WNPV Radio makes return with NPHS at the helm

Senior Maria Pushart is excited to be on board as the first live voice on WNPV since the long time local radio station shut down.


Knight Crier

FROM THE RACKS AND STACKS OF WNPV – North Penn High School Senior Maria Pushart makes her debut on the newly revived WNPV 98.5FM, 1440 AM.

TOWAMENCIN – Driving through Lansdale, it’s a rainy day. The drive is quiet, so you turn to the radio. Turning the dial, you stop at 98.5. “You’re listening to WNPV 98.5, 1440 AM Lansdale,” says a voice, “Stay tuned for more less old hits from North Penn’s official radio station.”

The voice is Maria Pushart, the first to go live on North Penn High School’s radio station in over two years. Pushart plans to consistently go live after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the occasional Friday, and the station broadcasts throughout the North Penn school district “from Church Street to Birch Street.”

After long time community radio station WNPV, had its final broadcast in 2020, the North Penn School District purchased the radio station property and WNPV donated the FM frequency to North Penn. NPSD Communications Director, Bob Gillmer, is excited to have revived the station, now operating on both 98.5 FM and 1440 AM. 

For Pushart the road to making the idea come to fruition came to be after months of convincing, Mr. Robert Gillmer to let her take this on.

“I really pestered Mr. Gilmer to let me do this… Like Mr. Manero says, if you really want things in life, you have to be aggressive for them. That’s what journalism is about. That’s what making connections is about. If you really want something, you do have to push for it,” Pushart said, She also takes the News Journalism class at North Penn. 

Harsh Desai

“At the end of the [school] year last year, I came in and was like ‘hey, I’m really interested in doing [the radio station].’ On the second day of school [this year], ‘hey, still interested in this…’ So, I emailed him… One day I’m at work and I got an email saying, ‘can you meet at Knight Time?’ and I was like ‘oh, my god, yes! I will be there!’ And here I am.”

“I did lots of recording practices. The first one I totally bombed, but that’s okay. And even weeks later, I totally bombed it, but it’s good that I have that practice. I’m very grateful that he’s letting me do this, I’m so appreciative,” Pushart expressed.

Pushart also opened up about why she was so adamant about starting up the station again.

“This is really just me converting people to my music taste,” Pushart joked, “but you have to please the masses. I knew this wasn’t going to be my radio station [and] my music. I have music on there that a lot of people don’t know to expand their music taste… I want to find good music. That’s what I thought this would be a fun thing for.”

Music has been a pivotal part of Pushart’s upbringing and has molded her current music taste into what it is today. She enjoys a wide variety of genres and likes sharing that with others.

“My dad practically raised me with classic rock… his car never had Bluetooth and he hated the pop stations… I’ve always liked sharing my music taste with people. I have my Spotify in my Instagram bio, and I make tons of playlists. I’ve always just really liked suggesting my music with other people and sharing it, kind of priding myself on it in a way. It gives me a little bit of my own ego,” Pushart remarked.

Pushart goes live for about an hour, speaking after each ten-minute music interval.

YOU’RE LISTENING LIVE! Maria Pushart is excited to be the new voice on the North Penn airwaves.

“Sometimes I overshoot… Legal IDs are always what you start with. I only really have a ten-minute window to fit in songs. Sometimes I only end up getting in two songs because of how long they are. I can go under or over. I can talk at nine minutes. I can talk at ten minutes, depending on when the song ends. Sometimes I don’t talk until twelve minutes because I’ll put on three four-minute songs…  I don’t want people to hear two songs and then me talk, so I do try to time it a little bit longer so you hear three or four songs,” Pushart said.

Some of her favorite artists – Tame Impala, Fleetwood Mac, and The Garden – as well as more mainstream artists – Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, and The Weeknd – can be heard. From the NPTV station to your car radios, people can hear pre-made playlists of 70s, 80s, and 90s music, but when Pushart goes live, she brings a variety of genres for listeners, giving everyone something familiar and something brand new.

Maria Pushart is learning how to operate as she goes, her friend Tori Miller leaving notes to help remind her what to do when live.
(Harsh Desai )

Pushart also plans to pursue working at radio stations further as she looks to begin college the following year.

“I’m really hoping I can do college radio… I’m pretty sure most schools do have it, but it’s nice that I have this experience– I’m getting this experience, I should say– to be the one who is a little bit ahead,” Pushart said.