On The Air: MSUM’s Student Radio Station

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By: Katie Betz, betzka@mnstate.edu

MSUM’s own radio station continues broadcasting music and student-run programming over the airwaves.

Anthony Ocaña, professor of communication, and Andrew Johnson, management analyst with information technology at MSUM, are the co-advisers for KMSC AM 1500. Ocaña explained that their role as advisers is to share what they believe will keep the station functional.

The skills students learn while working with the radio station can be beneficial to their future. Ocaña seeks to find ways that students can develop professional skills through working with KMSC. He wants students to be able to talk about their experience with KMSC at job interviews in the future by relating audience orientation to client orientation.

“They can practice audience orientation. [Like] what kind of a show can I create that’s going to be appealing to my audience, meet the needs and expectations of my audience, so I’m not just going in and hitting play on my playlist off of my phone. I’m actually going in here thinking, ‘What is the station, what is our role, how’s it going to meet the needs and interests of our audience,’” Ocaña said.

Though developing skills is important to Ocaña as an educator, he believes most students go into it for the fun of it.

“Most students want to come in and just enjoy doing something like sharing some wonderful music, some new music,” Ocaña said. “A lot of the music we have are local bands coming out of Minnesota, so can I find some new interesting music and be able to share that with a broader audience.”

The heads of staff at KMSC are Zach Johnson, station manager; Carly DeSanto, music director; and Maxwell Kimball, program director.

Working with KMSC is not limited to communication majors. Students from a variety of majors work with the radio station. The station’s music director Carly DeSanto is an anthropology major with an emphasis in archaeology. She became the music director in August after being a DJ for two years.

Submitted by Carly Desanto

“My position really just deals with the music, anything music related. I talk to the labels, I talk to the bands, I email the bands and labels too,” DeSanto said.

DeSanto loves listening to music. Now, for her job, she will listen to up to 50 albums a week, regardless of the genre.

She started working with KMSC her freshman year, even though she was a little hesitant to approach them because her major didn’t involve anything with radio.

Some new things KMSC is working on is social media presence and setting up a livestream.  DeSanto said students have made several different kinds of shows, everything from Dungeons and Dragons to Linsi Boe and Bryan Stanley’s interview show, “The Flipside.”

“I think being on the radio, there’s a benefit for it for everybody regardless of what your major is,” DeSanto said. “I think what radio does is it gives you the ability to work on your speaking skills to an audience that, even though you can’t see them, you know they’re there.”

KMSC can be found online at dragonradio.org.

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