Beginning on Friday, WHRW 90.5 FM will broadcast for 24 hours straight in memory of Paul Battaglia, a former WHRW general manager who was killed during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Every year, radio members band together to present this 24-hour marathon in order to raise money for the Paul J. Battaglia Memorial Scholarship Fund.
“Marathon,” as station members nicknamed the event, will begin with a 30-minute kickoff special at 1 p.m., introducing listeners to a few of the many DJs who will be featured during the broadcast. From there, the hosts will segue into on-air games, like “Iron DJ,” where WHRW members will be given a category and must search through WHRW’s extensive music library for a record relating to the category. Judges will play samples of the contestants’ choices and declare winners for each round.
At around 8 p.m., the featured event will take place. This changes each year, but usually has a compilation of recordings collected by one of the station’s production assistants.
“Last year, we had people on Parade Day and someone went around and recorded people from the station inebriated and that was pretty funny,” said Dan Muller, WHRW’s program director and a senior majoring in engineering. This year, Muller explained, the featured event will be a highlight reel of recordings from WHRW’s 50th anniversary, which occurred in September 2016.
Another main event of the marathon held in previous years was a comedy roast of the station’s general manager. According to current general manager Sam Titus, a senior majoring in English, the station is trying something new this year.
“I’ve apparently been roped into a hot pepper-eating contest against my will,” Titus said. “So, I guess I’ll be eating the third-hottest pepper in the world on-air. I would say it’s going to be funny, but I’m not looking forward to it.”
Muller and other radio executives will be joining Titus in the contest, each equipped with a large glass of milk.
Following the games and main events will be a series of music “power hours” from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m., with a different genre played by a new DJ each hour.
While a large part of the event is aimed to be a light-hearted and fun celebration of the WHRW team, radio members also make it a point to remember why the event is held in the first place.
“The whole point of this thing is to raise money for the Paul J. Battaglia Scholarship Fund,” Titus said.
Battaglia was an esteemed member of the station and is regarded as an icon in the WHRW community. As general manager, he held his own 24-hour marathon, laying a foundation for the future. Battaglia is remembered for his unique, comedic DJ style. As the marathon winds down on Saturday, former general manager Jason Isaac will play old recordings of Battaglia and discuss the legacy of his late partner and friend.
The scholarship is awarded annually to one School of Management student who is an active member of the Binghamton University campus community. The Paul J. Battaglia Memorial Scholarship Fund raised over $5,000 in 2014 through WHRW’s 24-hour marathon. Specific donation details can be found on the event’s Facebook page.
The marathon will be available to stream on WHRW’s website starting Friday at 1 p.m. and ending on Saturday at 1 p.m.