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It’s time for a ‘Debrief’: RedHawk Radio hosts share music and life updates on show

Entertainment Feature

Mary Hines, Abbie Stoner and Connor Donaldson go on-air, sharing their camaraderie through their radio show “The Debrief.”
Mary Hines, Abbie Stoner and Connor Donaldson go on-air, sharing their camaraderie through their radio show “The Debrief.”

It’s Wednesday, which means at 5 p.m., “The Debrief” is going down on RedHawk Radio.

Hosts Mary Hines, Abbie Stoner and Connor Donaldson do some chaotic last minute prepping before their radio show starts, as the three friends sort through the songs they’re going to play today.

Finally, it’s time to go on air.

“Hey, everyone,” the trio says in unison as Stoner turns the microphones on.

Immediately, there are issues with Donaldson’s microphone; Stoner and Hines refer to this as “having the ghost.” Once the problem is solved, the hosts introduce themselves and begin cracking jokes. Hines takes the reins on the chaos and pulls her friends back on track.

For each broadcast, the trio selects three categories of songs to play, with three songs per category. Today’s categories are elite vacation songs, songs that would be on the soundtrack to your life and, of course, sharing is caring – a staple of “The Debrief.”

Hines sends out a list of category ideas on Wednesday morning, and the friends agree on which ones they’d like to do.

“I play it pretty fast and loose with preparation,” Hines said.

Toward the end of the show, the trio does a segment called “There’s Something New I’m Doing.” In this segment, Donaldson, Hines and Stoner take turns describing whatever new things are occurring in their lives.

The trio refers to this catch-up session as their debrief, which is where Hines got inspiration for the show’s name.

“The best part about having friends is waking up the next morning and rehashing and giving a debrief of everything that occurred the day before – especially after having a fun night together,” said Hines, a junior political science and media and culture major. “Then it’s like, ‘OK, let’s recap.’"

“Last spring semester, we’d sit at my kitchen table in my apartment … we’d just talk and reel a little bit,” said Stoner, a senior marketing major. “That was our debrief.”

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Now, the three friends have their debrief on air for everyone to hear. Donaldson defines the show as a “chat/giggle sesh” with her two besties – and that’s exactly what it is.

When the hosts of “The Debrief” are broadcasting, the fun never stops. The trio is quick-witted, shooting wisecracks back and forth. Even when the music’s playing and the mics are off, the jokes never stop coming.

Hosts of "The Debrief" goof off after playing a song during one of their shows.

“I think it’s nice to have other people get to hear what we’re laughing at,” Stoner said. “I wonder if people are also laughing because there’s no way they can’t be. We’re having such a good time, like, there’s no way people aren’t enjoying it as well.”

Donaldson, Hines and Stoners’ humor is infectious; while they have their own bits and inside-jokes, any listener can feel as if they’re in on them.

While radio is on the decline, the hosts of “The Debrief” still have a passion for it.

“[Radio] isn’t a regular thing for people to be into,” said Donaldson, a junior primary education major. “I feel like it’s just niche enough for it to make you want to keep doing it.”

Both Donaldson and Hines agreed that college radio is a large part of the culture at universities everywhere. Stoner mentioned that radio is different at all colleges, but what makes her want to stick with RedHawk Radio are the people involved and the organization itself.

“RedHawk Radio is the coolest thing I did at Miami,” Stoner said. “I mean, everyone [who’s] in this room, I’ve met there … Aside from that, [I get] to tell people, ‘Yeah, I have a radio show.’ It’s like, I want to contribute so that [radio] doesn’t die.”

“Like 90% of my friends are from RedHawk Radio,” Donaldson added with a laugh.

Stoner will soon graduate, which leaves Hines and Donaldson. “The Debrief” will continue, but Donaldson and Hines said it will return in the fall semester in a different form; they still plan to keep Stoner around, though.

“Abbie has started the Instagram account for ‘The Debrief,’ so we’re keeping her around as marketing director,” Hines said.

“You can keep your job, but you just can’t be on air,” Donaldson joked to Stoner.

Stoner plans to call into the show occasionally while it’s on air and join her friends to share her songs of the week.

“To get sad here, I think [‘The Debrief’] should continue because it’s such a good show,” Stoner said. “I personally want to listen to it and laugh along and feel like I’m there.”