By Evan Nikas
Unlike most other community colleges, Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) possesses its own radio station. Located right here on campus, the WKKL radio station stands as a unique opportunity for both students and faculty alike. This allows those who have an interest in pursuing a career in radio, or those who simply want something to do in their free time, the ability to host their own radio show on WKKL. College campuses are the breeding grounds for musical interests and creative ideas, and a radio station provides the means to allow students to put what they want on the airwaves.
When people think of a college radio show, they more than likely imagine a student within the studio, blaring whatever music that catches their fancy that day. Professor Tyler Daniels and his show, Manic Mondays, break that assumption here at 4Cs. Manic Mondays airs on WKKL every Monday between 1 PM and 2 PM. Here’s the catch. Daniels teaches an abundance of communications courses at 4Cs and he is very well-suited to host a radio show based on his positive demeanor and high energy.
“Manic Mondays is a show that I write and produce weekly on the campus radio station, WKKL,” said Daniels. “I began producing this show in the spring of 2018.”
If you’ve heard the phrase ‘manic monday’ before, it’s probably because of the popular 1986 song, Manic Monday by the Bangles. One may think Professor Daniels drew some inspiration from the song, but he says otherwise about the title of his show.
“Well, contrary to popular belief, the name Manic Mondays did not come from the song,” Daniels said. “Actually, when I was in the process of designing this show, I was unaware that that song even existed. I derived the name based on what my students and colleagues have said about my teaching style, which is passionate to the point of bordering on mania. I chose to air it on Mondays purely for the sake of alliteration.”
WKKL is home to several shows hosted by students and faculty here on campus, and behind every idea, there’s an inspiration. Daniels and Manic Mondays are no different.
“When I first started teaching at 4Cs, part of my standard job duties were to support and improve the radio station in any way that I saw fit,” said Daniels. “When I began researching about the station, it occurred to me that there really wasn’t a show of this particular format. They played a lot of music, and they did have a few small student-run productions, but nothing consistent. I guess I just wanted to bring a little more order to the airwaves.”
This is not Daniels’ first time in the business of radio broadcasting. Before moving to Cape Cod, Daniels served as a co-host of a local radio show back in Pennsylvania.
“Back when I was an adjunct in Pennsylvania, I did co-host a very small, very local, weekly AM radio show,” said Daniels. “We talked about nerd culture. Science fiction, technology, movies, comic books, stuff like that.”
With a radio show, a set format is necessary for success. Hosts must have order and structure to appeal to audiences on the airwaves. Picking the music to play and people to have on isn’t as easy as blindly picking names from a hat. Professor Daniels keeps it simple. His show is set up based on what he thinks will appeal most to the students here on campus, as well as airing music that he personally enjoys.
“I consider myself largely a hybrid between the [younger students] and the adults here, so I can sort of walk between both worlds in a way,” said Daniels. “So, I create and produce a lot of content that will directly appeal to the students. We talk about events going on around campus that students may want to know about. We talk about new movies being released and upcoming video games. We talk about the paranormal, Bigfoot encounters, alien encounters and possible abductions. Pretty much anything that I think students would be interested in listening to for an hour.”
Professor Daniels’ classes are some of the most fun courses the college offers. His classes are extremely entertaining as well as informative. If you ever take a trip into Daniels’ office, you’ll see various decorations and tokens that will catch your eye.
One thing people may not know about Professor Daniels is that he spent time in South Korea and Japan, soaking in the cultures firsthand, and he incorporates aspects of those cultures within his broadcast.
“I suppose I do bring some form of Japanese culture to the show, but that’s only because of my bias,” said Daniels. “I have always liked the culture. We talk about anime and manga. I do play some Japanese music now and then, so I do try to incorporate my international experiences.”
Having a radio show to entertain the student body at 4Cs isn’t the only goal Daniels has for Manic Mondays. He wants to be a resource for those who have a personal interest in radio broadcasting and may want to have a show of their own.
“Since I’ve been doing the radio show, I have learned that some students on campus don’t even know that the radio station even exists, or that the radio club exists,” said Daniels. “My goal is to bring more attention to the station and inform students of the resources that it does have in case they would like to nurture and develop their own interest in radio broadcasting.”
Manic Mondays is appreciated by many across campus, especially by those within the WKKL radio station. WKKL General Manager Naomi Arenberg had nothing but high praise for the show.
“Professor Daniels’ show is a huge asset to WKKL,” said Arenberg. “His presentation and the show’s content are engaging, week in and week out. He’s energetic and well-informed. I’d like Manic Mondays to be broadcast on campus, wherever appropriate.”
Manic Mondays has proven to be a staple on the WKKL station, and Professor Daniels has made it more than just a weekly radio show. It proves to be an entertaining hour, filled with miscellaneous topics that anyone could enjoy. Do yourself a favor and tune in to the show.
Photograph of Professor Tyler Daniels by Spencer Ames