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4Frenzy Spotlight: Plymouth-Canton HS radio - 88.1 FM The Park

Look behind the scenes at one of metro Detroit's popular FM stations

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Student-run radio station 88.1 FM The Park is located in Salem High School, one of three schools on the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park campus. We visited these students to hear about how they manage such a professional and well-loved radio station as high-schoolers. (Scroll down to read their bios!)

A day at the station
The majority of air time, of course, is music. While the station is categorized as "adult contemporary," the students aren't sure how to best describe their mix of tunes from top 40 to throwbacks.

Every student in the club has to go on-air for News Files, weeknights at 5:30 p.m. They cover all kinds of topics, including national and P-CEP campus-specific news, as well as sports, traffic and weather. Their Community Focus team does longer interviews with people in the community every week. They also do artist interviews that they call "Backstage Pass."

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“The station you can’t believe is run by high school students.”
This slogan rings true if you ever listen to the station. The students leap over the bar set for them, working hard daily, and even over the summer. As the assistant station manager John Kreger noted, juggling honors biology with station duties is not easy, but they know they’re serving the community and take the station's goals seriously. 

Kreger says that this is not a normal school club. He also feels it’s rewarding to see when they are recognized by the state or organizations. People are amazed when they see the students at events such as the Marconi awards, because they’re not just attending--they’re awards finalists.

The Students

Rebekah McBride (senior) – News Director

  • Makes the news schedule for the week.
  • Head of the Community Focus staff.
  • Overhauled the way they train DJs.
  • Kreger will let her take the reins on editing when he’s out because she’s just that good. He also said, “I can see her on Capitol Hill.”
  • Going to Michigan State when she graduates.
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Serafine Hinz (senior) – Operations Manager.

  • Manages the production staff and is the off-air overseer.
  • Promotions
  • Tech/IT
  • She's the major driving force behind their event Rock The Park, a concert for which they get four or five local bands to perform. According to Kreger, she is single-handedly the reason they had high attendance at their music events.
  • For her, the best part of working at the station has been her personal growth. She used to be timid as a freshman, and though she still is sometimes, she has pushed herself to overcome it.
  • The station is real experience in her field of interest, which is radio/broadcast, especially since she gets to try out a wide range of tasks.
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Maxim Jenkins (senior) – Fundraising Director

  • In charge of fundraising events like the upcoming annual radio auction, the pledge drive for a week in November, and their record show with vendors.
  • The district allots them a certain amount of money, but they still need to raise around $30,000 each year, so fundraising is an important job.
  • He loved the Community Focus work where they get to go and highlight local news. During the elections, they interviewed the school board and other local candidates. They even went out and did live coverage.

Fiona Hughes (junior) – Programming Director

  • Took on music director when they lacked one.
  • Manages on-air staff.
  • Looks through the rapidly changing Top 40 charts.
  • Takes care of music, sports, and news.
  • Does air-checks twice a week and completely changed they way they do them. They record the DJs shows on a CD then Hughes does a critique session with them in order to improve their on-air sound.
  • Keep an eye out for her upcoming 4Frenzy Spotlight.
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Sam Badger (junior) – Promotions Director; incoming Operations Manager.

  • Scours community calendars to see what events The Park should have a presence at.
  • Puts up 88.1 tents at events like Art in the Park and the Ice Festival in downtown Plymouth.
  • Makes schedules and makes sure radio staff attend events.
  • He likes doing news and enjoys how the station can form relationships with groups and organizations in the community, such as the Canton Police Department.
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Emma Menebroker (senior) – Sports Director

  • She knew nothing about her position or sports but decided to challenge herself. She worked hard and studied up to become as successful as she is in her position.
  • Kreger says she is one of those students who “doesn’t know how to not do good work.”

Alivia Wiacek (sophomore) – incoming News Director

  • She's training under Rebekah McBride since the station is losing about nine seniors this year. Alivia is one of the students who will help carry on their quality work next year.
  • On the Community Focus team.
  • Makes calls to spread the word about major events.
Non-Student Staff

Bill Keith – Station Manager
He’s been working at P-CEP for over 25 years. He is more than happy to reach out and do whatever he can to help his students succeed and get the attention they deserve. WSDP wouldn't be as successful and award-winning as it is without him.

John Kreger – Assistant Station Manager
A ‘97 graduate from the very high school he works at, John does a lot of the hands-on work with students. He is the executive editor of newscasts, so the students have to “survive editing with John.” His favorite part of his job is the opportunity it gives students. He wants to help create a department that makes it so when kids leave it and want an internship they are a big step ahead of the rest. Not many high schools have the kind of opportunity that The Park gives to these students. Among the many things they learn about broadcast, students also learn how to communicate, manage work in an important position, and challenge themselves.

The Park’s Annual Radio Auction will be held Saturday May 19, 2018. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Listen to the station for details.

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