Listen to Music, Watch Television, and Get Paid at KSUA

Ephy Wheeler / Special to Sun Star
September 13, 2011

Last week I mentioned a couple of the various projects KSUA has live and active this semester: a new website, Take Out Sessions (including other awesome programs), planning concerts and events, and cross-over content with the Sun Star. But our staff also have more ventures planned for the near future. Typically KSUA operates on a staff of seven employees, right now we only have three.

At the helm of the station is the General Manager. As the GM my number one priority is to make sure KSUA follows broadcast laws of the Federal Communication Commission. There are a lot of legalities once a station is granted a license to broadcast. It it my job to make sure  nobody plays or says “@#$%” or “f-bomb!”, or really any other indecent language pointed out by George Carlin in the late 1970’s. (For more info check out his Seven Dirty Words routine.) Our broadcast equipment must also meet certain Federal requirements and maintain proper working order.

In addition the GM must maintain KSUA as a non-commercial station. As a non-commercial entity we cannot receive any type of funding for exchange of advertisements according to our license. This must be followed by the staff as well as each individual volunteer. After I’ve determined our station is upholding the law I’ve got to manage the budget, staff, paperwork, and overall health of the station.

Each semester we average somewhere between fifty to eighty volunteer DJs. With that many people invested into the station somebody has to organize all of it. This is where my right-hand man comes in, the Program Manager. (Actually, she’s a fairly womanly woman, but the right-hand metaphor remains.) The Program Manager facilitates, trains, and schedules all of our volunteers. The start of the semester is always fairly hectic for the PM since we have so many new faces around. Every new DJ with hopes of being on-air must be trained by a staff member of the station- usually is the PM. Each training session lasts around half an hour. During this time new DJs receive our KSUA Handbook with all of our FCC rules, station rules, and general KSUA FAQ’s. Training is also where our volunteers learn how to use our equipment. Any issues with programming are directed toward the Program Manager before any other staff member.

The General Manager and Program Manager also share an office with the Music Director. I often cite this position as the coolest job on campus, probably because it is the coolest job. You get paid to listen to music! This is where I began my KSUA employment,  my memories starting out are fond. Like I said, the MD basically gets paid to jam out in the office twenty hours a week. How cool is that?

Every Tuesday the MD must submit our playlist report to the College Music Journal publication. These reports are generated from what our DJs are spinning off the rack of CDs record labels and promoters send to KSUA. The MD is responsible for the album reviews posted for each new CD, so in this way the MD creates the “sound” of the station. On average our station receives 50-100 new albums in the mail each week. The only tough part of this job is sorting through all the music.

Okay, so those are the positions on one side of our hallway. On the other side you can find our Production Director and KSUA Engineer. The Production Director is the go-to staffer for any public service announcements, station I.D.’s, automation questions, and audio file edits. This particular position has been vacant since January (our guy got promoted at his news station job), but we just purchased a copy of new audio software and we’re itching for somebody to break it open!

Since Production has been empty our KSUA Engineer took said duties upon himself in addition to his outlined job description. Most of the time the KSUA Engineer will focus entirely on our broadcast equipment like the transmitter. Due to the nature of a student-run station we don’t always have answers to all of our problems, so we seek out help of professionals. In this way KUAC has been of great help, and it’s proven to be a  valuable learning experience for our engineer.

Down the hallway is our KSUA-TV quarters. I think the last time the TV station was staffed was over two years ago. I’m hoping things change this year and KSUA-TV will become a phoenix out of the ashes, so to speak.

So there you have it, a break down of the KSUA staff. As I’ve mentioned, there are a few gaps to fill in on our staff roster. Interested in joining? Perfect! The Music Director, Program Director, and TV Programming will all be posted at the week of September 12. You can apply online or email for more information. Each position will be posted for two weeks and all student employment requirements must be met.

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  1. September 13, 2011

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