The KSHU radio station at SHSU remains a popular place for RTV majors seeking a future in the radio industry, though many people on campus are unaware of its existence.
Located on the first floor of the Dan Rather Communication Building, KSHU broadcasts as 90.5 FM “The Kat” and reaches a listening audience as far as 30 miles from the campus. SHSU students comprise the majority of the staff that operates the station, with professors acting as advisors.
Junior Lowery Woodall is the station music director, and is responsible for choosing the songs that will go out unto the air.
“We have a large number of labels, and they send us albums from all around the country,” said Woodall.
Woodall said KSHU is successful with representing the appropriate music for different SHSU students, as well bringing attention to the station.
“We do a really good job of being diverse and who we promote on the station,” said Woodall. “Also, we do a good job as a station by promoting ourselves, and I think the students know we’re out there.”
Despite the promotion, Woodall said that he still gets strange reactions from students unaware that of the university has a radio station when he tells them that he works for it.
“Some of them don’t realize we have a station on campus, sadly,” said Woodall. “I think some people become enamored by radio, so I guess they think it’s glamorous to them.”
Students working at station can receive experience that will help them once they get jobs in the professional radio market, and the station provides an atmosphere similar to the one RTV students will face once they start their careers in broadcasting.
“I think this is an invaluable tool for us, going into the real world,” said Woodall. “There’s very little we will be doing once we go out into the real world that we aren’t doing now.”
Woodall has worked at the station for three years, beginning as a volunteer when he was a freshman. One of his current jobs is to help bring underground music bands to national attention by submitting information to popular charts in magazines aimed at college radio stations.
He added that of all the music genres, hip-hop and modern rock are the two most popular formats for SHSU students.
“That’s what we get most people saying they want to here more of, most of the time,” said Woodall.
While the music may not represent everyone’s tastes, Woodall said the songs played on KSHU are enjoyed by most listeners and will be the popular trends in mainstream music in the years to come.
“I think (the students) appreciate it,” said Woodall. “We’ve had people come up to us and say they like what they hear. I don’t think we can say that the music represents the whole university, but we represent what is going to be important musically in the next couple years.”
Apart from working as the music director, Woodall also hosts his free form radio show Thursday nights from 11 p.m. until 1 a.m.
Junior Stanley Barr is a radio disc jockey at KSHU. He has worked as a DJ for about a year, and hosts a show called “Cinema Classics.”
“We basically do music themes,” said Barr. “It’s been here for a while. Doing that show is exciting and challenging because there’s so many good songs to choose from.”
Cinema Classics runs Friday mornings at 6 a.m.
Terry Rosati, a professor of radio and television, is the KSHU station manager. Like Woodall, she said that the reason many people don’t seem to listening is most likely because of ignorance of the station’s existence.
“I don’t know if the formats aren’t what they listen to, but I think that most students just don’t know about it.”
Rosati said that the station is currently seeking to bring more attention to KSHU.
“We’ve got public relations people working to bring attention to the station and let people know we exist,” said Rosati.
Rosati teaches a radio production course which provides most of the station’s reporters and DJs. As of this semester, there are about 10 to 12 news and sports reporters and 40 DJs working for the station. All are either volunteers or working for class credit.
If a DJ has worked at the station for a while and shows that he or she has a special interest in running a music program, he or she can have his or her own show.
“You have to have been here at least a semester to show your initiative and willingness for the station,” said Rosati. “Everyone who has their own show has been here for a while.”
Rosati said the station has a mostly jazz format because the shorter songs lets DJs get more practice changing discs between songs, and also because surveys the RTV department has conduction in the past have shown jazz to be the most popular choice for listeners.
“Jazz is a good morning type of music,” said Rosati. “We have an extensive library of jazz music. It gives students a chance to learn how the booth works.”
Apart from music, the station also has shows dedicated to issues concerning the different groups attending SHSU. Beginning last week, KSHU started broadcasting “In Black America,” a program intended to bring attention to black Americans who have contributed greatly to the American society.
“It highlights certain things about black doctors, lawyers, people who are prominent in society,” she said.
The show is meant to compliment the “Latino USA” show, which concerns Hispanic public affairs, that runs Thursday mornings at 6:30 a.m. Rosati said the station has sought to bring attention to black American issues in the past, but the new show will bring more awareness to the subject.
“Black Americans have a right to have as much representation as anyone else,” said Rosati.
Rosati said the station offers many opportunities to both the listeners and students who work at KSHU.
“It offers an eclectic mix of music for listeners,” said Rosati. “And it offers (workers) a chance to see what it’s like to work professionally, using equipment used in the real world.”
Rosati said her favorite program is the “Iron Montage,” which runs Wednesday nights from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. The show is a collection of classic to more modern rock ranging from the late 60s until the early 90s.
“It’s music I grew up with,” said Rosati.
Rosati said the students who operate the station are mostly reliable, and do a good job that contributes to the overall success of the station.
“Most of them are real responsible and hard working,” Rosati said, “and they know we have to work together as a unit to put together a good finished product.”