The Communication Department at Eastern New Mexico University is looking to reboot its radio station after one-and-a-half years of being off the air. The department is hoping to start streaming content from its website in the upcoming fall semester.
Even though ENMU has just finished building its new professional-grade radio station, the Communication Department is in fundraising mode to pay for licensing fees for the online streaming. Roger Gatchet, the faculty supervisor for the program, said that the station will not broadcast on AM or FM radio waves because they cannot afford a Federal Communications Commission license.
According to Dave Asplund, an ENMU senior and current radio station manager, there are a limited number of FCC licenses available in the Portales area.
Geovanny Lujan tests radio equipment
in the Communication Building at
Eastern New Mexico University
"For every frequency available, there can be between 10 to upwards of 50 people who have the ability and who have the funds to broadcast and it creates a log jam," Asplund said.
As with the other media organizations at ENMU, the radio station will be run by students.
"We try to guide them and help with fundraising and managing budgets," said Gatchet. "But the creative control is totally in the hands of the students."
Charles Eckert, a senior majoring in public relations, will take over as the student director of the radio station in the fall. He wants to get students from different departments to host shows on a variety of topics.
"We're trying to get a Native American show and a Spanish talk show," said Eckert. "There's a lot of angles we want to get at."
The online streaming will consist of student-generated content in the form of talk radio as well as music shows from a wide variety of genres. Although music content can only be streamed on its first broadcast, Gatchet said that the talk shows could evolve into podcasts, where content can be downloaded from the website any time after the first broadcast.
"I think it's awesome that it'll be on the Internet so that people from all around the country can listen in," said Eckert. "There are a lot of people who go to school here that have friends and family from all around the country."