Monday, June 1, 2020

Passing the Torch at WVCP-FM

The Vol State radio station, WVCP-FM, celebrated a 40th anniversary in 2019. Faculty member Howard Espravnik has been a big part of that history, working as station general manager. Espravnik arrived at Vol State in 1986 and has led WVCP for more than three decades. His work included rebuilding the station after the studios took a direct hit from an F-3 tornado in 2006. Howard is retiring and recently he passed the WVCP torch to the new general manager, Dianna Monk, most recently of Cookeville. I say most recently because Dianna has traveled the country working at radio stations in California, Florida, Nevada, Iowa, and Georgia. She is the winner of six state Associated Press Awards; the Marconi Award for Best Air Personality in 2013; and a CMA nominee for Best Radio Personality in 2013. She has been music director and afternoon drive host for WGSQ-FM in Cookeville, while also teaching journalism as an adjunct at Tennessee Tech.  "I'm grateful to have been trained by Howard for this position," she said. "I know I have big shoes to fill, and I'm looking forward to working with Vol State's students."

Big shoes, indeed. Howard has worked with thousands of students and community volunteers over the years, making WVCP a staple in many households in Sumner County and beyond. Many of those students and volunteers came back for the 40th anniversary celebration. Most remarked on the impact Howard had in their interest and understanding of broadcasting, including George Hurd of Nashville, who was doing his regular Heavens Gospel Memories show during the event. “I love it. I came here for free college because I am over 65 and Mr. Howard signed me up. I’ve had a lot of good feedback from my listeners,” Hurd said. “People like the show and like the songs. We have good radio shows here. I’ve listened to the other DJs. It’s fun and educational to volunteer here.”

"I have a lot of fond memories and student success stories from WVCP," Howard said. "I'm hearing from a lot of them now. I'm really grateful I was able to help them."

Vol State will miss Mr. E, as his students affectionately called him.

1 comment:

  1. Mr. E was an invaluable contributor to my life during my VSCC years. He has worked hard and earned his happy retirement. I wish Ms. Monk the absolute best; his are truly big shoes to fill.