July 26, 2010
Leah Seupersad, 404-413-1354
The music Tyler McGoff heard the first time he tuned in to GSU's WRAS Album 88 is what attracted him to the university. Now, the senior journalism major is general manager of the 100,000-watt radio station.
"It's one of the best college stations in the country," McGoff said. "I've always looked for ways to find bands that really connect with me, and I've found some of my favorite bands on WRAS."
McGoff says he had a passion for music at an early age, and some of his favorite rock bands today are Okkervil River, Arcade Fire and The White Stripes.
"I also play guitar and taught myself how to play the piano," McGoff said. "I wanted to continue playing music or being involved in music throughout my life, and working in radio is the way I can do that."
Staffed exclusively by students, WRAS is the most powerful student-run station in the United States. It plays commercial-free music and community news, and also functions as a learning laboratory for students, providing them experience in announcing and news reporting. McGoff previously was the station's program director until he took over as general manager May 1.
"Being on the air is fun. The first couple of times I was pretty nervous about it, but once you get used to it, it is fun being able to have a 100,000-watt radio station behind your voice and it's a cool way to reach such a large audience," McGoff said. "We play music you won't hear anywhere else in Atlanta."
McGoff's experience at WRAS landed him an internship this summer at the radio station 92.9 Dave FM. There he has a variety of duties, including programming music logs for the on-air studio and taking song requests on the Radio Free Lunch show.
"Working at WRAS for a few years has given me an advantage starting at Dave FM because there are things I'm already familiar with, such as the control board they have is very similar to the one we have at WRAS," McGoff said. "It has turned out to be a great, hands-on, in depth internship."
McGoff will help hire and manage more than 70 students expected to work at WRAS this year, along with helping to plan the WRAS 40th anniversary celebration. He also hopes to start the planning process for WRAS to stream online.
"You look around the walls and you see all of these Creative Loafing awards for 'Best of Atlanta.' I would like to make sure WRAS stays one of the best stations in the country even after I graduate next year," he said.
Jeff Walker, operations manager and advisor for WRAS, says McGoff is successful at WRAS because he's not only smart, but patient.
"This position takes a lot of patience and understanding, because you're dealing with a wide variety of personalities, styles and attitudes," Walker said. "With all of these different people and their competing interest of what shows they want to do and what music they want to play, you have to have patience. Tyler has always dealt with his duties in a very adult manner and he is much wiser than his years."