WSUP plays more classic rock to please faculty

With the nearest alternative rock radio station 38 miles away, WSUP decided to take the leap and change their current format of playing alternative rock music all day, even if it would mean losing listeners. Fortunately for the University of Wisconsin-Platteville based radio station, that has not been the case.

“We noticed that there was a low number of listenership and that a lot of the businesses around town, and some of the professors, and university staff didn’t have us playing when they had the opportunity to because they felt that the [past] format was not the style that they wanted to listen to. We wanted to reach a broader audience,” Billy Williams fifth year senior, building construction management and chief announcer of WSUP said. “We made the decision as an executive staff.”

Since officially changing their format on March 29 from all-day alternative rock music to classic rock from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, the station has experienced more feedback from listeners than ever before. WSUP still plays alternative music from 5 p.m. until 6 a.m. on weekdays.

“We’ve gotten a lot of phone calls saying they [listeners] liked the change,” freshman forensic major and promotions director for WSUP, Michaela Marceau-Zielinski said. “I have had people say they were just browsing through the stations and found us.”

Even with having more competition from the various class rock stations throughout the Southwestern Wisconsin area, WSUP can credit gaining more listeners to having less advertisement because they are a nonprofit station.

“The longest break you’ll get from us is a 45 second public service announcement or a thank you to our sponsors. There’s no boring commercials telling you to buy car insurance,” Billy Williams said.

The change of format came from a suggestion from the station’s sound engineer suggesting that they consider switching to classic rock. The station also wanted to appeal more to the faculty and staff so that WSUP could get played more in university buildings. Currently, the station is only played in the basement of Pioneer Tower and the Markee Pioneer Student Center from 10 a.m to 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“In the beginning, there was a lot of discussion about changing the format. A lot of people were up in arms about it too.  Now that we’ve gone through with it and made a final decision, I personally think it’s for the better of the station. I actually rather enjoy it. Listening to some of the classic rock brings back some of the nostalgia of growing up,” freshman electrical engineering and production director for the station, Alex Belisle said.

Williams said that he would prefer the alternative rock music format if past music directors were able to keep up with more current music. However, with the format change the station is able to develop a new system so that they could change the alternative music that they play in their music rotation.

“I feel like it was the better idea for the station to make that move. I personally like the original format, but we needed a change,” freshman criminal justice major and assistant program director of WSUP Jordan Williams said. “We are seeing how well it goes.  We’re thinking it’s going to be permanent.”

You can listen to WSUP’s new format by tuning in to 90.5 or by going to and clicking the “live stream” link. WSUP is also featured on the TuneIn app.

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