By DANIEL PINEDA
FM90, the Amarillo College licensed radio station, has a new look even as it marks a milestone birthday. The student-run alternative station just celebrated its 45th anniversary with former guest DJs, song requests, exclusive T-shirt giveaways and a freshly remodeled radio station.
Funding from the Amarillo College Foundation allowed KACV-FM, which airs at 89.9 on the radio dial and https://www.kacvfm.org online, to update its studio. Recently the station also remodeled the production room and music director’s office and built a podcast loft, all with help from the Foundation.
During remodeling, larger and bulkier furniture was removed in order to make the station look more streamlined and accessible, Amy Presley, the FM90 program director, said.
“This remodel provided us with new flooring, a new desk, removal of outdated equipment, new computer monitors, new microphones and a place to interview multiple guests,” she said.
Presley also added that the new sound board has the ability to remote start songs, making it more accessible to all students.
“So it’s really cool and it makes it feel like you’re DJing as opposed to just clicking a mouse and starting the next song, you know. You can actually hit it from the board and it’s just so cool.”
In addition to being a fully operational 100,000 watt radio station serving the entire Texas Panhandle, FM90 is a lab for student radio and audio production classes. During the remodel, which began in the fall of 2020, student DJs had to temporarily voice track, which is a pre-recording of their air shifts. Presley said that now with the station ready for students to go back on the air, they have the option to do both.
“If you want to voice track, and you’re comfortable doing that, you can continue to voice track, because that is a much more predictable environment. Being live on the air can be a little hectic and sometimes that’s overwhelming for students.”
Presley also found it easier for beginning radio students to transition from voice tracking to doing live shifts.
Coco Pérez, a mass media major and student DJ, said that what she enjoys most about taking radio production classes is going on the air live.
“I’m not a pro, but there have been listeners that say I sound like a pro when I’m on the radio. They say I have ‘good vibes’ and that my radio energy is fantastic,” Pérez said.
CJ Scott, a mass media major and the FM90 music director, said that being able to go live with the new remodel is a privilege.
“I think the new remodel gives students an opportunity to really enjoy the new equipment and get a taste of what it feels like to DJ,” she said.