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Columbia’s WCRX Named Best Student Radio Station by New York Festivals

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July 28, 2009 – WCRX, 88.1 FM, Columbia College Chicago’s radio station has received the Gold World Medal in the student station awards category from New York Festivals. The 52-year-old international competition recognizes excellence in Radio and Television in the areas of programming and promotion. Entries are judged by industry professionals from 25 countries.

“This award is a testament to the quality of work developed and produced by our talented students,” said Cheryl Morton-Langston, long-time director of WCRX. “We are thrilled to receive this recognition.”

For its winning 2009 entry, WCRX submitted a 30-minute audio montage of public service announcements and programming that included live presidential election night coverage, the station’s multi-platform public service broadcast promoting Green initiatives, and broadcast of the “Holly Jolly Trolley” annual fundraiser for Greater Chicago Food Depository. Earlier this year the station also won 2009 Communicator Awards in two categories for the Holly Jolly Trolley broadcast. Over the years, WCRX has won nearly 80 national and international awards.

“While we are in a period of rapid change for all media, the climate for radio broadcasting and audio media is excellent,” said Barbara Calabrese, chair of Columbia’s Radio Department. “Radio now encompasses terrestrial stations as well as satellite and limitless internet opportunities. Audio and radio podcasting are being used as marketing and communications tools by numerous industries. Highly trained employees with a vision for the future are in demand, and higher education is a must in order to gain access to the most creative and lucrative job opportunities. As this prestigious recognition demonstrates, Columbia students can meet the challenge – meeting the needs of both the public and private sectors in creative programming and public service.”

Columbia has long ties to Chicago’s dynamic radio scene and the program has always emphasized hiring working professionals to teach the next generation of radio talent. Just some of the household names currently teaching in the department are: Terri Hemmert, Dave Berner and Cheryl Raye-Stout. In keeping with the Columbia hands-on, minds-on approach to professional undergraduate education, all Radio majors get a spot on WCRX. “The station,” emphasizes Calabrese, “is fully integrated with the department’s curriculum.”

Cheryl Morton-Langston, director of WCRX, notes that the station needs news anchors and UIC play-by-play sports announcer for the fall. They will debut a news magazine program in the NPR-style feature reporting that will be looking for reporters and contributors, as well. Generally, you must be a student at Columbia College Chicago to work for WCRX. You can get more information from the Radio Department at Columbia College Chicago.

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