KSUA receives national attention for radio programming

Annie Bartholomew / KSUA Radio Volunteer
March 6, 2012

The University of Alaska’s student-run radio station received national recognition this week as one of the top ten college radio stations in the country. Rate My Professors and mtvU have teamed up to sponsor the 2012 mtvU Woodie Awards, an annual MTV award show acknowledging aspects of music culture voted “best” by college students.

KSUA is competing for the top spot in the “College Radio Woodie Award” category along with nine other university radio stations. The winner is determined through an online voting system and anyone can vote through March 8. The “College Radio Woodie Award” will be announced at the 2012 mtvU Woodie Awards in Austin, Texas on Sunday, March 18 during the South By Southwest Music Festival.

Grass Roots Programming to Serve the Listening Community

Over the past two years, KSUA has launched an extensive outreach effort, partnering with student clubs and local non-profit organizations to bring content relevant to their college community audience. KSUA currently works with the Fairbanks Downtown Association, the Angry Young and Poor organization, the UAF Concert Board, the UAF Sun Star and many more.

“Integrating ourselves into the community has been instrumental to KSUA’s recent success. It brings a lot of passion and excitement to the station, [and] we have a lot of groups with a mission of educating and sharing the joy of their cause with the UAF students and community,” KSUA Program Director Rebecca File said.

KSUA also serves as an outlet for emerging artists and local musicians who may not receive airtime on other radio stations in Fairbanks. In addition to playing recorded music, KSUA produces the “KSUA Take Out Sessions,” which films and broadcasts in-studio performances of local and mainstream musicians who visit Fairbanks.

“We strive to promote local musicians and are constantly expanding our collection of music from Alaskan artists,” KSUA Production Director Eli Barry Garland said.

Real Life Training for UAF Students and Community Members

Over the past two years, KSUA has seen its volunteer base quadruple in size and now has more than 80 student and community volunteers contributing to the station. New volunteer DJs are required to have a show during daytime hours from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. to build experience within a structured radio format. DJs are required to play six songs from the station playlist, a collection of music selected by KSUA Music Director Brady Gross, that fits the station’s alternative radio focus. The rest of their content is left up to the DJ’s imagination.

DJs with one semester of experience can sign up for specialty shows outside of the  6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daytime hours. Specialty show DJs can create original content outside of the playlist structure as long as it abides by FCC regulations.

KSUA also hosts four nationally syndicated shows including “Democracy Now!” and “Foreign Affairs”, a radio program which is produced by UAF alumni Jack Ewers, who is currently teaching in Massachusetts. KSUA airs 24 hours a day and when DJs or syndicated programs are not broadcasting, the digital automation system takes over, playing a combination of local and alternative artists from Gross’s playlist.

How to Vote for the 2012 mtvU College Woodie Radio Award

To vote in the 2012 mtvU College Woodie Awards, you can visit voting web pages hosted on the Rate My Professors and MTV websites. Voting tables will also be available throughout the week in the campus Wood Center and Pub.

“The contest is down to just the top ten in the nation, so voting is more important than ever. It’s incredible that we’ve made it this far our first year in the competition, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our DJs and our listeners,” Barry-Garland said.

To vote for the 2012 mtvU College Woodie Radio Award, you can visit Rate My Professors.com and mtvU.com.

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