Dixie State University is giving its students and community a genre of music with a new station that had been missing on their radio dials.
In what has turned out to be a long and difficult journey over the last nine months, Director of Radio Shawn Denevan has managed to gain the rights to airing a second radio station here at the university. By doing so, Denevan acquired the legal rights from the Federal Communications Commission to put forward another station. This process is filled with many steps, such as applying for a license, that can take some time.
The new station, named KDXI 100.3, has become the only station in the St. George area to be primarily devoted to playing classical and jazz music.
Funding for the second station has come through a non-profit organization called Utah Local Radio. DSU and ULR’s contract consists of a 10-year lease for an annual fee of $1, Denevan said with a smile.
Even though ULR holds the rights to the broadcast license, the right given to the licensee to broadcast on a certain radio frequency, DSU is able to maintain key control of the operations within KDXI.
Though the two stations are operated mainly by students, Denevan said this second station has allowed for more involvement from additional outside members. Individuals have already begun lining up with ideas and pitches for radio broadcasts, Denevan said.
Dave Harris, assistant professor of communication, said the new station, along with any media outlet for that matter, is great for the students. He said it is a way for DSU and the community to become more intertwined.
Darius Matthews, a senior communication major from West Jordan, said the new station will provide more opportunity for himself and others to enhance their skills in the world of radio. He also hopes to be able to share his passion for jazz music with others.
Though the journey never followed one particular road, Denevan always saw great value in adding a second station. He has sought to create an impressive radio set-up for DSU in an attempt to help students gain the experience they need in order to make in it in the real world. The radio station offers professional-like equipment along with the ability for people to be live on air in front of a community that was currently lacking a classical and alternative station, Denevan said.
“I know a lot of people like to say that if you’re in a college radio station, it’s not necessarily like real radio,” Matthews said. “If you ask me … [Denevan] runs a very [business-like station].”
Matthews said if students come unprepared for their shows or miss their shifts altogether, Denevan will kick them off the air. Though he can’t fire students, a professional atmosphere has been created for students to learn and succeed.
Even though the DSU radio station and its two channels, KDXI 100.3 and KXDS 91.3, can be run with the amount of students and volunteers he has now, Denevan said he is always looking for more students. With goals like putting together a college radio network for the state of Utah and gaining outside funding, the radio station will continue to grow.
Denevan hopes to begin the college radio network idea by having informal talks with other university department heads. Yet, he realizes there are obstacles, like how much autonomy a school has and how much sharing happens between the various schools, that could add difficulty to the process.
As for gaining outside funding, Denevan hopes to one day be autonomous from student fees and receive enough donations from the community.
“A lot of students don’t recognize the radio station [is] available to students of any major,” Harris said. “Anyone on campus can take these courses and gain experience.”