WMSC FM at Montclair State University was named Best Station in the Nation at the 81st Annual Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Media Conference and Awards. The campus station earned three additional first place golden mic awards for “Best Program Director,” “Best Business Manager,” and “Best Use of Sound Effects”. For the first time in its 81 year history, the national organization, which meets in New York City each March, was forced to gather virtually due to the ongoing pandemic. The pre-recorded award ceremony hosted by Chris Thomas, President of IBS, premiered on Saturday March 6th evening on YouTube.
“We received more than 3,000 entries this year overall, so the fact that your entry rose to the top to be nominated is something to be honored and celebrated,” Chris Thomas said in his opening remarks.
Josh Tirado, the current station, received two wins as his show intro for WMSC’s throwback music show “WMSC Rewind” won “Best Use of Sound Effects,” and he also earned the award for “Best Program Director in the Nation” for his tireless devotion to operating the station remotely and in hybrid operations during the pandemic.
“It was an honor to be nominated however, the significance of winning first place is that not only we worked hard and were as dedicated as ever, but we actually exceeded the work done in previous years”, said Tirado. “I’ve personally poured my heart into my work at WMSC these past four years and my message to students just getting started or thinking of joining the station is: ‘you get what you put in’ and for me it has been rewarding and fulfilling. ”
Kaya Maciak, WMSC’s current program director, also won first place award for “Best Business Manager”. Her efforts in student recruitment and engagement prior to the pandemic resulted in increased participation. She seamlessly transitioned into virtual team building events that allowed students to remain connected while socially distancing during the stricter lockdown and continue as the university has moved into a Hawkmix model. . Maciak is the founder of the WMSC Newsletter, currently in its fifteenth edition.
“I dedicated my all into my role as Office Manager, and the role was my foot in the door in the world of college radio and radio management”, said Maciak. “I gained leadership, communication, and business management skills that will further prepare me for future internships and employment opportunities in the broadcasting industry,” said Kaya Maciak. “I owe all of the valuable and transferable skills I gained, to my time at the station and Anabella’s mentorship.”
Kaya Maciak, Anabella Poland and Josh Tirado inside studio 1 at WMSC FM.
Photo by Mike Peters, university photographer.
As general manager and adviser, Anabella Poland has led the efforts to transform the station into the pre-professional media hub that it is today. Her unique combination of extensive experience in the fields of journalism, content development, social media, production, music and entertainment, paired with professional contacts that span the globe, helped shape the station’s mission and vision that guided operations even though the global pandemic.
“Broadcasting in 2020 was not easy, but the students at Montclair State’s radio station stepped up to the plate in a way that was inspiring”, said Anabella Poland, General Manager at WMSC FM. “It is fantastic to see their hard work being recognized nationally.”
Nominated alongside WZIS-FM (Indiana State University), KSDB (Kansas State University), and WPSC-FM (William Paterson University), WMSC won “Best College Radio Station in the Nation (over 10,000 students),” after receiving multiple nominations in the category throughout the years.
The team gathered for a viewing party on a Zoom conference call to watch the ceremony “together” and if the saying holds true that “a picture is worth a thousand words”, the six Zoom squares below captured the entire team’s joy in learning WMSC is the Best Station in the Nation in their division.
Kaya Maciak (Program Director), Leslie Gallagher(Assistant Office Manager), Anabella Poland (General Manager), Josh Tirado (Station Manager), Kenny Horn (Assistant Morning Buzz Producer), and Louis Biondolillo (News Director).
View the official IBS website and additional information on the 2021 media conferences: http://www.mediaconferences.org