Every year, the Dr. Marjorie Yambor Signature Station Competition, which is sponsored by Broadcast Educators Association’s (BEA) Student Media Advisors (SMA) Interest Division, hosts a competition that invites creatives to submit work that stands for who they are as a station, what they stand for and how they get their work done efficiently at their student-run, faculty-advised college radio and television stations. 

Through the Signature Station Competition, the SMA division recognizes and reward remarkable advisors, students, and stations at BEA’s annual convention held every April in Las Vegas. This year, the event was virtual due to COVID-19. As well as the recognition, each radio and television station 1st place winner will receive a check for $200.

With immense pride, our very own WZND Fuzed Radio Station took home the gold, and secured the title, “Radio National Signature Station,” for the remainder of 2021. This is not the first time WZND has won this very award. Previously, in 2018, WZND earned the very same title.

WZND Faculty Advisor, Steve Suess, explained what specifically was submitted by student staff members.

“In order to be considered and hopefully go on to win the award, WZND students had to submit a large packet of information regarding the station. This information includes our training procedures, bylaws, internship handbook, and narrative descriptions of all our operations – both on-air and behind the scenes. The entire packet is around 100 pages in length. Students also submitted audio samples of WZND programming,” Suess said.

Steve Suess, Director of Convergent Radio Broadcasting & Faculty Advisor of WZND

Winning this award not only has been uplifting during a confusing time, but an inspiration to everyone apart of WZND.

“Of course, winning the Signature Station award has been incredibly inspiring for our students, who have had an especially hard and sometimes frustrating job navigating running a radio station during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Suess said. “It helps make all of the work seem worth the trouble. However, winning an award like this can be both inspiring and intimidating. While it serves as an excellent accomplishment for our current students, it can intimidate new students who see the high standards we set for ourselves. Even as a two-time BEA award winner, WZND is still a place where students can feel comfortable making mistakes and experimenting with new ideas.”

In addition to winning this prestigious award, WZND is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year.

“Typically, we would be having a big reunion event with alumni returning to campus, but given the safety protocols in place, we’re scaling back and plan to offer an in-person reunion next year. Instead, we will be having a safe, socially distanced party outdoors in April on Redbird Plaza. We will also be celebrating the Signature Station Award at this event,” Suess said. WZND plans to use their prize money on marketing materials to publicize this victory. For the past 40 years, WZND has provided the town of Bloomington-Normal with everything and more on the radio. Now being recognized as the Signature Station, yet again, is something not to overlook.