Student brings Latin American flair to WCU’s radio station

WCU sophomore Craig Daughtrey hosts "Al Aire Libre," an all-Spanish radio show on WWCU-FM, Power 90.5. The show airs from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sundays.

WCU sophomore Craig Daughtrey hosts “Al Aire Libre,” an all-Spanish radio show on WWCU-FM, Power 90.5. The show airs from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sundays.

In addition to serving as the best man for his brother’s wedding in 2014, Craig Daughtrey also did some announcing. Afterwards, the bride’s family told the Western Carolina University student, with his voice, he should try radio.

Daughtrey decided to join the staff of WCU’s campus radio station, WWCU-FM, also known as Power 90.5. He wanted to provide something new – a Latin American Spanish show. From that came “Al Aire Libre,” which airs on Sundays from 6 to 8 p.m.

“I thought it would be a fun experiment to do some radio while doing Spanish at the same time,” Daughtrey said. “As far as I know, we’re the only Spanish show in Western North Carolina.”

“Al Aire Libre,” which is Spanish for “in the open air” or “outdoors,” primarily features music from various Latin American countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Honduras and Guatemala. Daughtrey, a junior from Banbury, Oxfordshire, England, also tries to mix in a little news, pop culture and live interviews, although he admits, “I’m not the most professional Spanish speaker so sometimes it’s more worth it to put in music than half of a story.”

Daughtrey, whose mother Maria Lourdes Daughtrey is from Honduras, said he has received some positive feedback from listeners, which lets him know he’s filling the void he intended.

“I think it addresses some sort of need,” Daughtrey said. “There’s a very large amount of Latinos in the area – a lot of migrant workers, a lot of construction workers, a lot of people that are just living here. I hope it gives them a little bit of a taste of something they don’t get too much of around here. And people that aren’t Latino can see a little bit of a representation of the ethnicity in the area and add some visibility to it.”

In addition to playing music, Daughtrey has enjoyed conducting interviews, which gives him a chance to practice his Spanish in front of an audience. Now that he’s laid the foundation for “Al Aire Libre,” Daughtrey said he would like to see someone else eventually take over the show.

“I have a fear that it won’t continue after I leave,” he said. “I’d like for there to be some sort of representation. But it’s hard to find someone that has both a mix of the Spanish language and the communication skills to do a radio show.”

It’s understandable why Daughtery would like to pass the torch. In addition to hosting his radio show, he serves as the station’s programming coordinator and is a member of Epsilon Tau Pi while studying for degrees in international studies, political science and Spanish.

Looking toward the future, Daughtrey said he would like to work with the military intelligence community to help ease relations between the U.S. and Latin American countries.

“It’s a rough ride. Sometimes it feels like a good bit, but I feel like it creates a good picture for what I want to do in the future,” Daughtrey said.