Staff Manual

WRKE Staff Manual 

Welcome to WRKE!
Our student staff is the lifeblood of WRKE. We emphasize creativity in the music you play live and select for our automation system, the content you discuss on your show, the promotions you create, the good will you spread across campus, and your dedication to serving the Roanoke College and Salem community at large. This is truly a unique opportunity, and we encourage you to make the most of it.

WRKE-LP is a student run, commercial free radio station licensed by the Federal Communications Commision to Roanoke College’s Board of Trustees. WRKE exists to provide a creative outlet for students to express themselves and to learn broadcasting skills, as well as for the college to enrich the quality of life in the Salem community and beyond by offering a variety of entertainment and information programming. WRKE offers students an excellent opportunity to enhance their academic experience and build a resume. We welcome students from all areas of study and interests.

WRKE operates on a 24/7 broadcast schedule with a power output of 100 watts transmitting on 100.3 MHz and covers Salem and parts of the surrounding area. WRKE also streams live audio over the internet at and on apps like TuneIn and Radio FM Partners. The station has 3 studios. The on-air studio is located on the main floor near the entrance to Colket Center. A production studio and a performance studio are located on Colket’s top floor. Access to all is secured through combination keypads which you will be provided once you join the staff.

FCC Policies

The Federal Communications Commission has set guidelines which WRKE must adhere to in order to retain our FCC license to operate:

You must read aloud WRKE’s “FCC-legal station identification” at/near the top of each hour: WRKE-LP, Salem. However, you should also add additional station slogans such as: “100.3 FM and streaming live at”. The FCC requirement is “WRKE-LP, Salem” MUST be announced at or near the top of each hour.

WRKE staff must adhere to FCC technical regulations such as reporting transmitting irregularities (periods of dead air), giving the station legal identification at or near the top of each hour as stated above, or in rare circumstances, after returning to the air or just before turning the transmitter off. If you believe the transmitter is not working or there is another technical problem, the Station Manager should be notified immediately at [email protected].

The WRKE transmitter (“carrier signal”) should never be left on without any programming going out over the air- also known as “dead air”. There must always be programming going out over the air, either live or on automation, as long as we are transmitting. In the event that programming can’t be restored in a reasonable length of time, the WRKE station manager must be informed immediately.

Music lyrics or comments made by on-air staff found obscene, indecent or suggestive in nature (that would lead to the listener concluding obscene or indecent content through allusion), should never be aired over WRKE. This is for both FCC regulations and Roanoke College standards. The FCC regulations state that broadcasts are indecent if they contain “language or material that in context depicts or describes, in terms or patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory activities or organs…”

If you are unsure about what may be considered obscene, indecent, or otherwise unacceptable content in music or the spoken word, please ask the station manager.

WRKE staff cannot accept payment, gratuities, gifts, or favors for the playing of music or airing of other material.

Please note that in rate circumstances your show may be interrupted by an Emergency Alert System activation such as a weekly or monthly EAS test or a real emergency such as a flood warning. The EAS alert will be automatically engaged and take over the broadcast. When the alert is finished you may continue where you left off.

General Policies

Access to the station is provided to all who work at WRKE within the normal operating hours and schedule of the Colket Center. WRKE staff must adhere to Colket Center building policies and should not be in the station unless on air or otherwise have permission from the WRKE station manager or the Colket Center Director.

In addition to the legal identification at the top of each hour, we ask that you let listeners know who we are about every 15 minutes. Image is what you are trying to create for the station so you could add things such as “WRKE, playing music without commercials” or “Thanks for listening to WRKE on the air at 100.3 and online at” or “WRKE, on the air at 100.3; online at; and on social media! Like us on Facebook.”

You may only broadcast during your assigned time unless you are a guest on someone else’s show. 

You are not required to talk on air throughout your show, unless it is a talk show of course, but you must at very least introduce and end your show and throw in a few station slogans each hour. Keep it professional. Derogatory comments or music – whether outright vulgar or suggestive; ethnic, gender or racial in nature – have no place on WRKE broadcasts.    Cursing, personal attacks, slanderous or inflammatory comments, slurs against people or institutions- especially the one that funds and owns the station, are not permitted.

On-air hosts may not advertise for others, whether they are being paid or not. Hosts cannot make any calls to action (Go buy this or stop by this restaurant) and opinions should be labeled as such. Comments in a news story should be balanced with opinions from opposing viewpoints.

WRKE staff is expected to keep the facility clean. Keep soft drinks, coffee, and food that could damage the audio equipment out of the studios. Only use the whiteboard walls for notes and clean them before you leave the studio. You must silence your cellphone before going on air. 

Show Policies

YOU MUST PREPARE YOUR SHOW. Depending on the type of show you have, you must have a playlist prepared, discussion topics ready, and whatever else you may need for your broadcast. At no point should there be dead air on the station. If you are not prepared – DO NOT GO ON AIR, contact the Program Director.

WRKE strives to produce programming that is dependable, therefore you MUST come to your assigned shifts unless previously discussed with the Program Director. You should arrive at the studio no later than 15 minutes before your broadcast and you should start & end your broadcast promptly according to the schedule.

Since we do not have a “digital delay” system, no live phone calls are permitted on the air. You can however have recorded call-ins or in-person guests and Zoom guests are allowed with permission from the station manager or program director. Remember that guests are held under all of the same FCC & WRKE standards and guidelines that staff are. Only put people on the air that you trust because you are responsible for what they do and say. Guests must fill out a Guest Agreement Form on before going on the air. Permission from the program director is quired if more than 3 people will be in the on-air studio at the same time.

WRKE on air personnel are expected to keep audio on the air at all times. If for any reason, there is nothing being broadcast (dead air) for 5 seconds or more, you must report it on using the online discrepancy form. This is called “discrepancy reporting” and will be used for training purposes, not disciplinary action. Additionally, a “Silence Sense Alert” will go out automatically to the WRKE manager, program director and station tech whenever there is dead air.

WRKE and Roanoke College will ban from the station and prosecute anyone who is caught stealing or intentionally damaging WRKE property.

The Station Manager or Program Director reserves the right to cancel a specific episode of any show for pre-planned special events or coverage (should it be deemed important enough).

The Program Director also reserves the right to remove a show from the line up after discussion with WRKE management and the show’s host if the program is not adhering to WRKE standards.

WRKE is set up so students can play music directly from their personal devices (no smart phones) via auxiliary connections, from downloads to a studio computer, or from the station’s extensive music library using the iMediaTouch broadcast software. Most students elect to run music from their laptop or similar device.

  • You must play music or voice from a tablet or laptop computer- no cell phones. 
  • Playlists MUST be prepared before going on air. 
  • You must listen to all music files before your show to check for explicit content and audio quality. 
  • Computers & tablets must be on do not disturb mode before they play over WRKE. Notifications must be turned off.
  • All music must be downloaded to your device prior to your show. No live streaming from YouTube, Spotify, etc.
  • You MUST log out after your show using the QR Code posted on the wall by the entrance to the on-air studio.

The few policies that WRKE has enacted MUST be followed. In accordance with this, WRKE has a 2 strikes policy. If an on-air staff member violates one of WRKE’s policies, the staff member will receive via e-mail, a formal policy violation notice. All staff members have 48 hours from the time the notice is sent to dispute incorrect information or to appeal the violation. The first violation will serve as a formal warning. The second violation will result in suspension. This same policy extends to lead staff members such as the Program Director, Social Media Coordinator, etc.