Tuesday, April 8, 2008

University of Arizona's KAMP-AM Survives Funding Vote

When I visited WECB at Emerson College I was reminded that there's a bit of a technology generation gap between me and DJs in their teens and 20s who are just beginning in radio. I don't use a laptop, mp3s, an iPod, or field IM requests during my show, but there are huge numbers of DJs who do. An article today about University of Arizona station KAMP speaks a bit to these tech savvy DJs of today. According to the piece:

"Neema Eshrati guarantees the mix of heavy metal, techno, underground hip-hop and Middle Eastern dance music he plays on his two-hour radio show Wednesday nights isn't duplicated anywhere. But more important to him is the connection he has with listeners, many of whom send instant messages with song requests while listening through their laptop computers. Welcome to college radio in the Internet age. 'One of the greatest things I can do as a DJ is to find music people wouldn't be able to find themselves and get it out to them,' said Eshrati, a University of Arizona psychology junior and head music director of the school's KAMP student radio station. KAMP was given new life last month when UA students voted to renew the $1-per-semester fee that gives the station its primary source of revenue."

I'm glad to hear that students voted to maintain the fees that providing funding for the station (see my pre-vote post on KAMP here)! The station first starting broadcasting in 1989 and airs on AM and also is piped in on campus, airs on the campus TV station and over the Internet. The article continues:

"'It's probably easier to tune in a station on the Internet than it is to tune in a radio nowadays,' said Mike Camarillo, who has advised KAMP for nine years and has seen students shift technology while keeping the do-it-yourself spirit alive. 'What's so unique and wonderful about the KAMP culture is that over the years, the dynamics haven't changed. It's genuine,' Camarillo said. 'There's some real good music people can tune in to if they want to give KAMP a chance.' Eshrati, who will succeed Goranowski as the station's general manager, said KAMP is an integral part of campus life and one of the easiest ways for alumni to hang on to a slice of their college experience. 'College radio is not just obscure music or some obscure entity on campus,' Eshrati said. 'It's where people become the driving force behind the music industry. There's a lot of significance to playing what's not available on commercial radio. A lot of bands got their start on college radio and then broke through.'"

It's great to see another station continuing to thrive and obtaining campus support.

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