KDAWG is ready for new tricks

A dedicated group of University of Redlands students has successfully reinstated KDAWG, the university’s student radio station.

Led by station manager and incoming sophomore Evan Sanford and his two years’ experience running his high school’s station, KDAWG was re-built from the ground up. 

The station’s reinstatement came about through the efforts of more than 30 students, like current music director Gina Vo, who felt that the university was lacking a radio presence. 

“I was very surprised and disappointed to learn as an incoming freshman that our campus lacked a radio station,” said Vo.

Vo talked about the process of getting the station back on its feet. 

“Almost everyone on the team had limited experience yet all of us managed to pull through. We have hit many road bumps along the way, but ultimately KDAWG became reinstated,” said Vo.

The station has had a particularly sordid history over the years. From its inception about 60 years ago as KUR, to becoming KUOR, to the period where it was shut down and the equipment was leased to other stations, and the creation of KDAWG in 2003. Since becoming KDAWG, it has seen various states of activity, finally shutting down in 2011, waiting for Sanford and his team to come along. 

“Now, I really believe it’s here to stay, because we’ve been given tremendous financial support from the president of the university, as well as additional support from administration members like the Dean of Student Life, and student government,” said Sanford. 

Sanford is excited about the progress that he and his staff have already made. 

“KDAWG has completely made a comeback, that’s for sure,” he said. “Basically it’s come from one computer with three microphones to two full, state-of-the-art studios with a MacBook Air to go with it, so we can do portable broadcasts on the site.”

KDAWG streams online via its website, as well as the online radio site, TuneIn. Sanford says an iPhone app is in the works as well. Sanford says that KDAWG’s programming is diverse, ranging from music, to political commentary. 

“We have across-the-board genres of shows. We’ve got hip-hop shows, relationship advice shows, talk shows, Top 40, sports shows, sports commentary, and political shows.” 

Sanford says he has recently begun a collaboration between affiliate stations in San Bernardino and Texas that will provide additional programming, as well as mentoring for KDAWG members. Other plans include connecting to the university’s alumni network through special events, as well as attempts to bring the university and the wider Redlands community together by sending street teams to Market Night. 

Additionally, KDAWG plans to build a network of college radio stations in the area, in order to provide coverage for U of R away games. 

Sanford discussed the importance of the radio station as a tool for communication, especially in teaching students how to communicate effectively. He also sees the station as an avenue to expand communication and media curriculum at the university as well. 

“I don’t want to just stop at building a radio station, I don’t think we can survive as just a station,” said Sanford. “I think if we could create a department, we could serve more students and direct a lot more attention towards the university.”

Vo echoed Sanford’s passion for communication, and the reasons for the station’s restoration. 

“I believe having a radio station is important because not only does it helps keep students, alumni and the greater community involved and unified, it is also an outlet for music, news, and a way for students to express themselves through the airwaves,” said Vo.