COVID-19’s Impact on WONY Radio Station

Daniella Fishman, Staffwriter |

The COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted SUNY Oneonta’s radio station, WONY 90.9FM. Composed of live, student-run shows, WONY has seen a significant drop in their production since students have returned home to remotely finish the remainder of their semester. In a statement on their social media accounts, WONY explained, “We regret to inform everyone that our station will not operate with terrestrial broadcasts for the remainder of the semester. Despite our attempt to do what we can with the instructions given… the safety and health of our members and DJs is our number one priority. We are working on a plan to broadcast pre-recorded and/or rebroadcasted material.” Since this March 18 statement, WONY has started its “trial run” for pre-recorded broadcasts, as seen on

Rosemarie DiGioia, the host of “Rosie Days,” aired her shows on Saturdays from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.. On her show, DiGioia featured music ranging from blues to alternative. DiGioia  also co-hosted a podcast that aired Monday nights from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.. In her statement to the State Times, DiGioia  stated that she didn’t anticipate the virus would affect her as much as it has. “I was planning on coming back from spring break and finishing my last two months of my senior year. Most of the events WONY has planned were scheduled for the spring semester, including our alumni weekend, and sadly those were taken away from us.” Despite being heartbroken at the abrupt ending to her senior year, DiGioia states that “it gives me a reason to visit.”

Max Goldblum was a co-host of “Downtime Duo”, which aired from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and showcased Oneonta’s music scene through live interviews and performances. Goldblum’s take is that the pandemic “has taken such a toll on the station and the campus community in general. Although WONY will still be operating, the effects of the pandemic have taken a toll on the radio station in other ways because other station members haven’t returned as well, and there are new guidelines to follow.” Reflecting on the consequences for his show, with a heavy heart, Goldblum said, “We confirmed on our Instagram that our show has concluded.” Due to social distancing, Downtime Duo is no longer able to provide guests on their show. Being a senior, Goldblum’s time at WONY has unfortunately ended.

Talia Bautista, Public Relations Director at WONY, hosted her own show “WONY Wake Up” which aired Tuesdays 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.. She told the State Times that “COVID has put an incredible damper on my senior year and the last few weeks I had being a member of the radio station.” Bautista stated that even though there have been many setbacks in production, WONY radio is still “operating as a fully functioning station, broadcasting as usual and still having a few DJs have live shows.” With the integrity of WONY still intact, Bautista has “no doubt that the future executive board will pick up where we left off and will continue to grow and operate the station to its fullest potential.” Coming this Fall, WONY is moving from its location in Alumni Hall to Hunt Union with a new set-up, new shows, and the same positive attitude.

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