Students who regularly tune into 90.5 The Kat this semester are likely turned on to the station’s new format.
Real live bodies are now consistently in the Disk Jockey booth instead of automated playlists.
Members of the Sam Houston student radio station have spent the semester organizing music formats and bringing in new DJs in order to bring about this change and appeal to a broader audience.
“We are making the station more human-based,” said Roscoe Clemon, student operations director.
Clemon said 90.5 KSHU used to be a rather popular radio station, but recent semesters have seen a decline in participation.
According to Clemon, the new management team and DJs – which are approximately 30 in number – have been trying to get over this bump in the road and revamp the station.
“We are trying to bring the radio station back,” Clemon said. “But it takes time.”
Classic rock format director Jan Gesink said the radio has seen a growth this semester.
“The Director has opened it up and we can be more creative with the shows,” he said. “It’s fun.”
One of the most apparent changes involves the new specialty programs that run daily during the 3-6 p.m. time slot.
On Mondays, the station airs the “Bones Conway Show,” which features classic rock music chosen by student DJ Austin Mangham and other various highlights.
The “Dude Show” airs on Tuesdays. This program also features DJ-chosen classic rock music with commentary provided by student radio personalities.
From 9-12 p.m., DJ Genesis takes control of the air with a hip-shop show.
Amanda Brooks, the DJ, chose her name because it meant “new beginning” – a metaphor for the new direction of the radio station.
Another new program is the “Sports Fix” with Kevin Rodriquez and Charlie Farris. The program plays classic rock music, with discussions about college and professional sports in between songs.
Rodriguez said that the new student directors are doing a good job – they have helped get a lot of new programs on the air.
“It’s nice to have a sports show and talk shows,” he said. “It’s nice to have a different format.”
From 11 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Thursday nights, the regular hip-hop program is replaced by “Smooth Groove” – a slow R&B show.
“The Weekend Starter with Mike & Lizzy” headlines on Fridays at 3 p.m. This show is DJed by Michael Oder and Lianne Guckian and provides commentary on everything from entertainment to weekend events.
“It’s headed in the best direction it can at the moment,” Oder said of the radio station. “Anything that gets different voices on the radio instead of automation is perfect.”
Even with all of the new programs already air, Clemon looks forward to witnessing even more growth in the future.
“The new management staff put together a good system. We may not be the best, but we put in the right seeds so we can grow and be better,” he said.
One of the ways the station hopes to grow involves student participation.
The Kat currently has a hotline that listeners can call to request song: 294 – 4400.
Listeners can also request songs through its AIM screen name, TheKatKSHSU.
The Kat is currently working on their official Web site, but it does have Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/theKatKHSU.
“We need more input from students. I think the music should reflect what students want to hear,” Gesink said. “It’s their station, we’re just the caretakers.”
90.5 The Kat KSHU has been serving the Huntsville area since October 1973. The advisor is Jim Jones. For more information, contact Roscoe Clemon.