A lot of people are very curious about what The Heights is all about. So we’re offering this list of frequently asked questions and answers to cast some light on this recent addition to WJCU’s on-air lineup.
Q: What is “the Heights” on WJCU?
A: The Heights is a new approach to providing our listeners with a unified body of programming from 6AM to 6 PM Monday thru Friday. The music selection is a unique blend of new and old tunes drawn across a variety of genres, an approach referred to by industry–types as “triple A” (Adult Album Alternative). But unlike commercial radio format implementations, the Heights draws from a very deep playlist that is constantly expanding. The Heights also represents a programming philosophy that aims to build an ongoing sense of connection and involvement within our primary service communities… and that’s why we’ve chosen to call it “the Heights.”
Q: Who picks out the music heard on the Heights?
A: Our music director is Laurie Jenkins, an alum and former show host who works exclusively with WJCU in managing a music selection that is unique to our station. Laurie has the challenging job of deciding what to add after auditioning hours of new tunes weekly. Of course, our DJs regularly take requests from you, our treasured listeners as well, so you could say it’s a joint effort.
Q: Who are the DJs we hear on the Heights?
A: The voices you hear are our dedicated all-volunteer student air staff. If you’re interested in learning more about them, you can click here go to the Heights air staff page.
Q: There seem to be times when there are no live DJs. Why is this?
A: Staffing 12 hours each day, every weekday is a real challenge for our students, most of whom carry a class load of 5-6 classes per semester, in addition to athletics, service, and work commitments. Our goal is eventually have the studio fully staffed during our entire operating schedule, but this will probably take some time.
Q: Does the Heights offer playlists?
A: Yes! After a protracted and complex effort, our play listing is now readily available on this website. This is just one of the projects that your donations during Radiothon help pay for.
Q: I live on the west side and sometimes have trouble picking up your signal… is there an equipment problem at the Heights end?
A: No. The real problem isn’t our signal, but the signal from an extremely powerful commercial radio station in Windsor, Ontario with whom we share 88.7. Unfortunately, during certain times of the year that signal interferes badly with some portions of our west side and downtown coverage, and there is no legal remedy in sight. Of course, you can always listen to our interference-free signal anywhere in the world on the web right here at wjcu.org
Q: What else does the Heights offer besides music?
Plenty. Regular listeners are probably familar with Heights Now, a short form local community news segment produced in parnership with the citizen-produced publication HeightsObserver.org. In addition we also carry FSN, 5 minute world newscasts at 8 AM, Noon, and 5 PM. FSN is a globally oriented news organization headed by journalist Simon Marks. We also offer “Earth and Sky”a daily 90 second environmental feature. And for our arts–oriented audience, we also feature our home-grown “Arts on the Heights”, a 90 second look at big events in Cleveland’s arts scene, updated twice weekly by WJCU’s “Uncle Fred” Dolan.
Q: What about the long form shows that air between 12:30 and 1 PM daily?
Our public affairs programming is a pretty eclectic mix! On Mondays we feature “a World of Possibilities” a news magazine show that focuses on a broad range of issues, each of which is presented in two-part serial format.
On Tuesday, we feature “51%”, a nationally syndicated news magazine devoted to women’s issues, and on Thursday we offer “the Best of Our Knowledge”, another news magazine that focuses on current development in the field of education. Both shows come to us courtesy of Northeast Public Radio.
Wednesday is our day to air Making the Case, hosted by Dr. Yemi Akande, a locally produced public affairs show devoted to exploring issues from the hyperlocal to international in the context of their impact on our local communities.
Fridays are the province of Fred Taub, who hosts Jewish Community Radio, covering a broad spectrum of music and news tailored to Greater Cleveland’s Jewish community.