Spotlight on Student Media: KCCR

By Josh Kaiser, ’12

Many PLU students have heard of KCCR, the student-run radio station. It’s promoted on flyers, at events, and on bright blue sweatshirts with dinosaurs on them. But how many students actually know what KCCR is about, or what goes on behind the scenes?

The light goes on as another KCCR show begins. Photo by Josh Kaiser

KCCR is PLU’s student-run radio station. It gives students the opportunity to gain experience in the radio broadcasting industry by allowing them to create and run their own hour-long radio shows. Shows are usually broadcast in the late afternoon and evening, Sunday through Friday. For the complete schedule, see here:

Though many students are aware of these facts, most students don’t know what actually goes into the production of a radio show. Senior Simon Johnson, KCCR’s equipment manager, said,

“I’ve noticed that the amount of preparation for a show really varies from show to show. Some people compile a full playlist and list of subject to talk about for the whole hour, other people just wing it. The show I’m part of (muSICK! RAD!io) is pretty much put together on the spot. I’ll bring my iPod. Hannah and Kayla will bring their laptops. If one of us has a song we want to play we’ll play it. If one of us has something we want to talk about, we’ll talk about it. We have never had a problem of running out of songs to play or things to say.”

Many students may also be curious about potential copyright issues that may occur due to the fact that KCCR DJs often play music on their shows. However, Johnson said that while KCCR has its own restrictions on what is allowed to be broadcast (mostly concerning lyrical content), there are no issues with copyright. The station does not make any revenue from advertising, so they are able to avoid paying fees to play songs.

KCCR's student DJs have a sizeable collection of CDs to choose from, even if they don't bring any of their own. Photo by Josh Kaiser

KCCR is also an excellent way for student musicians to showcase their work, either on their own shows, or shows run by friends. David Breithaupt IV, ’14, said that he and his co-DJ Jessica Dexter, ’14, often play music recorded by a friend. Johnson added that while he had never done so himself,

“DJs are encouraged to play live music if they want. We do sing along to songs over the air on occasion. I suppose you could count that as student musicians.”

According to KCCR’s schedule there are 34 shows currently on the schedule, but this number fluctuates each semester. Some DJs decide not to continue their shows, and others drop out because of time commitments. Justin Buchanan, ’12, said that he stopped recording his “Home Baked Goods Show” because his schedule just didn’t allow the time for it. This is the case for many PLU students as well.

However, Breithaupt said that it’s “easy enough to work on homework while running a show, and shows are only one hour per week, so it’s not that much of a time-killer.”

Johnson agreed, and said “KCCR is so worth the time. First of all, it’s only one hour a week, plus any time spent preparing (which doesn’t have to be any). So, maybe like an hour and a half a week. If someone is telling me they don’t sit around with nothing to do except Facebook stalk for at least an hour-and-a-half a week, they are not a college student.”

Breithaupt said that his experience with KCCR has been pleasant so far: “I think KCCR provides a fun opportunity to play and share music I like with others.” Regarding his experience, Johnson said:

“KCCR is a totally fun way to spend an hour with some friends doing something not completely useless. The best part is you can do whatever you want on your show. You can sing a song you wrote, recite memorized bathroom stall limericks, or just make R2-D2 noises for a straight hour into a microphone. It’s awesome!! Plus friends and family enjoy hearing your show!”

Simon Johnson, '12 and Hannah Rossio, '12, along with Kayla Roth, '12, broadcast their show, "muSICK! RAD!io" on Tuesday nights from 8-9pm. Photo by Josh Kaiser

For further reading, or to listen online, see KCCR’s PLU web page

Apply to be a DJ at KCCR

Categories: Art & Music

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