Students Take Over Radio Station

Students Take Over Radio Station
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It’s Tyler Russell’s first year getting a chance to DJ on the campus radio station. It’s also the first year “Gorilla Radio” has been on the radio.

“The whole radio business is still kind of new to me. But I mean jumping right in and getting an opportunity like this is cool,” Russell said. “But nerve-wracking at the same time.”

In the past, Pitt State’s student-radio programming ran three days a week over the internet and cable access television. When KSEK, 1340 AM went up for auction, the new owner looked for a way to make it a community resource.

“They wanted kind of a lab atmosphere for students where they could come in and kind of hone their craft,” assistant professor at Pittsburg State University Trent Kling said.

Now more than 40-hours a week of live radio, and 100 hours of programming, is entirely controlled by students. Working side-by-side with other professional stations.

“It makes our students more ready to jump into the job market. And I think that’s something that was in the interest of the [ownership] and the folks at MyTown [Media],” Kling said. “But also in the interest of the university. To be able to offer this to students.”

Pittsburg State University is leasing the station on a year-by-year basis. KSEK still controls about 19 weekly hours of airtime for local sports and syndication. The rest, for now, is up to students like Russell.

“Trying to get as involved as I can,” Russell said. “Just kind of hope it helps me out with my, hopefully, future career in the radio business.”

The university is leasing the station at-cost but the total amount given to the owner depends on how many ads the station and students sell.

**UPDATE (9/27): A previous version of this story said Gorilla Radio is on 1140 AM. It’s actually 1340 AM.**