People & Places: Pirate Radio

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) You may not realize it, but there’s a home-grown radio success story in uptown Greenville inside an old doctor’s office on Evans Street.

This is the home of Pirate Radio.

It’s a platform for ECU Pirate sports fans, created by pirates.

Dreyfus and Ellerbe launched Pirate Radio from the building as a single A.M. station back in 2003.

“It is unique,” said Troy Dreyfus, owner of Pirate Radio. I think ECU is very unique to have what we have. I see other universities across the country, and no one comes close to what we do for ECU.”

But the idea to become the voice of the Pirate nation almost didn’t happen.

“We kind of brainstormed the idea of Pirate Radio when we were working at another station,” said Dreyfus. And we ended up presenting that to a new owner, they didn’t want anything to do with it. So, we decided we would branch off on our own and do it.”

And it’s grown ever since.

Now Pirate Radio can be heard on four different radio stations in the east, including the addition of two F.M. stations earlier this year.

“Being able to spread out and let people listen and find us in a lot of different places has really been able to help our brand grow,” said Jonathan Ellerbe, owner of Pirate Radio. And it really comes down to the support we get. Without advertisers and listeners, we’re nobody.”

But Ellerbe and Dreyfus don’t do it alone.

They’ve added to the staff over the years to get Pirate Radio to where it is today.

Clip Brock started as an intern with Pirate Radio.

Now he’s a key part of the team, hosting several shows.

One of them, a call-in show after every ECU football game.

“The post-game call-in show is entertaining to listen to, not so much fun to host after a loss because sometimes the anger gets taken out on me,” said Brock, show host at Pirate Radio. But no, it is a lot of fun and that really shows how passionate people are about ECU and what’s going on.”

“We identify and we have a lot in common with our listeners,” said Dreyfus. And we’re not just phone it in. It’s not just something to do, it’s a lifestyle for us.”

“I love the interaction we have in all our shows with our listener,” said Brock. You hear family atmosphere a lot but it’s really like the people listening are part of our families. The listeners become part of the show.”

And thanks to technology like their mobile app, some of those listeners are across the country, even around the world.

“About anyone can listen anywhere, anytime,” said Ellerbe.

“It just tells me that people who come to school at East Carolina or have lived in Greenville or eastern North Carolina, they can have a connection back to it no matter where they live,” said Ellerbe.

“Yeah you have no idea how many people chime in and say, you make me feel like I’m in Greenville,” said Brock. And that’s Bryce in LA, that’s people that listen to us every week from all over the country and all over the world.”

“We call it the Pirate nation for a reason because Pirate fans are all over,” said Dreyfus. But maybe we should start calling it the Pirate world!”

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