Campus Life

Student-run radio for millennials

Think of it as radio with a millennial-powered social media twist.

A group of 35 University of Florida students has launched GHQ, a new multi-platform “radio” station using mobile, social and digital audience engagement technology designed by Futuri. With help from professional staff at UF’s College of Journalism and Communications and Futuri, the G-Team, as it is known, is using audio-based app features and testing engagement, acceptance and likability through digital and social platforms in UF’s 50,000+-student community.

Students occupy every position at GHQ, including station manager. A team of students under the direction of Professor Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, a highly regarded consumer media researcher, is also conducting market research that will be shared with the industry.

“GHQ shines an entirely new light on our ability to work with industry to create real solutions,” said Randy Wright, executive director of the College’s Division of Media Properties. “Our theory is that intelligent use of multimedia engagement tools can have a direct impact on the growth of a station’s audience and help maintain and boost terrestrial radio’s relevance in the long run.”

GHQ, a contemporary hit-radio formatted product, is available over the air on 95.3 mhz in addition to transmitting on the College’s WUFT-FM HD3 signal to the Gainesville-Ocala, Fla. market.  Audio and entertainment content is available nationwide through the GHQ app, which incorporates the entire suite of mobile audience engagement features designed by Futuri.

“It's clear that Millennial and Gen Z audiences are eager to engage, but broadcasters have to meet them where they’re at," said Futuri Media CEO Daniel Anstandig. "Innovation is key to engaging these critical audiences, and the R&D lab that Futuri Media has created with the University of Florida can ultimately help broadcasters everywhere stay ahead of the curve."

The partnership with the college is Futuri’s first engagement with a higher-education institution.

The College of Journalism and Communications operates seven television, radio and digital properties, including the local PBS, NPR and ESPN affiliates, serving the 19-county North Central Florida market.

“Partnering with a world-class organization like Futuri is an incredible opportunity for us,” Wright said. “Broadcast is ripe for experimentation to engage millennials and I am confident this collaboration will lead to insights that can help the industry increase its market share.”

Randy Bennett Author
Hannah Pietrick, UF Photography Photography
April 25, 2017