WPTS-FM nominated for Woodie Award

By Dale Shoemaker / Assistant News Editor

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After a yearlong lull, WPTS, Pitt’s radio station, has been nominated for an mtvU Woodie Award for Best College Radio Station

The Woodie Awards, which recognize “the music voted the best by college students,” includes awards for best music video, breakout artists and college radio station, the last of which WPTS was nominated for. MtvU debuted the Woodies in 2004 and will present this year’s awards as part of the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas on Friday, March 20. 

WPTS previously received a Woodie nomination two years ago and didn’t win. The station was not nominated last year. Now that they’ve been nominated again, Ali L’Esperance, promotions director, said everyone on staff is “really excited.”WPTS is among 10 college radio stations nominated this year.

“There was kind of a lull, but we’ve been working hard and it’s paying off,” she said. “Last year, there wasn’t as much momentum.”

L’Esperance said they’ve picked up the pace by giving their disc jockeys “as much freedom as they want” and interviewing the artists they play most frequently, including Future Islands and Alex G.

For a college radio station to be nominated by mtvU, they must excell in “three tiers,” according to station manager Rachel Mauer.

For the first tier, mtvU examines a station’s presence in reporting which songs they play the most to the College Music Journal, which compiles charts of songs and artists, and The Princeton Review, which ranks universities, according to Mauer.

A station’s “social media footprint” is examined in the second tier, Mauer said, which includes “how active a radio station is on social media and how often social media users mention a radio station.”

The third tier examines a station’s presence on RateMyProfessors.com, a Viacom property. Viacom also owns MTV. MtvU nominated WPTS for their excellence in these areas.

To win, Pitt students, faculty and staff must vote for WPTS on MTV’s website. MtvU will recognize winners at the SxSW Music Festival and promote them on their website. 

“We really hope to get the support of the University behind us,” Mauer said.


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