WTSR’s Station Manager Reminds You to “Open Your Mind”

When senior marketing major Karl Delossantos isn’t binge watching television shows and getting lost in the online video maze known as YouTube, he can be found overseeing The College of New Jersey’s radio station, WTSR, as its Station Manager. 

Delossantos has been reminding WTSR listeners to “Open Your Mind” (the station’s slogan) to entertainment not typically heard on commercial radio since his freshman year. Because of its strict policy to not play any top 40 songs, the station has attracted students from all walks of alternative music listening life to its air waves.

The indie minimalist pop, folk, and rock fan first found out about WTSR when he was at an event for the Art Student Association on campus, where he was passing the time popping balloons filled with paint. A DJ from WTSR was spinning The Black Keys (an indie rock band that Delossantos loves) at the event, causing Delossantos to build up the courage a college freshman is always lacking to ask what program he was a part of. From there, Delossantos became an integral part of the radio station, joining the board of directors as the Director of Automation his freshman year, and then moving up the ranks transitioning from Program Manager to Station Manager the following year.

According to the radio station’s website, the station has been broadcasting as a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensed FM radio station since 1966. So this year Delossantos is working with Alumni Affairs to celebrate WTSR’s 50th anniversary. Delossantos says that they are currently “planning to have a picnic with all the alumni attending to celebrate the history of the station and later have a ceremony to honor all those involved.”  Senior communication studies major and Operations Manager of WTSR Thomas Moore says that Delossantos has been “diligently planning the celebration of our 50th anniversary as a station, which is going to hopefully further our reputation as one of the great college radio stations in the area.” This year Delossantos has also helped to coordinate the station’s poster sale, which provides students with appropriate dormitory decorations with posters ranging from music and movies to television and celebrities. The profits go towards the station, so that it can continue to provide alternative music to the masses.

Two weekends ago Delossantos helped to organize WTSR’s Underground Weekend. This event brought in bands from around the area and allowed them to play in front of a live audience while the station simultaneously recorded audio and video for the bands own use. According to Delossantos “We are one of the few radio stations in the country that bring in bands that we love and play in the station.” This year the station hosted six bands on campus, including The Other White Meat, A Boy Named John, GIN WAR, Plainview, the band, Archie Alone, and Dryjacket.

Delossantos had his traditional two semesters as a day time host for the station, and eventually moved on to a specialty show created with his two friends called Indecent Disclosure. For a breezy hour the three talk about the week in pop culture, film, music, television, and celebrities, which to Delossantos is a “fun time because we are talking about what we are passionate about.”

The Station Manager is also involved with training new DJs, which consists of teaching them the rules of the station, how to use the equipment, and learning on air speaking etiquette before taking their written and practical examination. According to Moore “last semester he [Delossantos] helped to streamline the DJ training program so that the new DJs get more on air experience before they are certified, making them feel more comfortable when they get their DJ license.” Sophomore journalism major Hannah Rodriguez was one of those trainees last year, and says that “I think that Karl is a very relatable and friendly station manager. He is easy to talk to if I have any questions.”

The transition from underclassmen to upperclassmen not only improved his resume, but also his on-air confidence. Compared with the butterflies that fluttered around in his stomach the first time he spoke on-air, Delossantos believes that talking live feels more natural now. He said that “It feels like I’m at home on-air. The personality you form on-air takes over and with that a confidence.”

Besides being heavily involved with WTSR, he has also created his own website called Smash Cut Reviews where he and his team of writers review music, film, television, and books. Smash Cut Reviews was created in May 2014 when he decided that he wanted to implement another outlet to talk about arts and entertainment besides WTSR.  “It was the first thing I could really call my own and I think it is so fun to work on something I am really passionate about,” said Delossantos. Even though he does not consider his passion for writing to be on the same level as his passion for music, films, and books, he loves being able to use it as another way to communicate his thoughts to the world. He is also a marketing consultant for an application called Mashfeed, and a contributor at Elite Daily.

After graduation Delossantos plans on working at a technology startup in New York called Maker’s Row, where he will be working on their content and social media.