Scott Vyverman, faculty manager of Radio DePaul, serves as an advisor to the student-run radio station located in University Hall on the Lincoln Park Campus. Radio DePaul received the Best Streaming College Radio Station award in 2012. (Photo by Kate Hohenstatt)
by Kate Hohenstatt
As the faculty manager for Radio DePaul and instructor in the College of Communication, Scott Vyverman knows what it's like to work with students and supervise a successful program. Thanks to his efforts, Radio DePaul is an award winning radio station that is nationally recognized as one of the best, even winning Best Station in the Nation by the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System in 2010.
Read on to learn more about why Vyverman became interested in college radio and where he sees the profession going in the near future.
Tell us a little about yourself and your role as the Faculty Manager of Radio DePaul?
I am the faculty manager of Radio DePaul and Radio DePaul Sports, both of which are online-only channels. I started at DePaul in 2001. I fell in love with radio at about 10 years old and 30-plus years later, I still love it. Entertaining and informing people with your voice continues to fascinate me. On a personal note, I live in the suburbs with my wife and two kids, Nicholas and Casey.
How did you first get involved in radio broadcasting?
After falling in love with radio at an early age, being a radio performer seemed like a natural profession for me. I studied and practiced radio at Columbia College in Chicago. My first job was in DeKalb, IL at WDEK. I eventually got my break in Chicago as a DJ at Windy 100 and WLIT. Somewhere along the way I started teaching. Devoting my life to higher education was the best professional decision that I ever made.
What advances or changes have you seen over the years regarding student media or college radio?
The art of entertaining and informing through radio hasn't changed much, but the science and technology of radio has changed dramatically. While people still listen to AM and FM radio, many are listen to streaming radio, including fans of Radio DePaul. Behind the scenes of modern stations, audio cables have been replaced with Ethernet cables. It's kind of mind blowing to see what it takes to generate an audio stream that can be heard around the world
Why did Radio DePaul decide to produce a phone app? What does this mean for the future of Radio DePaul?
We believe that our app is a game changer for us. It's free and easy to download. Both channels, podcasts, and other content are at people's fingertips. Potential listeners might not be in the car to listen to AM and FM, but everyone has their phones with them at all times, which is to say that Radio DePaul is with them at all times.
Radio DePaul is nationally recognized as one of the top college radio stations. What do you think makes Radio DePaul so successful?
It took a long time to earn our status as an elite college station. I believe that we didn't get the national respect that we deserved because radio purists didn't believe that streaming radio stations were "real" radio stations. Once we won Best Station in the Nation 2010, everything seemed to change. We didn't have to fight for respect any longer. Rather, we had to work harder to stay at the top. I'm lucky that such talented and dedicated DePaul students find their way to Radio DePaul. I teach and assist a lot, but in the end it's their work, creativity and passion that got us where we are.
Do you have any other projects you are currently working on that you would like to share with us?
I'm always looking for new challenges. I've checked off a few things on my to-do list over the past few years, like starting and maintaining a high-quality podcast and meeting the needs of our mobile listeners with an attractive, but simple, app. I'm hoping that we will add a radio facility in the Loop someday. I believe there's enough interest in radio to support a second radio facility. I also would love to find the time to write a definitive radio textbook, but with two active kids at home and a full plate at DePaul, that's easier said than done.