WICR’s HD3 boosts programming, student opportunity

WICR 88.7 FM listeners may have noticed a clear difference when WICR-HD1 was introduced in 2004 as Indiana’s first public HD station. HD2 was launched in 2007. Now the University-owned public radio station has expanded its HD lineup again with HD3.

“For quite a while, WICR’s popularity as a dual format station playing classical and jazz music was becoming a constraint. Our audiences wanted more of each, and we only had 168 hours of air time per week in our programming to meet the demand,” says Scott Uecker, general manager of WICR-FM.

The HD2 and HD3 channels are putting more WICR programming into the Indianapolis community and offering more on-air experience for students. Styled as the “mirror image” of WICR-FM and HD1, HD2 makes it possible for listeners with HD radios to enjoy either classical or jazz music throughout the day. When HD1 is playing jazz, HD2 cranks out the classical—and vice versa. What was once known as Radio 5—the on-campus radio station broadcast exclusively through campus cable during the day—has been replaced with HD3. WICR-HD3, or UIndy Radio, caters to the college audience, broadcasting over the Internet, campus television, and HD radios, and playing an iPod-like shuffle of pop, hip-hop, and R&B.

Advanced students enrolled in the program still will be heard on WICR-FM; however, as a result of the HD additions, first-year students enrolled in the Applied Radio courses in the Department of Communication will receive more on-air practice in front of a potentially wider audience.

“We’ve created a larger playground for students—a real-life, lower-risk environment where students can improve their skills and be better prepared to speak to the 2,000 or so listening at any given time during the day,” Uecker says. “I’m excited for all the changes. It certainly brings a new era to the radio program at UIndy,” says Crystal Mills ’10, lead student programmer for the new HD3 station.

As the department waits ahead of the curve for HD radios to become more prevalent among its listeners, all three stations—HD1, HD2, and HD3—can be heard on HD radio 88.7 FM or online at WICRonline.org.