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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    KAMP Student Radio: Is anyone listening?

    David Franciscolumnist
    David Francis
    columnist

    “”The playoffs are all about pitching, and the Detroit Tigers are in another stratosphere.””

    So continued a recent episode of a new sports talk show airing on our own student radio station, KAMP 1570 AM.

    Every Saturday, Cameron Jones and fellow sophomores Briana Biondo and Bradley Bloom spend an hour chatting about the hottest news in the world of sports. “”It’s fun, and we hope to improve each week,”” Jones says. The show is fresh and exciting, but there’s just one problem: The show’s hosts doubt many people are tuning in. “”My grandparents are probably the only people listening,”” jokes Jones.

    What a shame. Our student DJs and talk-show hosts spend hours every week preparing for their shows, yet often wonder if anybody hears the fruits of their labor. Ordinarily, a column of this nature would transform into a clichǸ admonishment of readers for failing to support their fellow students – yet how can we expect students to listen to a radio show that they can’t hear?

    Unlike most other university-affiliated

    Unlike most other university-affiliated radio stations, KAMP’s broadcast signal is extremely weak, meaning that you probably can’t catch KAMP on the radio.

    radio stations, KAMP’s broadcast signal is extremely weak, meaning that you’ll have to listen online because you probably can’t catch KAMP on 1570 AM, its radio frequency.

    No wonder not many people listen. There’s a pretty obvious correlation between the size of a radio station’s listener base and the ability for listeners to actually hear that station!

    Of course, you can hear KAMP online. That’s all fine and dandy for Web heads, but as for me, when I’m at my computer, I can open iTunes and listen to something that I know I’ll like. On the other hand, when I’m driving around town flipping radio stations, I don’t have that option – and that’s where KAMP comes in.

    I’d love, for instance, to be able to hear KAMP on my way to campus – and I bet I’m not the only one who feels this way.

    “”I would definitely love to be able to listen to KAMP on my way to school every day, but as it is, I can’t say I listen too often,”” said pre-business sophomore Jasper Riddle. “”When I’m on campus I’m busy running between classes, so I can’t just sit down and tune in to KAMP.””

    Point taken.

    So, exactly what is the reason for KAMP’s weak signal? According to Tiffany Tedesco, KAMP’s general manager, there are a number of explanations. Primarily, the university owns a total of four FCC radio licenses, making it difficult for KAMP to obtain a fifth license which would enable the station to broadcast a stronger signal. Those involved with KAMP have lobbied for the necessary license for years, but to no avail.

    In the past, KAMP has attempted to get air time on KUAZ, the university-operated NPR affiliate. Though the idea never came to fruition, restrictions on KAMP’s broadcast signal mean that such an idea might be the only way to bring student programming to a wider audience.

    “”KAMP is where students can hear music and talk that they’re not going to hear anywhere else,”” Tedesco said. It’s also the only station in town where you can hear DJ Hefeizen and his show, “”Phunky Music for Phunky People.”” Where else can you tune in to a sports talk show titled “”Men in Scoring Position””? That’s right – nowhere else.

    Student-run radio stations are universally known for airing the kind of edgy, unique material other stations can’t – but is a radio station that can’t be heard on the radio really a “”radio station””? For now, KAMP isn’t much more than a quality internet audio blog, but hopefully students will someday be able to tune their radios to 1570 AM and hear their friends and fellow students chat up the airwaves. Until that time I’ll do my best to support KAMP on the Internet.

    David Francis is a pre-business sophomore. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu

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