By Leonard Blanc
Founded in the spring of 1977, WKKL 91.1 FM is a public radio station operating from the Makkay broadcast station located on the Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) campus. The station is run by Naomi Arenberg a 4Cs professor of communications as well as an experienced DJ, formally of WGBH Boston. The station is equipped with all the necessary equipment and resources that would be found in a professional studio.
“A colleague of mine literally knocked on the door one cold day in March last year and said to me, ‘How does somebody get a show on WKKL?’” said Arenberg, General Manager of WKKL. “And I simply responded, ‘Just talk to me.’”
WKKL, like many college radio stations, was built for communications students to help enhance their education through hands on experience. However, despite the fact that the station resides on the 4Cs campus and is an integral part of the school’s communication program, the station isn’t exclusive to students and staff. Think of it more like a community resource.
“The great thing about college radio in general is that this is a resource open to all students, all faculty members, all staff members and all members of the community outside the college,” said Arenberg. “Some of our longest running shows are done by people that are not students or faculty members. There is one gal who does a bilingual show in English and Spanish who is in her 17th year. There’s another gal who’s been on the air for 12 years who started as a student, finished her schooling here and has stayed on the air as our movie guru.”
WKKL performs its duty as a community resource by doing more than just opening its doors to the public. They run several shows a week based around improving one’s physical and mental health and they also run shows that discuss issues relevant to students and members of the Cape Cod community.
“One of the shows that I’m so pleased we’re able to offer, because it’s a service to the college community and the greater community, is called ‘Recovery Radio,’” said Arenberg. “It’s an hour long talk show Sunday nights about addiction recovery.”
Many of the programs found on WKKL are music based, where several songs are played in succession with occasional comments about them or other relevant school information from the various DJs.
“My show consists of me playing music of all genres and commenting on them by giving a backstory behind the history of each band or music track,” said Alexander Poznick, one of the WKKL DJs. “To prepare for my radio shows, I select my playlist, write a transcript and do research on Genius.com”
This show format is the go-to for many communications students because it allows them to get acclimated to everything involved with being live on the air as well as to overcome some of the struggles that are common among first time DJs.
“Organization is the most common problem with new students,” said Arenberg. “Some students come into broadcasting class or want to do a show with a tremendous amount of knowledge about whatever kind of music there interested in, but they often don’t realize that it’s really important to plan your show out. Your listeners are depending on you for a few things, one is to curate the content, and the other is to present that content using your words in a way that makes them want to listen.”
Currently, WKKL has around 25 live programs, and room for about 75 more. So for any students, faculty members, or locals, the time has never been better to start up a radio show right here at 4Cs.
Photograph of Naomi Arenberg by Cassie LeBel