Photo credit: Zachary Oliphant
A local professional with a wide background in radio, music and the arts has been named the first station manager for Blugold Radio.
Scott Morfitt, Eau Claire, will assume the station manager role April 18. Currently he is the marketing director for the Eau Claire Regional Arts Council.
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation recently received the donation of the station license and other related equipment that will be called Blugold Radio (see related story). It will be owned by Blugold Radio LLC, a subsidiary of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.
“We are pleased to have someone with Scott’s wide range of experiences join our team as our first full-time station manager,” said Kimera Way, president of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. “Our goal is to develop a programming format that focuses on independent rock music and to broadly engage UW-Eau Claire students in all areas of the radio station operation. We were very interested in his extensive links with various areas of Eau Claire’s local music and art scene. In addition, Scott’s experience with radio management and production align with the direction we are lining up to take once Blugold Radio becomes fully operational.”
Morfitt will be responsible for being Blugold Radio’s main liaison with the station’s various partners, hiring student interns, developing the programming format and generating revenue to create a sustainable radio operation. He also will work with different partners to create unique programming opportunities to promote UW-Eau Claire’s brand and enable our students to gain a wide range of hands-on broadcast experiences.
In 2007, Morfitt created and produced the program “Local Independence” for WUEC 89.7, a Wisconsin Public Radio affiliate for which UW-Eau Claire students produce content. This was a three-hour radio program focusing on Wisconsin and Minnesota independent music, art and culture. The show featured interviews with musicians such as Justin Vernon, Michael Perry and Caroline Smith among the hundreds of artists interviewed for the program. Additionally, in 2014 Morfitt turned his attention to civic news and affairs, helping to develop and produce the “WHYS Local Show” for WHYS 96.3.
While working at WUEC, Morfitt also served as student manager of the station. Besides annual budgeting duties and being a liaison with WPR, Morfitt focused on growing the involvement with the station by his UW-Eau Claire classmates. Under his management, WUEC saw 300 percent growth in student volunteer participation.
In 2011, Morfitt developed a broadcast journalism curriculum for Explo at Yale, a three-week high school summer program on the Yale University campus. In 2012, he revised this curriculum as multimedia marketing training for independent learners at remote locations in western Wisconsin through Workforce Resource’s summer youth training program.
Since 2014, Morfitt has also learned much about the Eau Claire media market as marketing director for the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center and Community for the Confluence. While working on those initiatives, Morfitt implemented broadcast, print and online marketing campaigns. In doing both ad buying and design, he gained key insights into the local media market.
Earlier this month, Mid-West Family Broadcasting and the UW-Eau Claire Foundation announced the radio station gift. The gift includes the radio license, transmitter, tower and related equipment for operation of the commercial station 99.9 WDRK-FM. The approximate value of the gift is $1 million. Both entities are now going through the FCC application and license transfer process.