WREK’s unofficial motto is “Music you don’t hear on the radio” – an inherently contradictory phrase that sums up our programming philosophy. We are often asked why we do not play more mainstream music, or why we do not stick with a more conventional “college radio” format.
The answer is multifaceted: as a student-run radio station at a prestigious institute of higher education, we are obligated to provide an experience that is educational as well as enjoyable to our listeners. WREK differentiates itself from other radio stations (both commercial and non-commercial) in the Atlanta market by playing atypical music–particularly music that is outside the cultural mainstream. Therefore, the musical acts that you hear on WREK are generally not the same acts that appear on the Billboard charts or even on the CMJ Top 10. We do not exclude this music because it is necessarily bad music; it is simply unnecessary and in fact wasteful for us to play the music that commercial radio stations are already playing when we have the somewhat unique opportunity to maintain our commitment to “Quality, Diverse Music” rather than being the willing pawns of the music industry.
We hope to represent the full spectrum of musical expression with our block formatting, rather than focusing on one particular genre or scene, and to bring less popular forms of music into public consciousness.
For more information on WREK’s philosophy, read “Why WREK is WREK” by Markus De Shon, one of our past music directors.