Behind the scenes of WRDL radio in Election 20


Gracie Wilson

Senior, Dean Paolucci hard at work at WRDL Radio for the Election 20 show


The Journalism and Digital Media department (JDM) is composed of four mediums all participating in the Election 20 show: AUTV-20, The Collegian, and 88.9 WRDL FM Radio.

WRDL FM is unique in the role of the Election 20 show in that they are producing live commentary on the air in conjunction with the live show on TV-20.

“In addition to the simulcast with TV-20, we have exclusive content”, Derek Wood, General Manager of 88.9 WRDL said. “That includes live, in-studio updates and interviews back and forth and some analysis locally and nationally.”

The WRDL team for Election 20 includes seniors Glenn Rausch and Dean Paolucci, Wood as the General Manager and Ashland University JDM alumni Waylon O’Donnell.

Students are providing live updates from the newly renovated WRDL studio. (Gracie Wilson)

“It’s by far the most different thing I have been involved in here at WRDL,” Paolucci said. “I didn’t help that much with the previous election show in 2016 and now I get the opportunity to. I’m glad I can put this on my resume down the line.”

This event is something different than the normal speed of the station which is home to student DJ’s who create content to be presented live on the air. The studio atmosphere that is normally relaxed is sped up tonight as they work in tandem with the other mediums to produce the show.

“This is the culmination of being able to deal with being on my toes,” Rausch said. “I’ve been through vinyl-thons that have been chaotic, but I think honestly-at least from my perspective-this is the most chaotic thing I’ve ever felt other than vinyl-thon.”

Keeping up unique content as well as putting up content from the other mediums is a job for more than one person. In order to do so, radio students and staff call on the help of an alumna of the station.

O’Donnell is a connection to the Ashland Source for the station to utilize for the local election updates.

“I’m your local insider,” he said. “I’m updating these guys on the levies as well as the local impact of the presidential election.”

As an alumnus, O’Donnell felt that he could come back and make a difference with this year’s election show.

“I was here during the last election time and I saw how well received it was and I wasn’t as involved as I wish I would have been,” O’Donnell said. “So when I was given the second chance-even though I already graduated- I jumped at the opportunity and came back to help out.”

As the General Manager, Wood feels that this is an irreplaceable experience for students to be a part of.

“WRDL is the only [medium] that is live all the time,” he said. “This is another notch on the belt of award-winning student run radio. It’s another night to get those reps in and create 21 century broadcasters.”

The students also feel that this is an important experience. Through their months of preparation, full of excited planning and stressful preparations, they have pulled through to the night of Election 20 and pulled off the full five-hour broadcast.

The WRDL studio is prepared to give updates from the 2020 election. (Gracie Wilson)

“It’s something we fought through together and [sought] out to the very end,” Paolucci said.

Visit to tune into the show.