KSDB continued to share music after Nichols Hall fire

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(Archive photo from the 1969 Royal Purple)

KSDB 91.9-FM has been operating successfully from its original home in Nichols Hall until 1968, when the building was destroyed by a fire set by an arsonist.

The effect on the studio was devastating, with the loss of records, music and studio spaces taking its toll on the college radio station.

“We have lost all the records of that time period, physical and paper,” said James Copeland, graduate student in mass communications and operations manager for KSDB. “Pretty much all of the equipment and everything was a total loss, so we have nothing that dates back to that time period.”

KSDB was able to continue broadcasting after the fire with the help of another local radio station, but it wasn’t until the completion of McCain Auditorium that KSDB found a permanent home.

KSDB helps students who plan to go into radio or other types of broadcasting by providing real-world experience in producing programming.

“It has all the things that help us build our broadcasting skills,” said Andre Carthen, graduate student in mass communications and station manager for KSDB. “Especially since this is a part of the of the A.Q. Miller School this really is an invaluable experience.”

The station plays a variety of music including alternative rock, hip-hop and jazz. Local music is also featured on KSDB through the classroom series, where live bands perform in the studio. KSBD also expands beyond music by producing radio shows, radio drams and news coverage.

Trace Salzbrenner, junior in mass communication and production director for KSDB also hosts his own show, the 808, where he plays new electronic and hip-hop music.

“I have always been a fan of trying to figure out what songs should I show other people and hearing people who have listened to my show come up to me and say I listen to this artist now because you showed me is one of the greatest feelings,” Salzbrenner said.

While KSDB was affected by the fire, they’ve moved and grown beyond where they started at Nichols in 1949. That includes a strong slate of programming.

“We’ve got a lot a lot of programming working and rolling out, our big 70th anniversary is coming up definitely something is always happening at KSDB,” Copeland said.

KSDB broadcasts at 91.9 on the FM dial and can be heard in and around Manhattan. It can also be streamed online at ksdbfm.org

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