WONC's Music Library
From the Classics to the Cutting Edge
Music is the heart and soul of WONC. Our playlist features the widest mix of music in the Chicagoland area. A typical hour can find us playing everything from the Doors to Ben Folds Five. Our music collection comprises roughly twelve hundred CD's and over 100 minidisks.
WONC receives hundreds of CD's in the mail every month. Each CD is carefully reviewed by one of our dedicated staffers. If the CD meets approval by the Music Director, it may then be added to our playlist, where it will be featured prominently for several weeks. After a certain amount of time, it will be displaced by other, newer music.
Each hour is programmed carefully to make sure that the music played is varied. The top of the hour is a brand new song, which is followed by something a little older. Throughout the hour, you'll hear our patented blend of "the classics and the cutting edge," with your old favorites mixed in with the latest new releases.
More About the Music Deptartment
Posters featuring artists such as Tenacious D, Pete Yorn, and Audioslave form the patchwork that greets visitors crossing the threshold of North Central's radio station. The first clue that this isn't "just another radio station" comes from the four men in black suits who stare from a wall-sized mural at the far end of the room. John, Paul, George, and Ringo seem to tie it all together. Like the names on the walls that span generations, there are no gaps in the music mix at "Pure Rock FM 89."
The station's programming is described as AOR -- that's "radio lingo" for album-oriented rock. Figuring out the acronym is the easy part; defining it takes a little more time. WONC differs from other stations due to the variety of music that we play. It is very rare on a radio station that you can hear Koufax or Motion City Soundtrack followed by the likes of The Beatles and CCR. It's a wide mix of music with an emphasis on balancing new rock with classic rock and all points in between.
Different sounds emerge during the evening hours at WONC. From 10 pm to midnight, "Vintage Rock" floods the airwaves, playing songs from 1964 to 1974. This wide range of music and variety of shows makes WONC competitive with professional stations.
Mixing up the music is more structured than it sounds. Our computerized Selector system provides deejays with the songs they play during their shows. The state-of-the-art equipment won't even be found at most college stations, even the big ones. Playing the right mix is what keeps WONC on top. Songs chosen by the music director are entered into the computer directory. The computer program combines old and new songs, producing a random sampling of music for the specific programs.
Even though disc jockeys have some flexibility in adding songs, such as requests from callers, they are limited by what is in the computer directory -- and this keeps them on track. It also keeps WONC sounding like a "real" radio station.
In the real world of professional radio, sophisticated equipment, like that found at WONC, provides the structure that is embedded in successful formats.
Broadcasting students get a taste of "real" radio at WONC. Equipment, format, and the personalties that pull it all together produce a unique blend of rock, sports, and news that has made a name for NCC in the Chicagoland radio world. This combination of student talent and diverse, structured programming produces a sound that appeals to a cross-section of the local population and brings the community together over the air.