Campus / News / October 8, 2009

WVKC, No Sale Radio plans to enhance, branch out

WVKC had has its fair share of failures along with its accomplishments. On the one hand, WVKC is ranked #9 on the Princeton list of College Stations, and the cast of shows on the airwaves at Knox are usually bred through the natural creativity of our liberal arts college. In addition, unlike other college stations, it doesn’t take that long to get a show on the air, since training doesn’t take long—an attitude that avoids any bureaucratic red tape. On the other hand, WVKC often lacks the budget to carry out its long-term plans.

“It’s too expensive to renovate a new place. Maybe someday,” says senior Elliot McKinley. He also pointed out that professors in GDH might eventually want to employ the attic for their own purposes, something the station might need to prepare for.

Despite the financial shortcomings, the station harbors several ambitions. Examples include putting the station’s vinyl onto computers so it can be used without a record player and installing a recording studio. Although it would just be a computer hooked up to microphones, local artists could come in from Knox and Galesburg to record music for the station. These two ideas sound like a reasonable wish list, but once again, the budget remains an obstacle.

McKinley discussed the possibilities for No Sale Radio for this year.

He says, as with every year, the staff will “try to make sure DJs show up to their shows,” as well as emphasizing the aforementioned plan to convert vinyl records into a digital form. He also mentioned the need for the station to “appeal more to those in Galesburg” and thus play more popular music on rotation. But like any WVKC staff member, he knows that college radio will always play a large amount of obscure music.

WVKC isn’t in charge of a lot of the bands that come and play at Knox. In fact, because of its budget, WVKC isn’t going to fund many of the live acts that happen at Knox. Max Judo and 10,000 Generations were funded and organized by Union Board, although the Punk Rock show a couple weekends ago was put together in part by WVKC. That show was also an example of WVKC trying to incorporate local (Galesburg or Iowa) acts, such as Raised By The System.

Another example of WVKC trying to attract more non-students is the shows they broadcast that aren’t made by students. Five or ten people not attending Knox as students have shows on the station, including Reverand Haywood, Tom Foley, and those in charge of La Hora Latina.

Another priority of WVKC is increasing the number of listeners, something improved by having the radio on in the Hard Knox Café. Because of this, the station is more conscientious of the shows it picks for five and six o’clock (the usual rush hour for dinner). One show that was picked for this slot belongs to a freshman who had the idea to talk in a low voice, reminiscent of Barry White, and play sensual R&B tunes. Other shows include one devoted to the telling of a long running apocalyptic story.

These are all examples of the creativity put into shows at Knox. Even if some shows are burdened by their hosts trying to extrapolate inside jokes (as the staff often complains), there are still many joys in listening. The station itself has been around since the 50s or 60s. It has gone by many names, including The Voice during the seventies and eighties, or Radio Free Galesburg. WVKC will hopefully continue to run, despite any pitfalls.

Mark Farrell

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