In May 2011, University of Ozarks radio station KUOZ 100.5 FM celebrated its eighth year on the air. For almost a decade, this station has provided the campus and community with a wide array of programming of every sort, everything from music (jazz, big band, rock, country, and gospel, plus more) to news, as well as original student programming.
“Students have been doing their own shows since the station went up on the air,” said Susan Edens, Director of Broadcasting at KUOZ and U of O instructor in radio and television. “Students are always started out on a DJ shift that is recorded, which is typically the case when they start professionally. They can do music or information-driven shows. Some students advance to doing live work, while others are happy to remain as DJs with recorded air shifts. Any student is welcome to apply for a slot, and once they go through the training and are familiar with the station policies, they can take to the air!”
Recent graduate Veronika Saborio was a familiar voice on KUOZ. She and fellow Costa Rican Adrian Valerio co-hosted a daily newscast as well as “Tardes de Cafecito,” a weekly Spanish-language talk show that delved into interpersonal and social issues that affected young people, and the experiences that they encountered on a daily basis. “The show could be sort of edgy at times,” remembers Edens, “but they were very careful to present both sides of any issue they tackled.”
Saborio says it was a lot of fun to discover a new side of herself and what she wanted to do, through her work at KUOZ. “I had the time of my life at KUOZ,” she said. “It was really nice to learn so much about how radio works, but even more I enjoyed working with my friend Adrian Valerio. We already had a great rapport, but at the radio station we took it to new levels! Such fun! Once we were delivering the news and I got stuck trying to say a number. I just couldn’t say it! ‘One thousand, two hundred thousand … hundred … thousand …’ Finally Adrian had to go next but he couldn’t say anything because he was laughing so hard, and I started laughing, and we had to cut the mikes and we went to break. We had to stop the show and couldn’t get back at all!”
Veronkia Saborio and Adrian Valerio doing their daily lunchtime newscast on student radio KUOZ 100.5 FM. The station allows students to learn the ropes of radio work while providing listeners with a wide variety of shows, not only music but also sports, news, interviews, and lighter entertainment.
On a more practical note, Saborio says working at KUOZ not only helped her with her on-air pronunciation, but also kept her informed about “everything around the world” through the daily newscast. “I’m still in love with my senior year, and radio had lots to do with that,” she said. “I love KUOZ 100.5, and I still feel like I have to do a newscast at noon every day! I actually miss not doing it!”
Other students who have worked on air in past semesters share Saborio’s feelings. “My show was a pop music and R & B show called ‘Time Out with Malisa,’” said Malisa Mat Sani of Belleville, Arkansas. “It was a one-hour show which aired every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. It was basically me talking about current campus events, or current celebrity or world news. I also talked about beauty tips sometimes. I play mostly songs that I picked out. I enjoyed doing it very much. It is a good experience for me since this is the field that I am interested in.”
Last semester, Cory Snyder of Clarksville, Tennessee, did a sports talk radio show on KUOZ called “SportSoup.” He was also involved with doing the sports segment on the show “Total Information” on Tuesdays and Thursdays. “Doing sports on KUOZ was great,” Snyder said. “Ultimately, that is the career I’m looking to pursue following school. Trying to balance personal interests with regional interest was challenging at times. On ‘SportSoup,’ we would select eight sports stories and discuss our opinions in a debate format, with an additional segment for opinions on the biggest issues in sports.”
Other popular student programs that have aired on KUOZ in the past include "Microwavable Conversations," a news/talk-radio/opinion program created by Jeff Earnshaw and "The Mid-Week Sports Report" hosted by Daniel Gallegos.
Even students who don’t want to host a daily or weekly program can have their work broadcast on campus radio. For instance, members of Edens’ RTV 3303 Radio Production class took a trip to St. Louis, where they spent three days gathering audio material to produce travelogue pieces on the city. The Radio Production students had the challenge of gathering the sounds of the city as well recording as their own vocal descriptions of what they saw, for those listeners unfamiliar with those places. “It was a challenge,” said student producer Rebekah Reed. “If you can’t put into words what you’re seeing, the listener can’t see it. So you stand there thinking ‘How do I describe this … thing?” The recordings were compiled into a series of audio travelogues which were played on air.
Many radio stations now stream their content online, in addition to broadcasting in the traditional way, and KUOZ is aiming in that direction. “We are currently working with the IT department to determine the infrastructure we’ll need in order to stream our station,” said Edens. “We are hoping to find support for the cost of such an endeavor and believe it will be a great asset not only to our current students in the program but also a great recruiting tool for prospective RTV students.”
She added that students and community members alike are welcome to come and be a part of the KUOZ radio family. “People can bring music in,” she said, “but it always has to go to the student manager and to the general manager (me) first for approval. The station runs on computers and consoles, so all approved music is loaded onto the audio server, given a file number and some important information the management software needs in order to function within the templates and parameters we have set up on the system.”
The lineup for this fall’s programming has not yet been set, so those interested in doing their own radio show should contact Susan Edens at email@example.com or (479) 979-1450.
Topics: Communication Studies