



MDs need to start spending money….   Red Scroll, Amazon, Sub MDs, etc… Use some for CMJ (like last 2 years)?

Other stuff?

Feb 11

-Training schedule (Becca)


Sunday, Feb. 23 (student groups fair is) OR Thursday, Feb. 27: 


Sunday, 3/2 Session 1 (info session for all prospective trainees: introduction to WESU & training overview)

Sunday, 3/30 OR Thursday, 4/3 – Session 3 (radio fundamentals & equipment)
(side note: that Sunday is the record fair – is this an issue?)
Sunday, 4/6 OR Thursday, 4/10 – Session 4 (Code of Conduct & FCC regulations)
Sunday, 4/13 OR Thursday, 4/17 – Session 5 (wrap-up of Code of Conduct & FCC regulations; on-air procedure)
Sunday, 4/20 (uhhhh, or Saturday, 4/19, I guess) – Session 6 (Tips & Tricks)
Sunday, 4/27 – written exam in PAC 001
Monday, 4/28 through Monday, 5/5 (of course timing depends on Studio A availability & everyone’s schedules) – practical exams


-help BS with checklist (MB)

-AW wants to continue training (he gets two extra service hours)

-Argus New Radio/public affairs

*in training/trained?


-75th Anniversary events (Ben/Izzy/Mary/Virgil)

-February (online exhibit)

-March (late-oldies show)

-April (Guerilla radio/Hip-hop expo)

-May (spring fling? Wes seminar/alumni event)

75th events: Ben M update, set time for next meeting. OK for BM to book oldies?


-Surveillance (VT)

-VT to email Ben

-email VT


-Program Guide (VIRGIL J J )

-he’s working on it now!

-HR will look up Radio Curious description (on



            -BM missed shows and was late this past week (we will be on the lookout and just email her later if needed and problems arise in the future)

-next time you’re let just let us know (call us, we are here)


-Board hours reminder (Mary)

-make sure WESU is broadcasting (listen)

-make daily fb post, check email

-check reservation board

-check in with 6 pm public affairs shows

-make new list of board hour duties


-Wednesday programming (Ben/Hannah)

-Radio Curious

-high pitched-ringing sound (AS’s show, J’s show); feedback?


-MDs: Music for automation (EH and RG)

-purchases (this weekend to Red Scroll?)

*don’t spend most of money on vinyl, buy CDs as well

*doesn’t all have to happen at once

*also look at ebreggae.com

-Ethan has compiled a bunch, give them a jump drive (give to Ben)


-Tech update (NB)

-Plan to enforce Spinitron: How can we do this? Would be great to get non music show info displayed too. Need someone to enter that info for each episode…

-service hours

-if can’t go online, write down everything they’re playing (IM?)

-NB (sync up with BS)

-Email link on website per JV’s suggestion?  – perhaps wesufm.org/staff for that and other stuff?

*wesufm.org/staff (with links like spinitron.com; application, link to the mail)

-Update show website links to update wesufm.org

-Studio PC is messed up – crashing freezing etc – we have another pc we can move in there but it will take someone to transfer files and install programs… NB (or anyone?)? BM has not been able to get to it as quick as he’d like.

-delay acting weird

               -update contact info on wesufm.org


-IBS Registration (BM and MB)

-EH and AS

-we can afford to pay for train ticket and admission but NOT hotel

-make them do a write-up for website

-request money from SALD (Mary)


-Can we have free t-shirts?


-Pet Peeves: hearing lots of very popular songs on WESU this past week in new shows.  Particularly, a show on Sat afternoon (Janis Joplin, Hendrix, Zeppelin, etc).  If playing pop artists don’t play their most popular songs on WESU…?

-defeats purpose of mission (we’re supposed to be playing alternatives)

-articulate musical mission more (during training)

*people shouldn’t be promoting themselves

*promote the radio!

-update constitution?

-Dead hour and a half a problem?

