Indiana State University Newsroom

NPR comes to ISU: Music format moves to new frequency

September 19, 2014

"Groundbreaking" is how student broadcasters at Indiana State University described Thursday's launch of WZIS (90.7 FM) as the university's new radio station aimed at teens and young adults and the inauguration of National Public Radio programing on WISU (89.7).

"I'm really excited for this to actually happen," said AJ Patiag, a senior communication major from Indianapolis, "especially because it's the 50th anniversary of the greatest station."

The "greatest station" has just undergone a rebranding that involved diversifying from its original "Real Good Rock" format that provided only rap and rock, and focusing instead on top 40 variety selections, as well as including more news and sports.

"But getting the opportunity to do an NPR-type station and produce some original content is just an awesome opportunity [for students]," said Rich Green, station manager for WISU and WZIS.

A new partnership with WFYI public media in Indianapolis will allow WISU to broadcast NPR news and information, which will expand WISU's listening demographic. "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", two of four NPR programs that will play on WISU, are among the most listened-to in the country, Green noted.

The addition of NPR programing is also something Rich Green's predecessor, Dave Sabaini, "worked toward for a very, very long time," said Kurt Darling, a senior communication major from Brownsburg who serves as news and sports operations director for the stations.

"Unfortunately, he's not here to see it happening, but if he were, he'd be very proud. To finally see something happening that he was pushing for coming to reality-even in death, its something really awesome to see happen."

Student broadcasters at Indiana State try their best to keep Sabaini's legacy alive at the station, Darling said

The acquisition of the 90.7 signal, formerly used by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, will also expand employment opportunities to both Sycamores and Rose-Hulman students who wish to benefit from the experiential learning the stations offer. Fans of WISU's former student-run format will still be able to tune in to WZIS.However, the new WISU aims to impress both current and potential listeners.

"We've worked pretty hard to get to this point," said Phil Glende, executive director of student media. "It's not every day you get to start a new radio station, and the students have a lot of work ahead of them in terms of creating the new image for the station. But I know they're excited about this new opportunity, so I think it's great all around. I'm not surprised that people are excited. I think they should be."

Photo: - Kurt Darling, news and sports operations director, and AJ Patiag, program director, insert new WZIS station IDs and promotional announcements into the Indiana State University radio stations' on-air system Sept. 18, 2014 in conjunction with the launch of the new student station and the move of WISU to news and public affairs programing. (ISU/Tony Campbell)

Contact: Phillip Glende, executive director of student media, Indiana State University, 812-237-8133 or

Writer: Kristen Kilker, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773 or