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Updated 10:00 AM November 13, 2006




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Spotlight: Radio fan joins WCSX advisory board;
station wraps her ride in classic rock art

It pays to listen to the radio.

That's what Vestine Chilcutt realized 20 years ago when she started listening to 94.7 WCSX-FM and winning numerous contests, including a prize package worth $600 and a large number of concert tickets. Since then, she has advanced to actually taking part in the station's operation.
(Photo by Scott Galvin, U-M Photo Services)

"It all began when I started winning things from the station," says Chilcutt, a recruiting assistant at the Stephen M. Ross School Business. "Karen Savelly (one of the disc jockeys) and I clicked. Five years ago I was contacted by her and asked if I would like to join the advisory board."

As a part of the station's listener advisory board, Chilcutt meets with other members every couple of months to try to find ways to increase the number of audience members and come up with programming ideas that will interest the general public.

"We try to think of what they would like to hear, if they would like a different format on the radio and what contests they would to see implemented," she says.

The advisory board also was the guinea pig for a pilot program introduced last June called Pace Cars. In race car driving, pace cars are the ones that lead the competing cars through a lap.

"WCSX is a leader in the radio business, so that's what the pace cars in the program symbolize," Chilcutt says.

For the program, the cars of 20 board members were decoratively wrapped from bumper to bumper with the WCSX call letters and images of the car owners' favorite classic rock artists. Chilcutt's Mitsubishi Endeavor was chosen and is covered with the faces of the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin.

"One incentive for having the wrap is definitely the gas cards we are given," Chilcutt says. "Also, people have no problem coming up to you when you are in the car."

Her wrapped car is put on display at many events in the Detroit metropolitan area, such as the Woodward Dream Cruise and Detroit Tigers games.

"I must say the wrap looks pretty good," she says. "I am going to hate it when they remove it."

Chilcutt and her pace car also were incorporated into a presentation titled "Women Who Rock" that WCSX's marketing director took to several radio stations around the country. A letter Chilcutt wrote to the station and a picture of her and the car are included in the presentation, which showcases women who listen to rock 'n' roll and promotes the Pace Car project as a marketing tool.

Of her involvement with the radio station, Chilcutt says, "It is an honor and a joy to be recognized by this Detroit icon."

Chilcutt and her pace car can be seen around Ann Arbor—that is, of course, when she manages to tear herself away from the radio to go to work. She spends her workdays at the Business School scheduling interviews, presentations and meeting with recruiters.

"I like being very busy," she says of her day work. "My job keeps me on my toes. I enjoy interacting with all of the recruiters who come on campus."

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