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WQAQ senior prepares to hit waves beyond QU
Jesse Elgarten is just like any other senior preparing to graduate in May. But, what makes him different is that he is the co-programming director at WQAQ, Quinnipiac’s student-run radio station.
The senior broadcast journalism major is responsible for various aspects of ensuring what appears to be a seamless operation of WQAQ. He creates the broadcast schedule for the station’s 67 shows, and is also responsible for all on-air content.
His tenure with the radio station extends back to his first semester of his sophomore year when he co-hosted a music program with his suitemate. After the second show, his suitemate quit and thereafter he did the program solo.
“I knew I would enjoy it but did not know that I would have as much fun as I did,” said Elgarten, who has been a disc-jockey ever since.
Elgarten dedicates an average of ten hours per weekday to the station with additional hours spent every weekend ensuring the constant broadcast of the station.
Elgarten’s favorite music is loud rock, which is heavy metal, but also includes alternative and punk music, as well. His three favorite bands, in no particular order, Metalica, Our Lady Peace and ZebraHead,
“I would travel to see those bands,” he said.
While he did not agree with Metallica’s reaction to music downloading, he said he “understood where they were coming from.”
Unlike some music fans, Elgarten was not turned off by Metallica’s less-than-popular reaction to the music piracy.
“I separate music from everything else,” he said. “If it sounds good and I like it, I’ll listen to it.”
Similarly, while he “appreciates the Dixie Chicks stating their opinion, the venue may not have been the best choice.”
As a Clear Channel Communications intern alumnus, he said that his former boss tried to appease the masses by changing from rock to hip hop although it might not have been the best thing to do.
“It was just a ploy to please the masses. Clear Channel does for business not for its own personal beliefs,” he said.
Elgarten interned for Radio 104 during his first semester of his junior year at Quinnipiac. He worked in the promotions department and also worked with other stations including Country 92.5, River 105.9, Kiss 97.5 and ESPN Radio. His most memorable event with Radio 104 was working on a Good Charlotte concert a year and a half ago.
His fondest memory at WQAQ to this point has been being elected program manager at the station.
“It showed that people took notice of my involvement,” he said.
Elgarten shares the position of program manager with Mark Langan, a sophomore.
While he has never questioned his desire to be in journalism, it was just a matter of what medium he wanted to be a part of. Elgarten has been involved in several sectors of broadcasting ranging from television, print, radio and theatrical arts.
“I tried every kind of medium,” he said.
However, his favorite is radio.
“It is a lot more fun,” he said.
As Elgarten gets ready to graduate, he plans on applying to every radio station from Boston to Philadelphia. Currently, his permanent address is in the Bronx, N.Y. He said he would love to live in New York City with his parents and not have to pay rent if his dream job at K-Rock becomes a reality.
Currently, it does not look like WQAQ will be getting anymore wattage; however, it has seen an increase in distance. The overall radius has improved by 3-4 miles in every direction except towards Cheshire because of Sleeping Giant State Park. Elgarten has said that the signal can reach as far as Wallingford and North Haven.
With the help of Jack McDonald and the Sports department, Elgarten “[hopes] that streaming will be a reality next year.”
He said the station has “worked hard both on and off the air and picked the best parts of the station to make the metaphorical front page.”
This semester the station has altered the blocking schedule to make the best dj’s the ones heard during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to midnight on weeknights. “That’s 35 quality shows,” he said.
He asks the Quinnipiac community to support WQAQ. He said that if streaming goes through, games will be online and will be heard at home, even if a student, and his or her family, lives in another state.
He said that students do not have to be disc jockeys to get 5involved.
“Anyone can get involved any year and at any time,” he said.
The shows are picked the first couple days of the semester, he said.