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Alyssa DiNubila '10 Keeps the Music Blaring at Sirius XM

By Kenneth Stratton '19 TUESDAY, JUNE 25, 2019 - 12:00 PM WNE100

As she listens to Pat Boone songs, goes through clips of All About Eve, and promotes a celebration for Neil Sedaka, one wouldn’t think Alyssa DiNubila worked in the 21st century, but maybe sometime in the 1950s. But that’s exactly what she’d want you to think.

DiNubila is manager of music programming and continuity at Sirius XM in New York, NY. One of her many responsibilities is directly working on the functionality and programming of the Sirius channel '50s on 5. But before she found herself at the top of the radio industry, she set out to be a lawyer.

DiNubila was sold on attending Western New England by Ted Zern, longtime Dean of Freshmen and Transfer students. Before long, she got involved with the college’s radio station, WNEK, which she said was launched with Zern’s support decades earlier.

“It was just something we were passionate about,” DiNubila said, as she explained the hoops she and her classmates jumped through to get the radio station funded again after years of neglect. As she tells it, she had to make the administration believe “‘okay, you’re worth investing in.’”

Running her own shows and getting the station online, DiNubila invested much of her time as an undergraduate to WNEK, and fell in love with radio. So she left the idea of becoming a lawyer behind to pursue her new dream. She found guidance through the world of communication in Professor Doug Battema, who she thanks for being a supportive mentor during her studies. In what would have been her final semester studying on campus, DiNubila actually landed an internship at Sirius XM.

“I proved myself by kicking butt in the internship,” DiNubila said with a laugh. At Sirius, an environment which she says is creative and transparent, she felt needed and trusted. Ultimately the internship would end, but before long, she found herself back at Sirius.

DiNubila feels lucky to be able to work in a place where she feels like her voice is heard. Unafraid to speak up, she pitched her idea for a new channel – Onderland on Sirius XM – a channel dedicated to one hit wonders of the music industry, which can still be listened to today online.

“Just not settling for the status quo,” DiNubila said, explaining what motivates her to keep dreaming up new ideas for Sirius. She added that whether it’s creating new channels or improving email communications, she’s “constantly coming up with efficient ways of how we do things, to make things better for everybody.”

Much of her daily work includes coordinating with other channels to cross promote events and keep everyone informed on the news of the day. Communication is DiNubila’s job, and without it, she and her colleagues would be unable to expand the reach of Sirius. The company’s recent purchase of Pandora is one big part of an effort to better connect with listeners and communicate that Sirius can be listened to outside the car.

Speaking to her current work with '50s on 5, DiNubila says it’s a challenge to keep decades-old songs fresh. “It’s not like we’re creating new '50s music,” she chuckled. That means not only finding a way to connect with people across generations who have grown up with the music, but also branching out to people who’ve never heard doo-wop. And that means creating an all-immersive experience.

“The secret sauce is what’s between the songs,” DiNubila said of the presentation and packaging of content on a channel like '50s on 5. “They’re cute creative ways we come up with setting the stage for what you’re listening to, what the channel’s about. So for the '50s I want to make you feel like you’re in the '50s,” she explained.

DiNubila doesn’t just enjoy her job, she loves it. And she says she’s come to think of her Sirius colleagues as family.

“A typical 9-5 job, people just kinda do their work and go home, [whereas] people here want to be here,” said DiNubila. Thinking about her climb to the top of Sirius, she added, “I feel like I’ve reached where I want to be.”