A community radio station has big plans for the new year.
After several months in an interim role, Phil Tower assumes the mantle of WYCE’s station manager, while longtime employee Shane German takes on the task of diversifying the station’s music and programming.
Tower previously served as Director of News and Programming at WOOD AM/FM Radio.
“I was station master at WYCE from the summer of 1995 until the end of ’98, so my new role is actually a bit déjà vu,” Tower said.
A veteran of Western Michigan broadcasting, Tower has been on the air for over 25 years. Tower returned to his WYCE as interim stationmaster in April 2022 after former stationmaster Jess Martin stepped down.
Mr. Tower said he had initially planned to find a new manager, but that didn’t work.
“[I]had the goal of trying to find a station master, but[but]after a few interviews, I actually rolled up my sleeves and saw all the work that had to be done here and I decided I wanted to stay here and make sure this thing was done,” Tower said. “Honestly, I am really impressed with the team here. I haven’t been in this role for 25 years, so I still have a lot to learn, but this type of radio is more unique and valuable than ever. It’s an exciting time to be here because of the
As WYCE Station Manager, Tower will be responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, managing the station’s budget, overseeing staff, and directing development efforts.
While Tower was gearing up for his new role, Jarman added programming director to his musical director title.
“I actually started working here as a volunteer when I first moved to Grand Rapids in 2016,” German said. “Having been in the music industry for about 20 years in markets like New York and Washington DC, I fell in love with the station. I fell in love with the community aspect of it. After working as an operations assistant for a week, I was appointed music director in 2018.
“This new Music and Programming Director role will allow me to continue to work on diversity in my music selection (and) provide opportunities for underrepresented musicians in the community to be seen and heard. .”
Jarman said he is thrilled to continue working and looks forward to working with local organizations and musicians to bring new West Michigan music to the air.
Prior to working at WYCE, he worked as an artist and label manager at SoundExchange and was head of artist and label relations at Believe Digital. He has also served on the board of directors of The Recording Academy’s Washington DC chapter and currently serves on the board of directors of the Michigan Musical Alliance.
In his new role, Jarman will oversee the diversification of WYCE’s music and programming lineup, train and onboard new on-air volunteer programmers, work with local, regional and national recording artists, and expand the station’s listener base. to expand. He also plans to continue partnering with local organizations to provide a platform for underrepresented voices in the community.
“We want to represent our community musically,” German said. “When I look out the window, I see refugees, queer and trans people, Spanish speakers, students, retirees, people from India. We work hard[adding music]to our library to represent everyone who makes up the Rapids community.”
WYCE, 88.1 FM, is the core division of the Grand Rapids Community Media Center, a media hub that includes GRTV, Rapidian and Wealthy Theatres. As West Michigan’s only independent community radio station, WCYE prides itself on connecting listeners with independent musicians within the community.
“The amazing thing about WYCE is that these shows are curated by humans,” said Tower. “Shane reaches out to the band on a hyper-local level. Without his local stations like his WYCE showcasing these musicians, they wouldn’t have looked beyond social media. .”
What will this station look like in 2023? Jarman and Tower said the 23rd Jammy Awards will be held at The Intersection on his February 24th. As Tower focuses on upgrading his WYCE’s technical equipment and begins training a new class of on-air his programmers, new sounds will also be brought to the studio.