There’s a new student radio station in the North East! FZN Radio is the new name for Northumbria University’s NSU/Radio. They got to work on the new look and sound as soon as the last academic year finished, and they launched on August 5th to have plenty of time to get things right before Freshers in September.

To get the lowdown on the revamp and what we can expect from FZN Radio, Liam (North East Regional Officer) spoke to the station manager James Slater

Why did you decide to rebrand from NSU?

There are two reasons actually. Reason one: we thought the name ‘NSU/Radio’ was slightly restricting us in what we could achieve as a station. We want to be a station that has a strong, recognisable brand and we couldn’t do this with the old name. Reason two: the Students’ Union at Northumbria changed how it runs its media groups and wanted them to be more independent, so they also encouraged us to move away from the NSU brand and be unique.

What is the thinking behind the FZN name?

We should explain to people that the ‘FZN’ stands for Fusion. So when you tune in you will hear our presenters say ‘Fusion Radio’ instead of reading the letters. The thinking behind the name was the hardest part of the rebrand. I remember the committee sitting for about four hours in a room where we all just shouted out names and what they meant to us. We all chose FZN because we wanted the station to be for the student community, as ‘Fusion’ of different shows and people that come together in one place. We then shortened it to ‘FZN’ to make it look unique, reinforcing that strong brand we wanted to create.

How did you find the launch?

We could have launched the station during Freshers’ Week, but that probably would have been a bit much, so I decided we should launch it in August so we would spend a month perfecting things before students come back on campus. Preparing for the launch show meant I was really busy, not only designing a new website, but also decorating the studio, and of course, getting a new team together. It was challenging but I loved it. The launch show was really good too and I am so proud of my committee for doing a great three hours of radio to welcome in the new station.

What do you hope to do in your first year?

In our first year, we really want to make people know that we are here, especially around our uni. We are investing a lot in marketing to be at the key events to make people know we exist. We are also investing in people, by offering presenters more training and support, to tempt them to join the station. We want to spend the year building a solid foundation for FZN before going on to bigger things.

What would you like to achieve in the long term?

In the long term, we want FZN to be a station people both at Northumbria and generally in Newcastle choose to listen to as their first choice. It would be great to have a schedule full of diverse shows so that there is something for everyone. We do plan to also submit a bid to host SRA Conference at our station in the not too distant future.

What would you say to anyone thinking of getting involved?

Just go for it. Drop the page a message on our Facebook page or email us (team@fznradio.com) and then you can get involved! We would love to have you! We have roles not just in presenting, but also behind the scenes too. We will make sure you get the training to make great shows while also helping you make great friends. We can’t wait to hear from you!