Thursday, the Student Services Finance Committee heard a budget proposal for the UW student led radio station, WSUM. 

Several members of WSUM told the committee about the organization and their budget. Currently, WSUM is the only student broadcast voice in Madison. 

Station director Sean Horvath explained the positions and their importance — for example, the music director gains real life experience contacting promoters, labels and booking shows. He said the sports team gains real life experience broadcasting and covering games, as well as running their own shows. The talk director obtains experience managing and creating podcasts and organizing a talk schedule. 

“WSUM is a family,” Horvath said. “This station means everything to me. It is my life as of now. I think 90% of the friends I have here are through the station. 80% of my time outside of school goes into this station, and I am proud to say because of my hard work and everyone’s hard work here and everyone who has come before us WSUM truly is not one of the best public stations in Madison, but one of the best radio station in Madison.”

Members of WSUM gave the SSFC a tour of their studio, and General Manager Dave Black presented the WUSM’s budget proposal to the committee. 

Black said WSUM has online listeners all over the world. They provide over 130 hours per week of a variety of music and several hours of talk programming through the students’ eyes, along with seven hours of sports talk per week.

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Black said WSUM seeks a 2.12% budget increase to cover the Media Technician costs and other salary increases. WSUM also added a talk director position to oversee their growing podcasting operation, which came with an increased budget need. Their total increase requested is $8,500 on a budget of approximately $400,000.

Rep. John Grosshardt asked about funding to attend the South by Southwest event, a conference members of WSUM attend. WSUM Music Director Izzi Bavis said South by Southwest is a week long annual festival in March in Austin, TX that hosts new and upcoming artists.

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“It is really a networking event to continue my relationship with fortune companies,” Bavis said. “They offer me opportunities to interview the artists. It’s a great way for us to stay up to date with other radio stations [and] other media outlets. And then it’s also a great way for music directors to actually see the people that we are talking to [and] communicate with.”

Black said they only use General Student Services Fund funding for the transportation expenses to Austin, TX as students who attend manage the of the cost of food, room and board.

SSFC Chair said the vote about the WSUM budget will be taken on the Feb. 7 meeting.