WPLS has a growing fan base
Where can you find Father Pat, rap music and sports commentary in the same place? Furman’s WPLS Radio Station hosts a variety of shows that give hosts the freedom to touch on different subjects.
One of the station’s most popular shows is “Tell me something good,” a talk show with Father Patrick Tuttle from St. Anthony’s Church in Greenville who also tends to the Furman parish. The weekly show is held 9-11 p.m., Sunday and includes discussions about faith, truth and everyday value.
The radio station, launched in the 1940s as a low-powered AM station, is recognized today as one of the oldest radio stations in the upstate. Starting in the early 2000s, the station had online and FM streams before WPLS stopped broadcasting on FM and began streaming only online in 2012.
With the recent renovation of the Trone Student Center, the group received a new studio and new opportunities to improve their programming. The updated facilities pumped new life and renewed interest in the station.
“Before the new studio, we were held back by equipment issues,” said student manager Sam Klein ’15. “Our listenership was low over FM radio, and the new studio and equipment helped the transition to the online stream.”
The online move boosted the station’s listenership and the number of students involved. “We have more than 40 students involved in some aspect of the show,” said Klein. Staff volunteers also maintain WPLS blog, Facebook page (WPLS Furman Radio), and twitter feed (@WPLSFU).
Student organized programing that touch on sports, politics and even ornithology (the study of birds) is scheduled most weekday afternoons and evenings. Non-student productions including “Old school”, a show hosted by Fred “Red” Miller, the university’s chief information officer, (7-9 p.m. Saturday) and Father Pat’s “Tell me something good” anchor the weekend programing.
The radio staff continues to look for opportunities to expand and improve. “We don’t have the best capabilities for live music right now,” said Klein “But we want to be able to showcase more student musicians in the future so we’re working with the music department to see what can be done.”
(Radio image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)