KSDB opens studios for open house

The KSDB radio open house at McCain Hall in Manhattan, Kan. on Nov. 29, 2017. KSDB is a student run station under the jurisdiction of the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications. (Photo by Hailey McClellan | Collegian Media Group)

KSDB-FM, Kansas State’s student-run radio station, held an open house and “vinylathon” Wednesday, allowing visitors, including Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students, to tour the station and witness a live broadcast.

This was KSDB’s third open house. Beginning at 1 p.m., DJs spun vinyl records from all musical genres for the “vinylathon.”

James Copeland, KSDB program director and senior in mass communications, joined other staff members to give visitors tours of the holiday-decorated studios on the third floor of McCain Auditorium. The studios and hallways were lined with photos of KSDB’s history.

The tours also gave insight on the inner workings of a 24/7 radio station, from the technology to the students who work as the station’s executive staff and DJs.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for students to be able to do something like this,” Copeland said. “A lot of people may never do this again, so it’s kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Vern Wirka, KSDB’s faculty adviser and journalism instructor, said the tours showed parts of radio broadcasting that usually go unseen.

“It’s not just radio anymore,” Wirka said. “I think you experience that on the tour. You see video content or streaming on multiple platforms. So we need a new term — it’s not just radio anymore, and it’s always exciting.”

KSDB works to reach more audience members by providing content on multiple platforms, which requires good equipment and a large staff of about 80 students of varying majors each semester, Copeland said.

“On average, we have upwards of 20 to 25 majors working each semester,” Wirka said. “We really are serving the entire university.”

Eric Manougian, senior in advertising and graphic design, was one of the DJs at the open house and “vinylathon.” During his hour on the air, he played music from Simon and Garfunkel, Michael Jackson and AC/DC. Manougian said the opportunity for job experience drew him to radio.

Copeland said KSDB is one of the last radio stations of its kind.

“There’s not a ton of college radio stations left,” Copeland said. “This is something so special. We get to provide programming to the region that no one else provides.”