Concord-Carlisle High School students Claire Roeser '26 and Gabrielle Whidden '26, the co-hosts of "Scrambled Signals," in the WIQH studio. Photo courtesy of Ned Roos

You’re listening to … WIQH

March 18, 2024

By Felicity Zhang — CCHS Correspondent  

Concord-Carlisle High School’s radio station, WIQH, might have a cryptic name — according to its website, WIQH is rumored to stand for “Why I Quit High School” — but there’s no mystery about the bustling, vibrant community’s passion for broadcasting.  

Station Manager Ned Roos says it’s “rare” to walk into the station and find it quiet.  

“There’s always stuff going on,” he says, whether students are “working on projects like getting ready to broadcast a CCHS sporting event, helping to add music to [our] computer system,” or just hanging out to do homework.  

Beyond collaborating with the Weather Club for regular weather forecasts and with student-athletes for sports broadcasts, WIQH has also worked with many other clubs.  

They’ve put on shows with the Intersections Club, highlighting issues such as racial disparities in education, and with the Theater Department for a radio drama during Covid.  

It’s no surprise the station draws a diverse crowd encompassing artists, athletes, activists, journalists, and more. Many faculty members have also found joy in WIQH, including former English teacher Linda Vice-Hisey, who retired last year but has continued her weekly show.  

Left to right: Dan Angus-Kirshtein ’25, Sindri Salazar ’25, WIQH Sports Co-Director Emeritus Webb Constable ’23 and Matt Hitchcock ’24 broadcasting at Kicks for Cancer at Doug White Field. 
Photo courtesy of Ned Roos

The students of WIQH emphasize the opportunity the radio station has given them to showcase their personalities and interests while growing their sense of belonging:    

  • Ben Redmond (’24, Tech Director) says his favorite things about WIQH are “the friends I’ve made, the skills I’ve learned, and the sense of community.”   
  • Claire Roeser (’26, Training Director & DJ) recalls that when she first arrived, she wasn’t particularly interested in radio, but she “just needed something to do” and thought “it looked like a cool room.” Since then, she says, she’s met “so many fantastic people” and gained confidence in public speaking.  
  • Claire Owen (’24, Program Director & DJ) echoes that WIQH has given her “contact with people in other grades,” more than she’d usually get in classes. She enjoys sharing the daily bits of her life on the show she co-hosts with her best friends.  
  • Bridget Batsford (’24, DJ) adds that “since day one, I felt accepted and welcomed in by everybody,” explaining that she loves sharing playlists and her “very specific music taste” as a DJ. “You can play a song, and someone will walk in and be like, ‘Oh, that’s my favorite song,’ and there’s a connection point there,” she explains.  
  • Delaney Remington (’25, Publicity Manager) says that she loves the flexibility of being able to choose between “[broadcasting] sports games when they work for you, [training] to be a DJ with one lunch block a week, [or hosting] a show” for an hour after school each week.  
  • And Gabrielle Whidden (’26, DJ) says that in addition to staying in touch with friends that she might not see in school, “it’s just fun” being on air —and “a lot more chill” than she had initially expected.  

Ben Redmond ’24 worked the studio end of fall’s Kicks for Cancer soccer broadcast.
Photo courtesy of Ned Roos

Although the station’s signal is hard to pick up more than five miles from the high school, it also broadcasts online via Last November 15, WIQH began broadcasting 24 hours per day with prerecorded and preloaded music and shows.  

WIQH is also open to running public service announcements for local non-profits and clubs.  

Roos says that beyond simply playing music, which is now easily accessed through apps like Spotify, WIQH gives students the opportunity to socialize, run a show with friends, gain hands-on experience and involvement in technology, and share pieces from their lives with their listeners.  

“When you’re running a radio show, you have free rein to talk about whatever you want, which is healing,” Roos says.  

Case in point: Roeser and Whidden co-host a show where they read from The Concord Bridge police log every week and make up games, including one last year called “A Harry Situation” that centered on trivia about Harry Styles, Prince Harry, and Harry Potter.  

Owen says that on her show, she and her friends have debated “whether Calvin and Hobbes or Captain Underpants had more literary value.”

Cristian Palmer ’23, Hayes Sagalyn ’23 and Bridget Batsford ’24 going live from the 2022 West Concord Porchfest. 
Photo courtesy of Ned Roos

WIQH: A “second home”  

For the student managers, their roles bring both greater responsibilities and opportunities, and the station often becomes like a “second home,” in Roeser’s words.  

In Roeser’s experience, although it’s challenging to balance WIQH with mental health, schoolwork, and other extracurriculars, she can motivate herself knowing that she “wanted this position.”   

Redmond adds, “I spend as much time [at WIQH] as I can, being productive or just being an ambassador to the station.”   

WIQH’s influence on students often lasts beyond the hours they dedicate to the station during their years at CCHS.  

Roos says that several graduates have pursued majors and careers in professional journalism, sports broadcasting, and video and television. WIQH alums have broadcast on well-known university radio stations like Emerson College and even professional outlets like Sirius XM. Many of the current seniors say they’re considering some manner of incorporating radio into their future.  

Redmond says he’s hoping to get involved with much larger stations at colleges he’s applying to. Owen says WIQH has provided her with a “supportive community” and the opportunity to learn about the behind-the-scenes of equipment and broadcasting, without which she might otherwise feel “kind of intimidated” pursuing college radio.  

Every student ultimately refers back to Roos, whom Remington calls “the spirit of the radio station,” for his dedication to WIQH and its students. Remington says he keeps both the station and the students running with his constant supply of “sound advice and a wisecrack.”   

But Roos refers right back to the students: “Not everybody understands [that WIQH] is a club… not a radio class. Students who work here don’t get credit for it. They do it because they really enjoy it.”