Students, listeners benefit from FM 90 variety

April 19, 2012

By David Lewis | Ranger Reporter

Amarillo College’s FM90 provides listeners with a wide variety of shows throughout the week. Genres such as R&B, alternative rock, heavy metal and country can be found on the community college radio station.

The FM90 staff is comprised of AC students, all of whom have different interests in music.

“It’s different than any other college station or even radio stations here in town,” said Travis Kemp, an FM90 disc jockey and host of Sunday night’s show called “All That Jazz.”

“We don’t air any commercials. It’s 100,000 watts of commercial-free power. It’s a lot more laidback, and for those of us that host block shows, we even get to make our own playlists.”

Trey Holt, FM90 music director and a mass communication major, said the station has a wide variety of shows, allowing for all to listen to their favorite genre of music at one time or another.

During the week, FM90 listeners can hear a lot of alternative rock from up-and-coming or under-the-radar bands.

Holt said the weekend’s playlist includes an R&B show on Saturday afternoons followed by the ”Tejano Throwback” in the evening. Sundays offer a total of eight different shows that include anything from country, blues and jazz to a show called “Putamayo,” which features music from countries around the world.

Andrew Henry, a student DJ and radio broadcast major, hosts the indie and all request shows from 8 p.m. to midnight Thursdays. He said it’s his fourth year to work for the station.

“It’s a fun, exciting job,” Henry said. “It’s a good radio station to be at. Being a college station, you can experiment and be in an atmosphere that is a lot different from being in a commercial station.”

Both Holt and Kemp said being student DJs and working with the station come with fun opportunities and perks.

“Sometimes we get free swag like key chains or bumper stickers or stuff like that,” Kemp said.

Holt said the DJs sometimes get free CDs from music companies or, in some cases, promotional CDs before the release date.

Henry said the freedom he has as a DJ is one of the best perks he gets working for FM90.

“I really enjoy getting to play what people really want to hear as opposed to what the higher-ups wan you to play,” he said.

“You have a lot more freedom, creativity and control over the station itself.”

Brian Frank, FM90 program director, said another benefit of working with the station is the preparation it gives students for life and their future careers.

“It really helps students express themselves in this environment,” Frank said. “It prepares students for public speech and helps them at any given moment when they are asked to present something in front of a crowd.”

Holt and Kemp agreed that the biggest perk provided by FM90 is the number of opportunities it provides for anybody interested in the radio or TV business.

“FM90 basically serves as a launching pad if you want to work in the radio-TV market,” Kemp said.

Kemp also works as a board operator with Cumulus Broadcasting. He said FM90 probably is one of the biggest reasons he was able to get that job.

“It’s something that really looks great on your resume,” Holt said. “Especially if you’re interested in getting into this field.”

Frank said the experience of working with the college station is something that benefits students in the long run.

“Working with college radio is just a wonderful experience,” he said.

Anyone interested in joining the FM90 team or getting involved in the radio-TV program can call Frank at (806) 371-5287 or contact any faculty or staff member in the mass communication department.

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