Nicholas Gunner (above, left) and Jud Heussler have been heavily involved with Fredonia Radio since they stepped foot on campus.
By Olivia Civiletto, Class of 2012
For the first time in SUNY Fredonia’s history, a radio show created and produced completely by Fredonia Radio Systems students is being syndicated in the Buffalo market. “The Morning Inferno” can now be heard every weekday morning on WBNY-FM (91.3), Buffalo State College’s campus radio station.
Mr. Gunner, a senior TV/Film and Audio/Radio major from Holland, N.Y., began by teaming up with the station’s news director his freshman year, writing the news and participating in a morning talk show. Today, he’s the station’s general manager.
Mr. Heussler, a junior TV/Film and Audio/Radio major from Amherst, N.Y., also began at the station as a freshman. He started as assistant news director but eventually shifted from news to music. Heussler is now program director of Fredonia’s WCVF-FM, where he oversees the operations of the Top-40 station that is now on iTunes and rates as a top station on live365.com.
During Gunner’s tenure, one of his biggest contributions has been, “The Morning Inferno.” The daily show brings content ranging from international and local news, traffic, weather, sports and comical daily segments to students every weekday from 9 to 10 a.m. Since its birth in 2007, the show has grown each semester. It started as “Gunner and Mack in the Morning,” centering on political and social commentary. Since Nick was given the reins, it has evolved into a more entertaining format.
Heussler began helping with the talk show as a weekly guest, but soon became a regular. The two collaborate to create an interesting combination of news, contests and segments to broadcast across campus.
“Over the years, Jud and I have consistently gotten more comfortable with the show, and with each other,” Gunner said.The syndication has been an exciting opportunity. Not only does it broadcast their show’s content to a much larger audience, but Gunner has found that it also adds a lot of energy.“We have been getting a lot more guests, call-ins, bands and politicians (since the syndication),” he said.
Fredonia Radio Systems provides a living laboratory for students who are interested in radio and the world of electronic media. It is a community in which students both manage and create programming for terrestrial and Internet radio, podcasting, converged media
events and live performances. Completely managed by students, it operates two separate FM stations: WCVF and WDVL. The oldest is WCVF, which is an independent, FCC-regulated station. WDVL 89.5, aka “The Inferno,” is a purely web-casted station that caters to the Top-40 charts and campus sports.
“I really dig Fredonia Radio Systems because I was able, as a freshman, to come in and get a show,” said Heussler. “You’re able to shine, even as an underclassman.”
Both Gunner and Heussler have accomplished great things outside of Fredonia radio as well. Last year Gunner launched
Atmotag.com, a social networking website that offers people the ability to contribute to user-generated weather maps. He began to work on the site in August 2009, with the official launch in Spring 2010. Heussler has been featured on Entercom Radio’s
“WGR 550” (WGR-AM), Buffalo’s number-one sports radio station. He now works at its Buffalo sister station, “Kiss 98.5” (WKSE-FM), where he is a weekend DJ playing the hits of the week.
Nick and Jud’s accomplishments at the station, along with the syndication of their morning show, have opened many doors for their future in radio. “Other professionally run stations on college campuses don’t give you experience like this,” Gunner insisted.
“We’ll definitely be using this experience as a platform after college,” agreed Heussler.