By Kelly Steiner – Managing and Online Editor
Imagine having full control over an entire radio station. You could play whatever kind of music you like, say what you want on air and have hundreds or thousands of people listening at any given time.
St. Ambrose’s KALA Radio wants to make it happen. In fact, they’re kicking off a brand new internet radio station that will be completely run by the student body.
“We are surveying the student body to find out what they’d like to hear on the new outlet, plus we are seeking input on a nickname or brand of the station,” KALA Operations Manager David Baker said.
And if you’ve ever dreamed of having your own radio show and learning how to use the equipment on-air personalities use, now is your chance.
The station, referred to for now simply as HD3, will be set up and on-air by Feb. 14, just in time for Valentine’s Day. It’s also an important date for KALA. The day will mark the 45th anniversary of the station going on the air full-time. While KALA was licensed in 1967, Baker said they didn’t begin regular broadcasts until 1969.
To help celebrate, you can join KALA for a listening party on Thursday, Feb. 13 , where they will give you a sneak peek at the new station, announce the name picked by students and showcase the genres that will be featured.
The new station will be available online only, but Baker said he thinks it’s a better option than being open on a radio dial.
“It’s online only because we are only licensed to operate so many over-the-air signals. There’s no limit to audio feeds we can offer via the internet,” he said, adding that he thinks many students listen to the radio more online anyway.
Another benefit of being online, Baker said, is that students can get involved easier.
“My role at the station would be advisory, for technical support and thoughtful guidance,” he said. “Certainly, we will all contribute ‘talent’ and ideas to the project, but this is destined to be student-driven.”
Currently, Baker and his colleagues run two other stations in the Quad-Cities. KALA HD1 and HD2 feature a variety of music ranging from jazz and R&B to Spanish and hip hop. While volunteers and students can get involved in these as well, Baker said HD3 will be even more student-driven.
If you would like to get involved, be sure to vote for a station name and format online. If you’re interested in having your own show or getting involved in another way, contact KALA radio by coming up to the studio on the second floor of Galvin or emailing David Baker at BakerDavidW@sau.edu.