Tuning In to the Sewanee Fog

Grace Truett
Staff Writer

The Sewanee Fog radio station is tucked away on the top floor of Bishop’s Common. A handmade sign at the end of the hall points left to The Sewanee Purple offices and right to the station.

Stepping down the hallway, I passed a wide window so blurred I could scarcely make out the figures of Fine Dining and Breathing co-hosts Alex Robinson (C’23) and Kristopher Kennedy (C’23), as well as their special guest, IFC President Evan Gaunt (C’23). The entrance was marked by “WUTS 91.3” painted on the door in bright red and green; WUTS was the name of the station before renouncing its FCC license in 2019.

And every corner of the studio has personality.

The waiting room is lined with shelves of vinyl records, some on display. “WUTS” written in black sharpie across iconic covers like that of Rubber Soul and Nevermind (on which swimming trunks are also drawn on the pictured baby in sharpie).

I walked through a door covered in stickers and sunk into a cushy green chair under a ceiling tile with the phrase “burn your textbooks” scribbled on it along with a drawing of a book on fire. The first song, “Beast of Burden” by The Rolling Stones, began to play from a computer on the red tabletop. There was soundproofing on the wall behind me and a collection of CDs covering the wall adjacent, creating rainbows.

“Feel the mildew, feel the history,” Robinson says to kick off the variety show, joking about finally being back in the studio. For the duration of the pandemic up to this point, the Sewanee Fog had been recorded remotely. Robinson and Kennedy began working on the Fog as a duo during that time, and recall their sessions from the tent on Spencer Quad without much affection. The studio, for all its quirks, certainly seems more comfortable and effective than a tent in breezy evenings with a shaky Discord connection. The Fog has shown its commitment to adapting in recent years, moving both to strictly streaming in wake of the FCC loss and, for the past year, remote recording.

The session of Fine Dining and Breathing I sat in on was a snapshot of the day: the hosts played clips of Norm Macdonald’s work to honor the comedian that had passed earlier that day, discussed relevant topics about Greek Life and life on campus in general, read a roundup of their favorite yik yaks from the week, anticipated the upcoming Sewanee football game as well as family weekend, and concluded by performing the Donda chant from Kanye’s new album.

Colin Rice (C’23) is back after taking a year off from hosting with a show called Coming at Ya Live (Mondays at 5), alongside co-hosts Emma Miller (C’23) and Danny Hilton (C’24). Originally drawn to the station because of their interest in broadcast journalism, Rice, now majoring in history and religious studies, appreciates having the Fog as an outlet to explore journalism as an interest. Furthermore, the casual environment of the studio allows for the chance for students to connect with one another on an individual level.

“It’s taught me a lot about the interview process,” Rice begins, and reflects on having his now close friend and roommate Rego Jaquish (C ’23) on his show shortly after meeting him. “The people skills I used in that hour really developed our friendship,” Rice says.

As a listener, the Sewanee Fog is a simple way to engage with the Sewanee community in everyday life. “We’re only as great as our audience let’s us be,” Rice says, acknowledging the lack of engagement the station has faced in recent years. It’s all live, and you can never know what to expect, but whenever you do tune in, you’re sure to get a glimpse into the tastes, opinions, and musings of the Sewanee community.

Readers can stream The Sewanee Fog at https://new.sewanee.edu/tsf/.