-training (drive mission home each week, have a question about our mission on exam)

-can Ben send an all-staff email reiterating our mission? Yes.

-Ben yells “ATLANTA” at Virgil

-Random Fundraising: Can someone look into receiving donations via text message?
Just a suggestion from a donor worth pursuing…

-need permission from university (Virgil)

-Record Fair is March 30th: flyer finished? Thanks Hanna for the promo. Need to send flyer to vendor / and store list to promote and seek vendors.

-request money from SALD

-VT send poster by tomorrow! J J

-Other stuff?

75th Anniversary Programming Updates – February Already?!!

PrintThanks to everyone who made the inaugural “75 Years Of…” program in January, “75 Years of Socially Conscious Music”, an electric mix of free-form goodness!

Now that we’re in February, we’ve got a new theme, a new curator and a new night.  Beginning tonight at 11:00 PM, Uncle John of WESU’s Dead Air will be bringing you “75 Years of Lyrics Beyond the English Language” – an exploration of 75 years of music from around the globe.

Our programming will continue throughout the year with new themes, and we’re still looking for your song suggestions for each month!

  • March will be 75 Years of Female Artists in honor of Women’s History Month.
    Please submit your song suggestions here: http://tinyurl.com/mhj5p4o
  • April will be 75 Years of Poetry, Spoken Word and Lyrically Dense Music in honor of National Poetry Month
    Please submit your poetry and song suggestions here: http://tinyurl.com/ozl654u
  • May will be 75 Years of WESU and Wesleyan Related Artists
    Please submit your song suggestions here: http://tinyurl.com/oydst76
  • June will be 75 Years of African-American Musicians in honor of African-American Music Appreciation Month
    Please submit your song suggestions here: http://tinyurl.com/o8zvf39


Thanks again for sharing in the celebration!

Inaugural All-Staff Meeting of the 75th Year of WESU

  • Welcome back students and hello to new staff!
  • Thanks to CVs and anyone who held it down over break.
  • Spring program starts tomorrow – looks great – Tons of new shows – Thanks to HR!

    Updates reminders and notes 
  • (MB) New Staff – door code is ***** – this will change in coming weeks
  • (BM) Transition etiquette:  Whether you follow a live or automated show we all need to go out of our way to ensure smooth transitions.
  • For those up preceding and following automation: this means bring it up at the specified   time. Not when you feel like it.
  • For live transitions: On air DJs should end with a recorded song, playlist, or other buffer for incoming DJ. Incoming DJS should show up early but tread lightly and stay out of the way.
  • This is especially true for new weekday 6pm public affairs shows, where DJs before and after are used to 30 minutes of automation. I am trying to work with all for a smooth transition. Please connect with me if not already.
  • (MB) Everyone should also go out of their way to meet hosts of shows before and after as well as alt’ing partners. These are the people you should check with first for coverage if needed, staff list will be published soon

    Pledge Drive a Success! 
  • Thanks to all for the collective effort:
  • challenges included late start (need to get forms out for Thanksgiving)
  • and lack of 100% staff participation – New model depends on off air effort.
  • Spring Drive will be in April so folks who didn’t put their best effort forth will have another chance soon.
  • Premiums are starting to ship tomorrow and should be done by the end of the week.
  • Staff incentives will be presented at next meeting.

    IBS conference
  • March 7 – 9, 2014
  • New York City
  • www.ibsradio.org
  • check it out and let us know if you are interested in attending!

  • Spring 14 starts tomorrow – any questions or concerns should have been worked out already.
  • – Important to read all emails, especially program related…
  • – How to find new calendar specifying 1, 3, 5 and 2, 4-
  • – Reminder, staff are expected find their own coverage.
  • – Live is preferable for music shows. 1st, try DJs before and after you or alt’ing partner
  • – Automation is last resort.
  • – ALL program changes need to be approved by program director

  • Spinitron –  all shows are required to use spinitron to keep track of ALL songs played. We now want all staff to enter songs as they play to keep in compliance with the law and provide a better service to our growing internet and mobile audience.
  • Stream Rewind –  records all shows making them available to stream onlein for 2 weeks after broadcast. DJs can create accounts and DOWNLOAD their shows
  • Nate will follow up with an all staff email with info and directions for spinitron and streamrewind.

