Two Western Carolina University student disc jockeys committed to offering “smashing good fun” on their morning radio show earned second place as air personalities in a national student audio competition sponsored by the Broadcast Education Association. Fern Lulham ’12 and David Rose co-hosted “Fern and David in the Morning” on Power 90.5 WWCU-FM, the broadcast service of Western Carolina University, during the 2011-12 academic year. Fast-talking Lulham and Rose incorporated a range of sound clips and effects, as well as a studiocam, as part of the news, information, fun and games show they described as “banter between the Brits” that awakened Jackson County “in a unique (and very English) way.”
Their show was selected for the award from a pool of nearly 900 entries. “They definitely rose to the top here,” said Michael Huntsberger, the student radio competition chair for the BEA. “All of the comments from judges were similar – ‘original sound’ or ‘quick wit’ – but my favorite was ‘[this show is] designed to hit you over the head and show you how good these two are,’” said Huntsberger. Don Connelly, head of the WCU Department of Communication, agrees. “The show is fast-paced and fresh. It comes at you like a flamethrower.”
Both from the United Kingdom, Rose and Lulham were enrolled together at the University of Glamorgan in Wales but first met at WCU. Lulham began attending WCU in fall 2009 and after a year decided to transfer permanently. “I’ve always loved radio. I remember interviewing my family with a cucumber at the tea table – things like, ‘So Mum, what do you think of Dad’s new haircut?’ So when I came to WCU, I knew straightaway that I wanted to get involved with the station, and the radio station was one of the major reasons why I transferred,” Lulham said.
Rose came to WCU in August through a yearlong study abroad program, and Lulham recruited him to join the show despite having little experience in radio broadcasting. He had fun and learned fast with help from Lulham. “There are demands from Miss Lulham and there are demands from the FCC. It’s hard to say which is more severe at times,” said Rose light-heartedly.
The duo attributed their success to the friendship that they maintain on and off air. “David is one of my best friends. To me, that dynamic is what makes the show, and it makes us enjoy it and have as much fun as we do,” said Lulham. Still, she adds, “we would be nothing without our faithful listeners.”