10 Questions with ... Hilary R. Rosenthal
October 18, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Worked at WBRU from 2008 to present, starting as a DJ and photographer/journalist. Became Assistant Music Director and eventually MD in 2011.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I've been listening to it from a young age thanks to my musically-inclined, mainstream-rebellious parents. I knew I wanted to DJ my own show and expose the world to my "excellent" taste in music when I got to college, but then I landed into doing that and so much more when I stepped into the music office at WBRU. I love music, but only recently realized the other great things about radio: if I can make someone smile, laugh, or think with what music I play for them or how I might interact with them at a concert or event, and then I'm happiest I can be.
2. What stands out the most from when you first started working at WBRU?
The passion of people who work in radio for the power of music only becomes more and more apparent. I feel like here, people actually get me, and can understand why I'm obsessed with that one note or that one lyric in that one song.
3. What part of your job do you like best? Least?
I love that I go to work everyday excited to be challenged to make my radio station sound as good as it can and have as good a reputation as it can; hearing, talking about, and then breaking some artist or band that I want to support is rewarding, especially when listeners tell me they love it too. Going to shows and learning interesting stories and having unique conversations with musicians is also always a great part of the job. What I like least is being in love with some song, but knowing it isn't a "radio-friendly" one. Alas!
4. What is the most challenging part of the job?
Most challenging is keeping up to date with so much new music -- there's a lot of good stuff out there but everything is so decentralized now that it's hard to keep up with it all. It's a double-edged sword.
5. What is most important to you when championing new music for the station?
The song is what matters above all else; I like to support bands and artists that I think deserve it or we have a history with, but it all comes down to how moving I think a song is when I might hear it on the radio.
6. What makes the station unique?
WBRU is run by a mixture of extremely dedicated professionals but also hard-working, passionate students. We were the first college radio station in the US, and the history at the station is incredible, anywhere from hosting legendary artists to revolutionizing Urban programming to notorious April Fools Day pranks. The fact that we haven't compromised our vision for having a cool, interesting, and fun station while managing a business, especially by mostly young folks with a lot on their plate, is something I think is rare today and is deeply meaningful for me.
7. How are you using Social Media?
WBRU has a pretty loyal Facebook and Twitter following, especially in regards to involving listeners in our programming and promotions, like live request shows or concerts.
8. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
My iPod and a long walk.
9. What do you like best about living in Providence?
It's a small but quirky and creative city that you can make your own due to its smaller size. Providence also gets beautiful sunsets. Especially in the summer, the city emits a real homey, comforting mood.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
There's nothing too surprising once you get to know me, but most people who don't know me don't suspect that I do stand-up comedy for fun!
What are your hobbies?
When not going to concerts or listening to music on road trips, I like to be swimming, surfing, hiking, playing softball, writing, photographing, and fashion design.
Last non-industry job?
Working for the State Department in South America.
First record ever purchased?
The Velvet Underground and Nico.
Some punk show in New York City back in the day... my first real good one on my own accord was A Perfect Circle when they just were starting out.
Favorite band of all-time?
Tori Amos, and the only band that matters, The Clash.