KWCW bewitches national audience


KWCW, Whitman’s own radio station, is a top listening choice of many Whitman students looking for eclectic, popular and nerdy music and a way to support their friends who DJ. It comes as a surprise to many however, to learn that KWCW not only supports community member stations, but that its scope reaches listeners as far as Alaska, New York City and England.

According to community member DJ Laura Hall, her show “Acousticity” has followers in other small towns in Washington, as well as a few in Ohio and one in England.

When asked about the ability to entertain Whitman students and worldwide listeners alike, Hall commented, “I try to keep the music interesting for all ages and include younger artists who would appeal to the college crowd as well.”

The extended listenership of KWCW is echoed across the board. Family and friends of student DJs listen from across the country, and many shows, student and otherwise, are contacted by more obscure artists who want to promote their music. All of the shows are also available to listen to on the KWCW website (, and many online listeners tune in from outside the area.

“The Witching Hour,” playing on KWCW Mondays from five to seven, puts a weekly podcast on iTunes and had 1300 downloads this past August.

“It started out as wanting our friends in other states to be able to listen to the show,” said Sara Rasmussen ’12 of “The Witching Hour.” “Now we have people who follow it online.” The ladies of “The Witching Hour” have had artists contact them about the show, a fact that Rasmussen attributes to the nature of wizard rock.

“Our online fans are lovely, and they are devoted. We’ve had [artists] contact us, some more popular, [others] that we don’t play that much,” said Witching Hour co-host Mehera Nori ’12.

The nature of wizard rock is fan-based and not necessarily on a true professional level. It is for the most part very low-key, so artists who contact them aren’t really celebrities as much as they are very excited fans who want to share their passion.

In addition, “The Witching Hour” is responsible for bringing Harry and the Potters to campus on Saturday, Oct. 29. The hosts said that the process was easy and was not intimidating, even when working with the first and foremost wizard rock band.

“We interviewed them at one of their concerts this summer and then asked them if they would be interested in coming to Whitman,” said Rasmussen. After emailing back and forth throughout the summer, “The Witching Hour,” in conjunction with Carissa Wagner ’12 (WEB Music Director) and Daria Reaven ’12 (KWCW General Manager), succeeded in arranging for Harry and the Potters to play on campus.

Reaching out beyond the Whitman bubble can be intimidating, but for KWCW it may help to promote and broaden the scope of the station.

“It would be awesome if people could find a way to do that,” said Claire Johnson ’14, another Witching Hour host. “Anything that would be creative would be cool. Podcasting is one thing. It’s possible, definitely.”