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Student radio station sees improvement, back on air

By Nicole Becchina
On October 26, 2010

OU's radio station, 88.9 KTJO The Rage, has undergone major improvements for the 2010-2011 school year and is back on air after a dormant year.

With Ottawa's KOFO 1220 radio station taking over the broadcast of OU sporting events this year, maintenance work could be done on the campus radio station.

Ben Weiss, OU alumnus and experienced radio engineer, helped get the equipment at the radio station into better shape. Now, with a boost from Weiss, the capabilities for the station have increased.

The communications department also has a new addition. Jason Slote is the new advisor for the radio class. He currently works for Kansas Public Radio, a National Public Radio affiliate station at KU (91.5 F.M.). He has been

in radio for over 15 years and is a studio-recording engineer with many years of experience.

With a few more improvements, the radio station will have the capability of running 24/7.

Original programming produced by radio students will be added and streamed each week.

Shannon Dyer, chair of communication studies, is looking forward to what the future holds for radio.

"We're looking forward to covering sports again and making the station a more exciting place," Dyer said.

One of their goals in the future is to hire a new journalism advisor. If that happens, that will give the communications department for vision for the future.

"When we have someone to focus on that, sky's the limit," she said.

Dyer enjoys helping monitor on-air productions and observing the creativity of student shows.

"It is so exciting to hear what students come up with. It is both professional and creative what our students are creating," she said. "When you have a professional guiding our students on our shows then professional standards are taught and emulated."

Slote, who has many years of experience in the field, has exciting plans for station and the students. He wants to hear what the radio students are capable of. Rage radio goes beyond Ottawa University. It is public and Slote believes that is a privilege.

"This radio station has a role to play for the community. I'd love to see more community interaction," he said. "I feel that there is some good that can be done for the community by KTJO."

While the communications department already has some, Slote would also like to see more collaboration between media groups on campus.

"It is just a way for them to interact and support each other," he said. "It would only be more interesting."

Slote is mostly looking forward to seeing what radio students will get out of producing radio shows. He said he is extremely impressed with the interest and creativity of the students in radio.

"I'm most looking forward to seeing the student announcers achieving a level of confidence in producing their shows so that I know they've learned how to work independently and in a thoughtful way," Slote said. "I'm just excited to get them on the air."

Senior David Mino is an advanced radio student. Being an advanced radio student, he gets to help decide a lot of what the class will do.

Mino says they hope to be able to go live by the end of the semester. He believes that will enhance the radio station significantly.

"I believe it'll help us out a lot," said Mino. "I believe more people will want to be in radio. I'd like to try and bring it back to life."

He is most looking forward to producing his talk show and having people listening to their shows.

"I'm really looking forward to having a weekly sports talk show and just having fun," Mino said.

Mino currently does a weekly sports talk show with a friend and he encourages younger students to be in radio if they would like to do that as well.

He feels great about being on the air and having the community listen.

"If people listen, we might be more popular and a big program like it used to be," he said.

Dyer said Rage Radio is a great way for students to gain creativity and experience in the broadcasting world.

"Everybody needs to take the class once, just to own a little section of the airwaves."

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