Meet the managers: Nick Mandarano, Alexanne Marousis, Danielle McCants, Caitlin Gillard, and Jake Madeson. All of them host a variety of shows, ranging from advice to music to sports.
I asked them what made for a successful radio show.
“It’s all about dedication,” said Nick. “It’s all about building a personality on the air. If you do it often enough your confidence is just going to become more natural . . . Anyone can listen to any song they want to at any time. So you have to give them a reason why they should listen to you.”
“I like to know who is in the area. Then I can talk about when they’re going to be here and where they’re going to be playing.“
Everyone agreed, pointing out that finding a niche market and being aware of your audience is just as important. Caitlin added that environment can also be valuable for promoting local bands and shows.
“I find it best when people do their show like no one’s listening,” Danielle commented, “and you can really see the person behind the persona as someone you’d like to hang out with.”
“Do you think it’s an advantage that DJs can’t tell who’s listening in on the show?” I asked.
“Yeah! I think it is.” Danielle said. “I know when I first started I was absolutely convinced that no one was listening to me. And that made me feel more free to make mistakes, and figure out what worked and what didn’t work. And people listened to me, they thought, ‘oh hey, this is pretty fun.’ ”
“I would say that if you’re going to stick to a theme show that you should cater to that . Because your audience will come to expect It.”
“You gotta enjoy what you’re doing, you gotta like the music you’re playing.” Jake pitched in, “I run my show as if I’m in my buddy’s car and he just passed me the AUX cord.”
“I’ve listened to your show a couple times.” I said to Jake. “And it sounded like you were reading a script with some music history.”
“No script.” Jake said. “I’ve accumulated it. If I love a song, yeah I’ll look it up. You’ll see why it was written or, you know . . . It’s all up there. I just know it at this point.”
I asked if there was anything else they wanted to tell the unfledged DJs on campus.
Alexanne spoke up. “Radio 1851 is a family, and every DJ is appreciated.”
And I had to admit, I agreed.