Radio Free Endicott
Megan Hemenway ’22 has always loved stories. Growing up, she watched TV constantly, even fluff on the Disney Channel, where the formula was always breezy young people in a sudden dilemma, followed by lots of tension, and finally a resolution.
But for Hemenway, those narratives were anything but childish. They taught her the arc of a story, how to build suspense and engage an audience—skills she eventually parlayed into a high school miniseries of her own about 1950s teen detectives solving mysteries around town.
Over time, Hemenway’s love of TV morphed into a love of books, theater, and film. When it came time to think about college and translating those passions into a viable career, it was Endicott’s Focus Days that sealed the deal.
With her high school friend Shannon Stamps ’23 in tow, Hemenway attended the communications portion of Focus Days, touring the campus TV studio and learning about EC Radio.
“I’d never been in that atmosphere before,” Hemenway recalled. “There were all these kids there that were as passionate as I was about communications and pop culture. I went home and I was like, ‘I can’t wait to go to college. This is going to be the best.’”
She and Stamps both decided on Endicott. The summer before their first year in Beverly, unable to shake the storytelling possibilities ahead, Hemenway approached Stamps with a novel idea: “What if we started a radio show?”
“Our show would be called Flick Chicks and we were going to talk about movies and TV because that’s what we just did anyway,” she said. “We watched a lot of movies, talked about them, and had a lot of opinions.”
Hitting the airwaves
Tune in to EC Radio on any given morning and you’re just as likely to hear an Outkast or Taylor Swift song as you are to stumble upon Hemenway’s talk show or even a program helmed by Endicott’s faculty and staff.
Along with Hugo Burnham, Assistant Professor of Experiential Learning and Gang of Four drummer, Associate Professor of Communication Randall Livingstone produces a show called Best Song Ever, in which “every song we play is one we think is the best song ever,” he said.
Amy Cohn, Director of Endicott’s Center for Academic Coaching, founded her show Failing Up! in the spring of 2022.
“The idea was to normalize failure,” she said. “Life isn’t always about playing it safe and getting it right. Even the most successful among us have stories to share about times when things weren't so easy-peasy. And as they share those stories, we get to know them—their spirit, their passions, their journeys.”
EC Radio just might be Endicott’s best-kept secret, as well as the most diverse, weird, and egalitarian radio station that most community members have never considered joining, much less listening to.
That’s partly because EC Radio—which is classified as a student-led club and organization—can’t be found on a traditional dial; it’s online only, free-form, and totally from the hip. But its devoted members have never let their spirits be dampened by small listenership—if anything, they’re more dialed in.
Livingstone has served as EC Radio’s faculty advisor since 2015, a period in which he’s helped grow student interest while stewarding the station from a tiny room in the old Wax building to a more visible presence in Lower Callahan.
He noted that interest in EC Radio has steadily climbed in the past five years, partly due to ongoing interest in podcasts and self-broadcasting trends on TikTok and Instagram.
“We were really good about Flick Chicks freshman year,” said Hemenway, who served as EC Radio’s most recent president until graduating a semester early in December 2022.
“I would write scripts and we’d have these funny ideas about episodes we would do,” she said. “We did one episode about space movies—how they’re always starring these really attractive middle-aged men. They’re the only ones that go to space for some reason!”
Then COVID hit. During sophomore year, the duo couldn’t be in the studio at the same time, due to pandemic guidelines; after that, Stamps headed to Italy for a semester abroad.
In 2022, the pair revived Flick Chicks with gusto, creating episodes on everything from Avatar’s nonexistent fanbase to sequels and spin-offs and the perks and pitfalls of CGI.
“The show is very unpolished and silly, but it’s enjoyable,” said Hemenway.
Pumping up the volume
Before graduating, Hemenway helped make EC Radio more well-known, evangelizing the club and producing branded merch. She has since passed the leadership baton to Max Westerman ’23.
Westerman credits his father’s passion for ’90s rock and the band Barenaked Ladies in particular for turning him into a self-proclaimed “musical encyclopedia.” You may have heard him on Mornings with the Goose—a nickname lovingly bestowed to him as a kid by his family (ironically, “Moose” happens to be his roommate’s nickname)—or a variety show called Pregame.
“Because it’s Saturday at 7 p.m.,” he explained, “and I just invite random guests—friends of mine from around campus—to talk for an hour or two.”
Westerman appreciates the freewheeling nature of EC Radio—a quality he won’t find in the world of biology and biotechnology, his majors. “The freedom has been nice because I get to play around with a lot of ideas and never stick to one routine,” he said.
Though Westerman is headed into a scientific career, “communications is something I keep in my back pocket as an alternate route if I ever get bored,” he said.
But for communications major Joe Casey ’24, EC Radio is a gateway to his future. Both he and Hemenway interned at local radio stations, with Casey at 92.5 The River out of Haverhill, Mass.
“It introduced me to how a professional radio station is run from a variety of angles,” said Casey. “I've always had an interest in sports media and journalism and working in this space painted a picture of what I wanted to do after college.”
Casey is the lead play-by-play sports broadcaster for the Gulls and, alongside Michael Clapprood ’25, co-host of The Ultimate Gull Podcast, which features a variety of student-athletes on campus. He inherited the show from former Class of 2021 Gulls Cody Chalifoux, Evan Alfano, and Jayra Bray.
“I’ve learned so much about the equipment that goes into conducting a radio show,” continued Casey. “Running the show has made me familiar and comfortable with professional radio equipment. Also just being able to use the space allows me to practice my craft and get better at running a show and interviewing guests.”
After hosting his EC Radio show SportITood for four years as an undergraduate, Zach Weiss ’18 has also established a career in media. He’s currently broadcasting various sports for several colleges and universities in the Greater New York City area and hosts the Across the Cavs podcast.
“I went to EC Radio knowing I wanted to work in broadcasting, and this gave me my first chance to find my voice on the airwaves,” said Weiss, who proudly still sports a longsleeved EC Radio t-shirt. “My start at Endicott has allowed me to continue to grow as a podcaster and host. It helped me grow more comfortable on the air talking about the things I am and was passionate about.”
For Hemenway, EC Radio was a way to hone her voice and take risks.
“That was really beneficial knowing that I could make a show and no one was going to watch over me and no one was going to be critiquing it at all,” she said. “I was going to make it and whether it was good or bad, it was fun.”
Just before leaving Endicott, she accepted a job at Screen Rant, where she’ll continue broadcasting her big entertainment opinions—only this time in writing.
But don’t be surprised if you see that 1950s teen detective show on a TV screen down the line. Hemenway doesn’t count out writing a movie either. But right now she’s leaning toward journalism and hopes to one day write entertainment features for The Boston Globe or The New York Times.
“And, of course, there’s always the want to write a book—write several books,” she said. “Those are the kind of dreams that I’d love to fulfill. And if I got to do any of those, that would be really cool.”
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