The Bronx’s only 24-hour internet radio station is now based in Throggs Neck.
Niteline Radio was founded by married couple Yvonne and Izzy Esquilin in their Courtlandt Avenue home three years ago. As the station grew, the Esquilins decided to find the project its own home, to accommodate equipment and a revolving cast of Bronxites who host and produce their own shows.
In March they moved the Niteline Radio studio to 3425 East Tremont Avenue. And now, Niteline staffers are teaching classes on everything related to live radio, from studio production to scratching records.
The Esquilins picked the Throggs Neck location after looking for space in virtually every other corner of the Bronx.
“We were shopping around, and other places were behind gates, and had big locks,” Izzy said. “I said ‘I’m not bringing my equipment in here.’”
Aside from a safe, clean surrounding the Esquilins liked the East Tremont space for it’s accessibility by train, bus and the Bruckner Expressway.
Niteline Radio plays both pre-recorded music shows, and live talk shows. Anyone can host a show, for free, on any topic they please. Current show topics range from sports, to book reviews.
Yvonne and Izzy both have full-time jobs outside of Niteline Radio, so the studio is open starting on late weekday afternoons and on weekends. It generates revenue through ad sales.
There are currently eight staff members at Niteline Radio, and about 40 people who work there on a volunteer basis.
“At home it was getting ridiculous,” said Yvonne, who works as a guidance counselor for the city Department of Education. “So we decided to take the risk and take it out of the home.”
Niteline has also organized live events and block parties and street fairs throughout the Bronx. Yvonne has worked with both Community Board 6 and 9, and plans to hold events in the Throggs Neck area next summer.
Twenty-four-year-old Morris Park resident Felix Morales has interned at Niteline Radio since the studio opened in March. He co-hosts a show on Monday nights and has been learning DJ techniques, such as scratching.
“You learn all the fundamentals working here, like how to talk on a mic,” Morales said. “But I’m on the scratching portion now.”
Morales, and fellow intern 20-year-old Shanice Walker, were part of a pilot group of students. The full-time classes are scheduled for other Saturday, starting in January.
“I DJ, but I’m still learning. I’m very wet behind the ears at it,” Walker said. “But I do want to make radio a career.”
To find out more information or listen to Niteline Radio, go to www.nitleineradio.com.
Bill Weisbrod can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3394. Follow him on Twitter @bweisbrod