WMCN weekly DJ profile: M.L. Kenney


M.L. Kenney ’18 hosts “Consuming Media” from 8 am to 9 am on Mondays. Photo by Henry Nieberg ’19

Each week The Mac Weekly speaks with a DJ on Macalester’s radio station, 91.7 WMCN. This week we sat down with M.L. Kenney ’18.

M.L. Kenney '18 hosts "Consuming Media" from 8 am to 9 am on Mondays. Photo by Henry Nieberg ’19
M.L. Kenney ’18 hosts “Consuming Media” from 8 am to 9 am on Mondays. Photo by Henry Nieberg ’19

What is your show and what can a listener expect when tuning in?

The aim of my show is to communicate the idea that different types of media make us who we are. So when I say media, I mean that in the broadest sense, anything — like literature, news, arts, theatre, music, advertising etc. Last semester, I did a lot of interviews with people on campus who had specific things to say about the media. However, last semester I had this objective journalism thing, and it was problematic since I was the only one working on it. Now, it’s interwoven with my personal feelings on things, and I’m trying to make it more theme-based. A listener can expect music, current events and interviews, which are all interwoven in a script I write.

What do you try to accomplish with having a radio show?

I’m doing it for myself more than anything else. I’m making a mixed-media piece and have a space where I can write and comment on things and have a deadline, and also give other people a chance to respond and contribute their ideas.

How do you select your themes/music?

It’s completely dependent on what’s going on that week. It takes two weeks, because it takes a long time to write and produce, and I’m still learning how to edit on GarageBand, which, I know, is amateur. For my first piece I did Valentine’s Day, and I’ve always wanted to write a piece on modern love in the media, so I wrote a piece on that. On my second episode, I had a David Bowie piece. In the next few weeks, I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but I have some friends lined up and I’ll choose the themes based on that. The shows are about half music, because it seems appropriate for radio, and it takes a long time to even write a 20 minute script. Whatever works for an interview or an idea that fascinates me will make the show.

If a listener tuned in at random, what would they hear?

I would want them to hear something fun and fascinating about how media makes us who we are. That usually is a pop-culture reference, mainstream or obscure, with some analysis, to have the listeners think more critically on the issues that I am discussing.

What was the last song you listened to? Does this reflect what you play on your show?

The last thing I listened to was this thing that came up on my DiscoverWeekly playlist on Spotify. It was an album called Scott Walker and the Walker Brothers, 1965-1970, which I never listened to. It was this band that was big at the time, I guess, and they just do covers. I guess I play a lot of songs that are catchy and I play them ironically, and for that reason I think it reflects what I play on the show.