Blue Echo Breaks Campus Radio Silence

Blue Echo broadcast
Senior Tim Sawicki hosts an online radio program for the Blue Echo last Thursday. The campus radio station returned to the airwaves this fall after a two-year absence. / Dustin Stuart, Photography Editor

The Blue Echo, UNC Asheville’s student organized online radio station, offers listeners the chance to discover new music, win prizes and learn about local events, said  Shawn Hiatt, station manager at the Blue Echo.

“This semester is like a rebirth for us,” Hiatt said. “There was recently a two-year hiatus where the station wasn’t doing anything, and there have been some management problems in the past. I think The Blue Echo is more relevant now than it has been in a long time.”

As an incentive for listeners, the Blue Echo gives away up to three pairs of tickets for most shows at The Orange Peel.

“We give away tickets periodically, and lately we’ve been in the process of reaching out to the community. We’ve got a pretty close relationship with The Orange Peel, and hopefully we will be partnering with Harvest Records and The Grey Eagle in the near future,” Hiatt said.

The Blue Echo also strives to have representation at the majority of music events in Asheville, Hiatt said.

“We try to get our hands on festivals and shows in Asheville, be it through photography, interviews or sound bytes. We’ve gotten hold of a press pass for Moogfest, and we’re going to be able to speak with a couple bands that are playing,” Hiatt said.

The station is comprised of more than 35 staff members and DJ’s ranging from freshmen to seniors.

“It’s great because inexperienced people can learn from the more experienced people. Like everything at UNCA, you get as much from it as you put in,” said DJ Manager Matthew Thorp.

In addition to broadcasting a plethora of free music each week, the station also provides entertainment via talk radio.

“There’s a lot more than music. We’ve got some talk shows, too. One of them is kind of like a ‘sex talk’ thing, which is usually very interesting,” Thorp said.

In addition to online streaming, the station also miantains a blog.

“We’ve mostly just been working on stuff behind the scenes, but we’re trying to start focusing on it more. We are also looking to get involved with Asheville FM,” said Corey Delmonto, the Blue Echo’s student liaison. “You’ll be hearing more and more about us throughout the months, so stay tuned.”

To listen, visit http://studentactivities.unca.edu/radio.

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