New School News

Tuning In: WNSR New School Radio Expands

Alexander Krstevski and Katie McGowan working on a broadcast for WNSR, the New School's radio station.

It’s after 5:00 p.m. on a spring Friday, a time when most New School students are slipping into relaxation mode as the weekend approaches. But not those enrolled in a joint graduate-undergraduate seminar on radio. These students are on the hunt for news on behalf of WNSR, the university’s online radio station, available at

Gathered in Arnhold Hall, the students toss out story ideas, from international news flashes to under-the-radar city happenings to campus events, in a classroom that takes on the buzz of a city newsroom.

It’s about making radio and creating my own pieces,, says Heather Contant, who is pursuing a master’s degree in media studies.

Under the direction of Sarah Montague, an instructor at Eugene Lang College and award-winning producer and director at WNYC radio, and James Briggs, a sound editor, recording engineer, and composer who teaches at The New School for General Studies, the students plot out the program schedule and tackle production assignments.

We aren’t DJ-driven, like many other college radio stations,, explains Montague. Our students are learning how to track down interviews, create elaborate features, develop original programming, and master the complexities of mixing and recording. What’s wonderful is that there’s something for every personality at WNSR. Introverts can work behind the scenes, and extroverts can be on the air.,

Launched in 2008 as a modest student-run organization, WNSR is now a dynamic and expanding operation. Staffers are primarily graduate students enrolled in WNSR Radio Lab, offered in the spring at The New School for General Studies, and undergraduates in the course On Air, offered each semester at Lang. Montague says a growing number of students are continuing to participate long after the semester ends.

One of WNSR’s current endeavors is 25@25, a special series of 25 interviews commemorating Eugene Lang College’s silver anniversary. Over the past few months, students have been creating a unique on-air who’s who of the college, featuring interviews with individuals who epitomize the distinctive spirit of Lang. Subjects range from Eugene Lang himself to alumni, teachers, and support staff. Interviews are being posted on the website now.

The WNSR staff also reports on current events including a broadcast from Ground Zero on Sunday, May 1, the night Osama Bin Laden was killed.

Alex Krstevski, a media studies graduate student and frequent WNSR news anchor, regards his studio time as an important résumé builder. I hope to have an edge over other journalists, since I will be able to tell stories in different media,, he says. Lang senior Deja Dobbins, who interviewed Eugene Lang for the 25@25 series, says that working on WNSR allows you to be immersed in the New School community.,

And that sense of community is something that Briggs and Montague are focused on for WNSR’s next phase.

Sarah and I want to make this a university-wide initiative that pulls in students from all disciplines,, says Briggs. WNSR New School Radio belongs to everyone at the university, and we invite all students to participate.,

Want to become a WNSR staffer? Contact WNSR at


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