Two Western Carolina University student disc jockeys committed to offering “smashing good fun” on their morning radio show have been recognized by an international media association.
Fern Lulham and David Rose have been co-hosts of “Fern and David in the Morning” on Power 90.5 WWCU-FM, the broadcast service of WCU, since September. They earned second place as air personalities in a national student audio competition sponsored by the Broadcast Education Association. Awards were presented Sunday, April 15, during the BEA annual convention in Las Vegas.
“The show is very creative and has a lot of sharp wit,” said Don Connelly, head of the WCU Department of Communication. “It is fast-paced and fresh. It comes at you like a flamethrower.” (Listen to audio of the students’ entry here.)
“Fern and David in the Morning” was selected from a pool of nearly 900 entries judged on a number of criteria including creativity, production quality, use of sound effects, originality and professionalism. The recognition marks the third time in four years that WCU and WWCU-FM have won an award from the BEA, an association for professors, industry professionals and students interested in teaching and research related to broadcasting and multimedia enterprises.
“They definitely rose to the top here,” said Michael Huntsberger, the student radio competition chair for the BEA. “All of the comments from judges were similar – ‘original sound’ or ‘quick wit’ – but my favorite was ‘[this show is] designed to hit you over the head and show you how good these two are,’” Huntsberger said.
Fast-talking Lulham and Rose incorporate a range of sound clips and effects, as well as a studiocam, as part of the news, information, fun and games show they describe as “banter between the Brits” that wakes Jackson County “in a unique (and very English) way.”
Both from the United Kingdom, Rose and Lulham were enrolled at the same time at the University of Glamorgan in Wales but first met at WCU. Lulham began attending WCU in fall 2009 and after a year decided to transfer permanently.
“I’ve always loved radio. I remember interviewing my family with a cucumber at the tea table – things like, ‘So Mum, what do you think of Dad’s new haircut?’ So when I came to WCU, I knew straightaway that I wanted to get involved with the station, and the radio station was one of the major reasons why I transferred,” Lulham said. Rose came to WCU in August through a study abroad program and will be here until May.
After losing a previous co-host, Lulham, now WWCU-FM station manager, recruited Rose to what became “Fern and David in the Morning.” Rose, who had little experience in radio broadcasting, said he adjusted to the steep learning curve with guidance from Lulham and Connelly.
“There are demands from Miss Lulham and there are demands from the FCC. It’s hard to say which is more severe at times,” said Rose. Lulham hosts the show alone on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Rose joins her in the studio the rest of the week. Lulham also hosts “Sunday Pish Posh” from 3-5 p.m. Sundays.
In May, as Lulham graduates and Rose returns to the United Kingdom, where he plans to become involved in radio theater, the student management of the station will transition to new students.