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College radio offers much, receives less

Rick Linie, the station manager at Montana State University-Northern’s KNMC, said the first meeting for people who would like to be a radio deejay at the college will be Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Two scholarships are given out to students who deejay at the radio. New Media Broadcastors, which owns several local radio stations, gives a generous scholarship of $2,000 and the radio station itself offers a $500 scholarship. Both scholarships are given to people of Linie’s choosing, based on how much they help out and participate at the station.

The radio station has been mainly computer-automated for the summer break, but most of the regular deejays will be back this week and many of the college student deejays will start coming back in also, Linie said.

Linie said that he is working on a new computer system that will be up in a month that will technologically advance the station.

“The sound quality will take a big jump forward,” Linie said.

Linie said he will be at the station Friday and Saturday morning to welcome back Northern students at the university orientation and will be giving stuff away to college students.

Trygve “Spike” Magelssen is a deejay at the radio station, but his main occupation is assistant professor of electrical technology at MSU-N.

DJ Spike hosts a program called “The Conflicted Show,” on Fridays from noon to 4 p.m. The show is named accordingly because he said he plays whatever genre he feels like playing for each show.

“It’s generally classic rock,” Magelssen said. “But I play music I feel like I want to listen to, and anyone who wants to listen to it with me can tune in.”

Spike has been working with the radio station since 2000, and was one of the driving forces to get the station back into the hands of the students in 2001. He urges students to join the station to host their own shows. He said joining is easy — all students have to do is learn the system, go through a training program and not cuss on air.

“As long as you don’t cuss, you can do whatever you want,” he said.

“The proof that anything can happen today lies in the fact that in the very near future, this campus may have a radio broadcasting system all its own,” was the opening paragraph of the November 1953 NoMoCo article announcing the university’s first station. NoMoCo was the university’s newspaper.

The first station at Northern Montana College — now MSU-N — began as KNES in 1954, after the Radio Club began broadcasting on its own in-house station in Cowan Hall.

This station died and was revived many times before 1979, when the Radio Club started another station, KNOG, in the tower of Cowan Hall. The new FM station was given approval to operate by the Federal Communication Commission, or FCC, and in the 1980s, faculty succeeded in making KNOG a carrier for National Public Radio.

Spike said that in 2001, he and others succeeded in making the station, now KNMC, a student-run station instead of an NPR carrier for Billings.

Despite the fight to give the station back to the students, the radio sees a low rate of student involvement. Last semester, the station saw only around half a dozen student deejays, Spike said.

“If students want to be involved, they’ll be involved,” Spike said. “If they don’t, they won’t.”

This is not just the radio station, but most of the clubs of Northern, according to Spike. He believes that a lack of money and time and an abundance of other things that keep students busy, like Facebook, is keeping them away.

“There are so many personal benefits,” Spike said. “It’s relaxing, you can communicate with others, it’s good for the campus and an outreach to the community.”

Those interested in hosting their own show, even the general public can visit the station at Cowan Hall Wednesday, Sept. 4. Any show format is accepted, from political or sports talk shows to old country, or heavy metal.


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