Featured in People
Jana Savanapridi: The Buzz
By Dan Pearson
Published on 11/09/2002
Who: Jana Savanapridi, 25, of Groton.
Why you should know her: As general manager of 91.1 FM WCNI New
London, Savanapridi will oversee a power upgrade from 500 to 3,000
watts. Over the next three years, WCNI will change frequency from
91.1 to 90.9 and begin broadcasting from a new transmitter that will
send the listener-supported station's signal into additional parts
of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Long Island.
Raised by radio: A native of Huntsville, Ala., Savanapridi is a 2000
graduate of Connecticut College with a triple major in Asian
studies, Chinese and history. When I was a student, I was pretty
frustrated, I was ready to drop out, but then I got involved at WCNI
and I just basically started spending all my time there. I just
about lived there, she says. WCNI made me learn to love New London.
London calling: In the last three years, Savanapridi has contributed
to many arts groups in New London. She writes for State Street
Primer, the city's new arts 'zine, has designed web sites for local
clubs, and has, through WCNI, booked and promoted rock concerts.
This year, Savanapridi will host a music show on cable access
television and will co-host a weekly independent and foreign film
series at Station 58. She is also producing a documentary film on
the history of WCNI and independent radio in the region.
Budget rock showcase: Inspired by a love of garage and budget rock
bands past and present, including the inimitable Mummies and The
Stooges, Savanapridi has been instrumental in attracting some of the
nation's premiere garage bands to the city, including The Cynics,
Lyres, The Fleshtones, Chargers Street Gang, The Make-Up and The
Damn Personals. Savanapridi says she has been inspired by Fugazi, a
Washington, D.C., band who run their own record label and encourage
their fans to be as active as possible in the booking process.
Guided by voices: After the Make-Up show at Secret Theatre, I felt
lousy because we had lost so much money putting on the show. But Ian
Svenonious (lead singer of the Make-Up) said, Don't worry, at least
you're doing something unique. If everybody just gives up and goes
to New York, there won't be anything else going on anywhere.'
Remembers Savanapridi: That was a turning point for me. It really
got me excited and made me really think about New London's
potential. A lot could happen, as long as we don't lose all the
people to the big cities.