By Helena Rodriguez, PNT Staff Writer
Name that radio station. That’s the name of a contest under way to name the student-run radio station at Eastern New Mexico which recently learned that it’s previous name, KZIA, is already taken.
The still unnamed radio station can be heard via the school’s intranet from anywhere on the ENMU campus. Wednesday is the deadline for the station naming contest which may feature a four-letter combination of call letters or a two-word phrase, such as “The Place” or “The Wave.”
According to Christopher Stasheff, an associate professor of communication who teaches the radio station operations class, Eastern learned recently that the station’s previous name, KZIA, was already taken by a radio station in Iowa, thus prompting the search for a new name.
Operating under a radio station with no name and even without an official studio this semester, however, doesn’t mean students are not already getting a full dose of hands-on, on-air experience behind the microphone. Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., listeners can tune in to live programming, ranging from classic 1970s, 80s and 90s rock, to hip-hop, sports and an independent music program with Jacob Wiklund.
Also, one student, James Jiang directs a one-hour program in Chinese which helps keeps Chinese exchange students at Eastern informed of what’s going on around the ENMU campus as well as what’s going on in the news back home in China. The Chinese program is on Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Stasheff said that he does not have a complete physical operation of a radio station set up yet. “Hopefully, next year we will be set up as a proper studio and students will get to get more experience because we will have a telephone line to accept requests.”
Unfortunately, the ENMU radio station can only be picked up right now on the ENMU campus, including the Roswell and Ruidoso campuses.
But for Stasheff’s students, many broadcast majors, the experience they are getting is like the real thing. The only difference being that their audience is limited.
“I’m getting a lot of technical experience, having to deal with troubleshooting. I am definitely getting hands-on experience,” Wiklund said.
Another student, Brandon Dominguez, said he got into one of Stasheff’s audio production classes and then the radio class because one of his uncles is a disc jockey for 104.3 FM, a rap/hip-hop station in Lubbock. He said, “At first it didn’t seem like fun, but once I started working the board, you create your own little show and so I thought that was really fun.” Dominguez is considering a possible career in professional sports radio broadcasting.
Stasheff said that when the radio station first went on-air, they did not make a big announcement or have an open house. To date, however, he said the on-campus radio station has received about 30 responses in the form of e-mails from people. Currently there is no telephone line, so requests must be e-mailed.
Stasheff said a survey was also conducted to see what ENMU students and staff want to hear on the radio station and results will be announced soon. He said they received about 50 responses.
Nick Burke, program director for the ENMU radio station, said he is in the process of trying to get a laptop set up which will enable the radio station to be heard throughout the Campus Union Building at ENMU.
The radio name contest is open to ENMU students and staff. Name suggestions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org