Tana Akers, a junior in journalism and mass communications, cohosts a show on Wildcat 91.9 on Fridays at 5:00 p.m.
“I had friends that were in radio and they had a lot of fun with it. I talked to my friend Jay about cohosting a show,” Akers said. “I’m pretty quiet, and nervous every time I go on, even though I have a ton of fun. It makes it easier having someone else there, and that was that. I was really excited about it, and I still am.”
Akers also just worked a live performance at the station for the first time.
“I directed the live shoot for Westerners and it was a lot of fun. It was kind of nerve-racking because the space is so small and we had to fit four people and a drum set, as well as three cameras, two camera operators, a photographer for a bit, and Willy,” Akers said. “But overall, it was a blast. This is the exact stuff I want to do. I would love to do stuff like KEXP or NPR: Tiny Desk Concerts.”
She recently interviewed Keelan Donovan, a singer/songwriter from Portland, Maine.
“I had no idea who this guy is, but when I heard his sound check at his show in Wichita, he blew me away! I knew I needed to get stuff from him, so I tracked him down and did an interview with him. I had no idea I would be doing it! It makes me so excited because this is the stuff I love and want to do as a career,” Akers said. “I want to do videography for things with music, like radio stations, magazines, online publications, anything of that sort. I think it’d also be really fun to follow a band around while on tour and film. I really like video and video editing.”
Akers enjoys listening to indie folk and alternative rock. Her favorite bands are The Strokes, Local Natives, Cold War Kids, Yeasayer, Boy & Bear and Punch Brothers.
“Most of the time, I’ll talk to my friends about artists and bands and they have no idea who I’m talking about,” Akers said. “So that’s pretty neat. I love telling people about new things I’ve found in the music scene.”
Akers is also a part of the student-led video production group Wildcat Watch and would like to be a videographer for a radio station after graduation.
“I really like how we are able to bring in bands for live performances. I think it adds a lot more depth for the station and makes it more interesting for those that are listening,” Akers said. “Also, the new website looks fantastic, and to be able to film and put up live performances from the guest bands is great. It means there’s more interaction with our listeners and they get to keep up to date with what’s happening with the station and just music in general. Digital media is really where it’s at right now, so I think 91.9 is doing a great job of moving on to that platform.”
Akers thinks there are a lot of opportunities at the Wildcat 91.9
“The station is here to help the students, but it’s also here to fill their ears with sweet, sweet, music,” Akers said.
The best thing about working at the station are the people, according to Akers.
“Everyone is super chill and really cool,” Akers said. “They’re willing to help us learn and want us to. Eric and Jordan are really good about telling us to step it up another notch, even if it doesn’t work out. They want us to try new things.”
In the future, Akers sees the station with a better location and working with other departments.
“I think it would be beneficial if we expanded to other departments in the future to possibly make this happen,” Akers said. “Like theater kids and set designers to figure out how we can make the viewing experience as pleasing and neato as we can. People like to look at cool things. I feel that widening the radio experience in other areas could really make the station rise.”
By: Maria Penrod