    Public Relations
  • Hartford Advocate Reader’s Poll Remind people to vote for us before polls close
  • WESU is in college radio and best radio categories, RD (placed in best Radio Personality last year and is listed in this category again, you can also write in any DJ .
  • Each Ballot has to include votes for 10 categories so be sure to fill them all. Suggestions include: Wesleyan University, Wesleyan’s Center For The Arts, Red Scroll Records, The Buttonwood Tree,  OddFellows playhouse, Green Street Arts Center, and many more.
  • Twitter schedule feed – Need help setting this up.
  • FB wall posts –  A few shows use the FB Wall to promote their shows, it would be great to see more of this so we get a better representation up there.
  • Social networking:  working on automated feeds so that all we can have a consistent message and presences across our Website, FB pages, and twitter as needed .

    Events (Izzy)
  • Spring Record fair is March 30th in Beckham Hall. Will keep staff posted on volunteer opportunities. Right now we are looking for vendors, and need a flyer designed.
  • 75th anniversary events. We’d like to pull together events that serve our most established audiences. IE: Indie/hipster, Oldies, Folk, Reggae, Hip Hop, Electronic Dance Music, and more.  We also hope to host some lectures and a gala event and perhaps a live radio event with alumni. Most of the events will be fundraisers but some will be free.  There will be plenty of opportunities to help.Other Board updates: from MD’s, Personnel, production or public affairs?
  • 75th Anniversary Update (Ben) It’s here!
  • In 2014 WESU is celebrating 75 years of Alternative music, public affairs, and community service.  
  • Our plans to celebrate this include: special on air programming, physical and online exhibits of cool WESU stuff, and a bunch of events.  (We hope everyone will participate)75th on air:  2 new shows: “75 years of” & “Welcome Back”
  • 75 years of: is a weekly show with monthly themes spotlighting 75 songs of a particular genre associated with our type of Radio: – kicked off in December with the theme of “Socially conscious music.” Thanks to BS for the concept and his organizing and hosting the first month.
  • February’s Theme is Music beyond the English language. BM will host the first episode. If interested in helping with this month, contact him.
  • March’s = Music by Female artist (including those that identify as Female)  to be hosted by MTB.
  • Submissions are still needed for March and you can find a link on our website.
  • We need everyone’s input for this to work.  We want out lists to be as inclusive as possible, otherwise what is the point?
  • “Welcome Back” is a new public affairs show produced by BM featuring, the voices, stories, and hopefully some archived audio from people who have passed through WESU over the years. The show will air on 2/4 alting Fridays in the afternoon.
  • Articles and Exhibits: in addition to concerts, lectures, dinners, and other events, several articles, exhibits, and seminars are in the works.  Special thanks to Leith Jonson, University Archivist and host of the Light Fandango, for his expertise and help as we pull this together. He’s already written an article and has secured a display in Olin Library for the final months of 2014. Leith is also working on securing a Wes seminar during reunion and commencement.  Physical and online exhibit ideas include displays of WESU historical photos, graphics, T-shirts, program guides and more.  We will need a lot of help with these so let us know.
  • 75th Capital Campaign The plan is to raise an additional $25-$50K in 2014 for station upgrades including backup power for the studios, new mixing consoles, new furniture, and hopefully some seef money t get film project going to document the history of WESU.
  • New Gear:   The Board has commissioned VT to design a 75 year logo that will be incorporated to our print and web presences as well as special thank you gifts/pledge incentives.
  • 75th committee Stick around after this meeting?
  • NEXT meeting is March 2nd
  • OTHER  staff announcements concerns or suggestions?**DONT INSTALL SOFTWARE ON THE COMPUTER**