On air with a KWVA radio host and producer

Story by Savanna Cyr
Photos by Nina Compeau

Savanna Cyr works at the KWVA radio station on the ground floor of Erb Memorial Union.
Savanna Cyr works at the KWVA radio station on the ground floor of Erb Memorial Union.

“What’s up Eugene? I am your host, Savanna Cyr, and you are listening to KWVA Eugene 88.1 FM.”

Honestly, saying that phrase to introduce a show will never, ever get old.

I came to the University of Oregon knowing that I wanted to become a broadcast journalist. And KWVA, the UO’s radio station, was the first journalistic organization I joined in the UO School of Journalism and Communication. When I am happy, I cannot stop talking, and I wanted to put my enthusiasm for public speaking to good use on the radio. So, before I even took my first steps on campus, I sent in an online application to work for KWVA.

KWVA gives UO students the chance to get broadcast, production and operation experience in a hands-on facility. Those who join have the opportunity to work on and off air, and they can contribute as much time as they want to the station. The programs at KWVA include music, sports, news and talk shows. Listeners can listen to each program over FM radio and the internet.

I am one of the two radio presenters of “ASUO Radio.” Every Thursday at 7 p.m., this program gives listeners weekly updates about the student government organizations on campus. My co-host, Katie Winkleman, and I invite representatives to give listeners a 30-minute peek into what they do. Katie and I find the guests ourselves and ask them questions about their organization and what it means to them. Listeners find out more about these organizations and how to get involved.

As a radio presenter, I’ve learned how to engage with interviewees and how to use my voice effectively on radio. I’ve gotten a lot of practice generating original ideas and communicating them to an audience. Most important, I’ve been improving my communication skills and my ability to draw information from people.

I am also the radio producer for “Health Matters,” Lane County’s weekly talk show that answers all health-related questions. The program, which airs every Monday at 7 p.m., features Lane County Health and Human Services’ Senior Public Health Officer Patrick Luedtke and Lane County Health and Human Services’ Public Information Officer Jason Davis.

Cyr co-hosts “ASUO Radio” in Studio B at the KWVA radio station each Monday at 7 p.m.
Cyr co-hosts “ASUO Radio” in Studio B at the KWVA radio station each Monday at 7 p.m.

KWVA gives not only students but also community members the opportunity to get involved with the radio station. I love this aspect of the station because I feel more connected to the community and get to meet new people outside of campus. Out-of-state students like myself sometimes forget there’s the whole city of Eugene beyond the university.

As a producer, I’ve learned how to use a variety of recording equipment, including a soundboard, microphones and the digital editing tool Adobe Audition CC. This application records and edits the audio spoken into microphones. After the audio is recorded, another member of the news department listens to the show and edits the content that ends up on air.

Producing this show is by far one of my favorite experiences at KWVA, because listening to Luedtke and Davis is absolutely fascinating. Their show flies by as I’m recording it because it’s so much fun.

As a journalist for KWVA, I have the privilege to interview interesting and passionate people. I’ve become more comfortable behind a microphone and have connected with people I never would have met otherwise. I’ve also formed friendships with my fellow KWVA staffers. It has been an absolute honor to work with Winkelman on “ASUO Radio.”

I believe the experiences you have outside of a classroom setting are the ones you remember most from your college experience. While volunteering at the KWVA radio station, I get the chance to step outside my comfort zone and challenge myself. The bonds I form with my co-workers, co-hosts and guests make me want to come into the studio every week. I’ve learned a lot, including what piques people’s interests, what makes people laugh and why people do the things they do.

Everyone has a story to tell, and as a journalist, I can’t wait to tell it.

Savanna Cyr is a third-year undergraduate student in the UO School of Journalism and Communication. She is majoring in journalism with a focus on broadcasting and a minor in theatre arts. Cyr is a contributor to the campus radio station, KWVA Eugene 88.1, and an actor, anchor and reporter for the University of Oregon student-run television station, DuckTV. With a passion for entertainment journalism, Cyr is driven to become a mass media news reporter. Listen to Cyr on KWVA Eugene 88.1 FM and follow her Instagram @savannacyr.