Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Radio Station Field Trip 9.5 - KUSF.org at University of San Francisco

Leo Blais sign at KUSF.org. Photo: J. Waits
Occasionally I re-visit radio stations, but typically only write up a new field trip report after there has been a change in location. That was certainly the case at college radio station KUSF at University of San Francisco, which lost its FM signal and long-time home in 2011. Re-emerging as online-only station KUSF.org in 2012, the station looks and sounds completely different than it did when I first visited seven years ago in 2009. Now in a much smaller space and mostly staffed by student DJs, KUSF.org has re-emerged as a vibrant student activity. See my full report from my September 2, 2015 visit on Radio Survivor.

Radio Station Field Trip 97 - High School Radio Station KBPS

Entrance to high school radio station KBPS. Photo: J. Waits

I was thrilled to finally get to visit Benson Polytechnic High School's radio station KBPS-AM in Portland, Oregon on November 8, 2015. To the best of my knowledge, it's the oldest, still operating high school radio station in the United States, as it launched in 1923.

The license is held by the Portland Public Schools and over the years students of all ages have participated in station activities. Today KBPS broadcasts over 1450 AM, offering radio training to high school students on the Benson campus.

Read my full report on Radio Survivor.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Radio Station Field Trip 96 - KSPC at Pomona College

KSPC sticker on door to station's news room. Photo: J. Waits
For my 96th radio station field trip, I returned to Pomona College radio station KSPC-FM; a station where I had been a DJ back in the late 1990s. On site for the fall 2015 University of California Radio Network (UCRN) conference, I enjoyed being back at the station. With many sticker-covered surfaces (including a fridge), shelves stacked with vinyl, and perhaps the cutest cat logo ever; KSPC still holds a special place in my heart.

See my full report on Radio Survivor.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Radio Station Field Trip 95 - WMCN at Macalester College

WMCN Forever graffiti at the Macalester College radio station. Photo: J. Waits
I loved getting the opportunity to visit several college radio stations in the Minneapolis area this October, all of which have very interesting and lengthy histories. WMCN (91.7 FM) at Macalester College is the descendant of several campus-only carrier current stations (with a variety of monikers) that first emerged in the 1940s. Before that, there were wireless experiments on campus around 1917 and a radio club was active by the 1920s.

Today WMCN operates over FM out of its dorm basement studio in St. Paul, Minnesota. Read my full report on Radio Survivor.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Radio Station Field Trip 94 - XRAY.fm in Portland, Oregon

Salt and Pepper shakers at XRAY.fm. Photo: J. Waits
Over the summer, I did a small radio station tour road trip, hitting KWVA at University of Oregon in Eugene, KAOS at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and finally community radio station XRAY.fm in Portland, Oregon.

The beneficially of Reed College's former license, XRAY.fm operates over a very low power class D FM channel as well as on a translator in Portland. The relatively new station is already garnering fans and accolades from the local press for its mix of progressive talk programming and wide-ranging music shows.

Read my complete report about my tour of XRAY.fm on Radio Survivor.

Radio Station Field Trip 93 - KBOO in Portland, Oregon

KBOO's Development Director Becky Meiers. Photo: J. Waits
On November 8, 2015, I visited community radio station KBOO-FM in Portland, Oregon. Around since 1968 and going strong today with more than 500 volunteers, KBOO airs a mix of talk and music programming, covering a wide range of topics and genres. The station also runs a Youth Collective, giving young people access to the airwaves.

Read my full report on Radio Survivor.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Radio Station Field Trip 92 - KRLX at Carleton College

Stickers at KRLX. Photo: J. Waits
It's always fun to visit college radio stations that I profiled virtually for my now-defunct Spinning Indie 50 State Tour project. KRLX is one such station, which originally caught my attention way back in 2009 when I was digging into the early history of college radio. Located at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, the station is the descendant of an amazing radio legacy on campus, with the first station, KFMX-AM, launching in 1924. Sadly, KFMX ended its broadcasts in 1933 when faced with an increasingly crowded and competitive radio landscape.

Students at Carleton prevailed, however, launching a campus-only carrier current station in 1948, which morphed into FCC-licensed FM station KRLX in 1974. Read my full report on Radio Survivor.