WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — One of the casualties of the coronavirus crisis is on-campus college education.
The state ordered students to stay home in March to slow the spread of the pandemic. Despite that, it has not stopped some college radio stations from remaining on air. The students haven’t been at King’s College for weeks, but that’s not preventing them from piloting the airwaves.
There is no one sitting behind the microphone or working the control board at WRKC but the broadcasting continues.
“Right now it’s such, like, a troubling time we just want to connect with our audience and keep a sense of normalcy,” WRKC station manager Scarlett Spager said.
Spager is among a staff of students and volunteer community members keeping the station on the air. Like the other radio staff contributors, the King’s College sophomore from Old Forge prepares and submits her digital programming remotely from home.
“We just put them in our computer and hear them that way. So a lot of our content is actually still airing during the pandemic. Business as usual if you will,” WRKC general manager Sue Henry said.
Henry is the only one allowed in the radio station. She was adamant about keeping the broadcasting going to provide such content as the nationally recognized, award-winning public service program RHV which stands for Radio Home Visitor.
“It is the most important thing we do. We don’t do anything more important than serving our community – the blind, the visually impaired and homebound,” Henry said.
Staffers read newspaper articles for the benefit of blind listeners.
“I read a few that were like how to address the pandemic mentally for mental health. That’s always been one of my big focuses especially now during the pandemic so how to stay healthy both mentally and physically,” Spager said.
For this dedicated staff during this difficult time, keeping listeners entertained is just as important as keeping them informed.
“And if we can bring music and happiness and that’s my idea of what WRKC is. It’s really an escape and I think it’s so important to our local community and not just our college students,” Spager said.
You can find WRKC at 88.5 on your FM dial in the Wilkes-Barre area. To learn more about the King’s College radio station and to listen to the staff’s list of song it calls “quarantunes”, click here.