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WXIN (90.7 FM) is the student campus radio broadcast service of Rhode Island College. WXIN operates a part 15 FM transmitter on the property of Rhode Island College, in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. In addition, "WXIN" rebroadcasts its programming in the form of a webcast over the Internet through streaming service providers Live365 and Ustream. "WXIN" has garnered a reputation for launching the careers of many prominent Rhode Island radio and television personalities, despite the station's small size, and has been a pioneer in Internet broadcasting.
Organization and History
WXIN is a student organization, officially recognized by Rhode Island College, and funded by Student Community Government, Inc. The organization has been broadcasting as Rhode Island College's sole radio station consistently since 1979. The station began as a carrier-current station on campus, operating as "WRIC" on 580 AM, and began broadcasting on 88.1 FM and later 90.7 FM in the late 1980s.
Since the early 1990s, the station's management also cooperated with WELH in Providence, where veteran WXIN DJs were given radio shows on certain nights and weekends. The agreement ended in early 2007, however, when Brown University Student Radio bought out Rhode Island College Radio's air time. Over the length of the agreement, WELH operated as Rhode Island College Radio's second official station whenever WXIN DJs were given air time.
Students make up the entirety of the executive and subsidiary boards. In addition, the station has both a faculty adviser (as required per student government regulations) and a professional adviser. Students make up the majority of the general membership, which include DJs, talk hosts, promotions staff, and production staff. WXIN occasionally permits alumni members, along with RIC faculty and staff to participate in on-air programming to fill in gaps in the schedule, though air time is given on a priority basis to enrolled students.
WXIN also employs a Technology Consultant and Engineer on retainer, for assistance in supporting and maintaining technology and broadcasting equipment in the station. The station additionally employs a webmaster/web designer for the purpose of designing and updating the station's website, which has won multiple awards for its design and content.
WXIN's five member executive board is elected annually in April. The positions include General Manager (President), Program Director (Vice President), Business Director (Treasurer), Sales Manager (Secretary), and Production Director. The executive board also hires a subsidiary board that includes four music directors, two promotions directors, a traffic director, and a news/sports/talk radio director.
Although Rhode Island College has a Mass Media Communications program, WXIN is not associated with or funded by the Communications Department, and no classes are offered in conjunction with the station. Many communications students, however, are members of the organization, and a faculty member from the department, Philip Palombo, serves as professional adviser to the station.
In early 2008, WXIN launched NIXM, an Internet-only radio station, to take the place of WELH. For more than a decade, veteran WXIN DJs were permitted to utilize WELH on weekends through an agreement with the Wheeler School, however Brown University bought out the agreement and took over the weekend hosting duties of WELH in 2006. On May 6, 2011, WXIN brought T-Pain to the campus. The student-run organization was also named "Organization of the Year" at RIC for an unprecedented third time  and received the honor again for a fourth time in 2013.
WXIN is located in the Ducey Student Media Center in the Student Union Plaza along with The Anchor, Rhode Island College's weekly newspaper, and Anchor TV, Rhode Island College's on-campus television station. The station currently uses the tagline "Your Station, Your Music." Veteran DJs and popular shows are often simulcast on Anchor TV Channel 3 on campus and the television station's uStream.
Due to a broadcast range limited to the Rhode Island College campus and parts of Providence, North Providence, Johnston, Smithfield, and Cranston, many of WXIN's listeners tune in via the station's Web site, . WXIN was the first college radio station in Rhode Island, and among the first radio stations in New England, to offer free, 24/7 Web casting online, beginning as early as 1998. WXIN was also the first in the Rhode Island region to provide live, streaming video of its studios. The station simulcasts its broadcast signal online via Live 365, Ustream, and via other programs. The webcast is also picked up and played over speakers at various locations throughout the campus.
WXIN's second station, the Internet-only NIXM, is currently broadcasting via the station's Studio 2 on Ustream. Rhode Island College Radio's website has won numerous awards since its inception in 1997.
90.7 WXIN Rock Hunt
Since the mid-1980s, WXIN has featured a Rock Hunt battle of the bands competition during March and April to determine the best local acts. It is the longest running Rock Hunt in Rhode Island, as well as the first. Formerly held at Providence's iconic The Living Room on Rathbone Street, four preliminary shows fielding 12 total local bands yield three finalists, who compete for cash prizes in Week 5. Past winners have included Vega in 2006, the Boston Jolly Pirates in 2007, Saturday at Nine in 2008, For the Love Of Sloane in 2009, and Vulgarity in 2010
The WXIN Rock Hunt gained sponsorship from Motif Magazine in 2009, and was moved to Firehouse 13 due to The Living Room's closing. Motif's sponsorship of the WXIN Rock Hunt comes after the magazine ended a four-year relationship with radio station WBRU. The winner of the 2009 Rock Hunt was For the Love of Sloane, who also appeared in the finals for the 95.5 WBRU Rock Hunt the same year. In 2010, Rhode Island band Vulgarrity won the WXIN Rock Hunt, and went on to win the WBRU Rock Hunt the following year. Boo City won the WXIN hunt in 2011, Last One Out won in 2012 and Tony Jones & The Cretin 3 won in 2013. The 2014 winner of the Rock Hunt was the Jessica Prouty Band. The Sweet Release was the 2015 Rock Hunt winner and the Feng Shui Police won in 2016. The 2017 Rock Hunt Finals occurred at THE MET in Pawtucket, RI and the 2017 Rock Hunt winner was Toad and the Stooligans. Zoink Zulag and the Galactic Shag was the 2018 Rock Hunt champion at Machines with Magnets in Pawtucket RI. Bochek was the winner in 2019 at THE MET in Pawtucket, RI.
Winners of the 90.7 WXIN Rock Hunt take home cash prizes ranging from $400 to $1,000.
WXIN is run entirely by a student board of directors, including a five-member executive board that is elected by the general membership annually. The executive board consists of a general manager, program director, and business, sales, and production directors. That board hires fifteen other student subsidiary board members and music directors, including a technology consultant, chief engineer, street team coordinator, and webmaster. The station also has a faculty and professional advisor, selected by the board, who participate in limited capacities.
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