Princeton Review Names ASU’s Blaze Radio Number One College Radio Station in the United States

The Princeton Review ranked Blaze Radio as the top college radio station in the nation.

“In my mind, it makes sense that we are finally the best because our members for sure deserve it,” said Blaze radio station manager Autriya Maneshni.

In 2020, Blaze Radio ranked third out of 25 college radio stations in The Princeton Review’s ranking before reaching the top spot for the first time on the most recent list.

Blaze student leaders said their station is unique because it offers a wide variety of opportunities with professional equipment. Maneshni is a journalism major in her fourth and final year with the station.

“It was a very emotional and surreal feeling, especially for those of us who have been at Blaze for four years…to finally see this number one, it means so much to me,” she said.

Blaze Radio offers Arizona State University students of all experience levels a chance to actively learn in an environment that strives for excellence in its content and production process.

“Blaze’s popularity as a whole is really based on our opportunities,” she said. “We teach you how to DJ, we teach you how to anchor radio shows, we teach you how to make pilots, how to make podcasts.”

The student-run organization is ASU’s second largest with over 400 students. Most of the students are from the Cronkite School, but they also have nurses, civil service majors, and students from other fields of study. Program Director Gideon Kariuki is a senior public policy and service student at ASU’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. He started at Blaze in first grade.

“We attract a lot of people from a wide variety of walks and we hope to continue to develop that; that is, we are proud to be an ASU student radio station for all students,” he said.

Blaze offers 68 specialty shows presented by students. Kariuki starts planning the fall shows in the summer. Spring is the busy season for these shows, so he starts preparing for them in October.

Many student leaders in this program have been there for years. Mallory Schnell, a senior sports journalist, is now in her fourth year with the station. She has been its athletic director since May of this year. Earlier this month, she traveled with Blaze to Oklahoma State University to produce the broadcast of an ASU away football game.

Maneshni said more than 200 listeners tuned in to listen to the Oklahoma State game on Sept. 10. Schnell said Blaze is the starting point as a sports journalist. There are Cronkite alumni who stream for major league sports because they started at Blaze. Families of out-of-state students often tune in to hear what’s happening at ASU, and students studying abroad listen in from around the world.

“Blaze’s reach is going big because our membership is going big,” Kariuki said.

The resort’s seniors look forward to the professional opportunities that will soon arise from their experiences at Blaze. Zachary Bradshaw, a sophomore sports journalism student, is Blaze’s news director.

“It’s like it’s been in the works for so long. Just talking to the seniors who were here last year and the seniors who are here now, this is the place,” Bradshaw said.

He said Blaze allows ASU students to be themselves on the air. This semester, the radio station hosted its largest freshman class to date. Blaze students will celebrate the station’s 40th anniversary this year.

“We graduate knowing that for the four years you have broadcast your voice from the best college radio station in the country,” Maneshni said.

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To get involved as an ASU student at Blaze, contact [email protected]

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