Leeds Student Radio broadcasts every day from nine in the morning until midnight during term time with a variety of shows. It is one of the UK’s biggest student radio stations and this year Matt Tasker is the Station Manager. He graduated with an impressive 2.1 in history and successfully beat two other candidates for the job.
Her Campus caught up with him for a quick chat about his role, what students can expect from the station this year and how to get involved.
Matt in the LSR studio. Photo: Jonathon Bartlett
Before you became Station Manager what were you doing?
I’ve been involved in LSR for three years whilst I was studying history and I became more involved with LSR than my degree! I didn’t mind history but I always preferred LSR. I was one of the Heads of Music in my second year and then I was Deputy Station Manager in my third. In April this year I got the job to be station manager for this academic year.
Why did you want to be Station Manager?
I knew from about my second year that I wanted to do it, and it seemed like an obvious choice to make. I also want to work in radio so this is a good stop point for me. It’s great experience and at the same time I get to stay here in Leeds essentially as a student; I live with students, I see students all the time but I don’t have to study which is great! Whereas before I had to balance my time between doing history and LSR, now I don’t have to do any history. My time’s taken up by LSR which for me is pretty perfect.
What does the job involve?
A lot! It’s quite difficult to explain, especially to people who don’t know about LSR and how it works. But it means that I’m the one permanent member of staff in the station so I have to lead many of the projects that we do. I’m in the office most of the time to help people but I also have to fill in loads of paperwork and sort things out like music licences. I buy the equipment for the station and think through strategies such as how to recruit more members, how to get more students to listen to us and think about what type of things we’re going to do in the year.
It is a lot of responsibility and quite full on especially during fresher’s week when we’re recruiting new members but it’s also fun and I enjoy it.
The Leeds Student Radio Varsity 2013 Live Broadcast Team. Photo: Matilda Cracknell
What changes will you make to the station over the next year?
We’ve made some already including a brand new logo for the station! We also bought new technology for the computer in the studio to make everything easier whilst people are on air. A lot of our kit was outdated by student radio standards so we’ve spent some money on new equipment. We’ve revamped our ‘Hometime’ programme as one of our main focuses is to concentrate on more student related content, so more students will want to listen to us.
I realised at one point last year, and tried to get the message across to everyone else that LSR isn’t BBC Radio 1 and so there’s no point in trying to sound like them. We may as well appeal to our core audience which is students, and that’s why our tagline is ‘The Sound of Students in Leeds.’ We try to make more radio content that is to do with students and we did that last year with our weekly show ‘The Lowdown’ which was a show all about students and what would interest them. We’ve expanded that more this year to take over last year’s ‘Hometime’ which is now called ‘The Beat.’
Generally this year there is more of a focus on students because we’ve found that students respond better to the things that concern them. That’s why our coverage of Varsity and the Student Leadership Race are our biggest events of the year because students care about them.
Image: Leeds Student Radio
Why should students get involved in LSR?
I got involved because LSR is really good fun and most people find themselves joining because of this reason. Once someone goes on air they get a buzz for it. I would say nine out of ten people who go on the radio for the first time want to do it again. Only a very small few say “Oh that’s not for me” which is totally fine but the majority love it. The first time can be terrifying but trying something new is great.
I’d never done anything radio related before coming to uni and I absolutely love it and that’s what I want a career in. We have people in their first year who join and know they want to go into radio and being a part of LSR is a great training platform for them. There are loads of famous radio presenters such as Greg James who started off on student radio so it is a good pathway into a career in radio.
How can students be a part of Leeds Student Radio?
You can get involved by coming into the office to speak to myself. We’re on the first floor of the union right by the entrance. You can also go on our website which is lsrfm.com and you can join by going on the union website. The door to the office is always open so you can always come and chat with me if you’re unsure about how to join!
LSR is also for people who just want to have a go for fun or to meet new people as there’s over 200 society members! We try to be as social as we can by organising events and having an open office which anyone can come into during the week to say hi. We cater for pretty much every interest so if you’re into music we have music shows and if you’re into fashion we can put together a show related to fashion. We can do pretty much anything you can think of.
Matt and Jessie Bland at LSR’s coverage of the Student Leadership Race 2013. Photo: Imogen Hill
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Well it’s been an absolute privilege to be this week’s Celebrity on Campus as I don’t really see myself as being a celebrity! I just hope that this year more people will be aware of LSR and listen to us more. I would love it if when I’m walking around campus I could hear students say “Did you hear what happened on LSR today?” or “LSR covered this today” and they go on to explain it to their friends. The student paper is really good at getting coverage and students talk about it and I really want that to happen for LSR this year. That’s my aim.
Visit http://www.lsrfm.com/listen/ to listen live to Leeds Student Radio
Follow Leeds Student Radio on Twitter https://twitter.com/thisislsr
To find out more about LSR visit their homepage http://www.lsrfm.com/
To join LSR for the year visit http://www.leedsuniversityunion.org.uk/groups/lsr/