Tell me a little history about your station and where your station is now?
Travis Box, General Manager: I can give you some history, but I’ll let the students judge where we are now… While Central Washington University has had a radio station, in one form or another, since 1958. Our current station began as KCAT in the early ’70s as an AM station, it became a cable radio station in the ’80s and in the early 90s, due to budget issues, was officially separated from the Communications Department and became its own department under Campus Life. In the late 90s, they hired a full-time General Manager, applied for and were granted an FCC license under the new call letters KCWU-FM (88.1 The ‘Burg), and began broadcasting live, over the air, on April 30th 1999.
Tayler Shaindlin (Crazy Catt Tayler): Our station has come leaps and bounds in a very short amount of time from where it was even just a few years ago. The right people came to this station, all with a passion and a desire to combine our talents to make our station what it was (and is) capable of being. We are constantly working hard to make every last detail the best it can be and I know we will never stop striving for excellence.
Nick Oliver (DJ DIRTY SNOWBALL): The halls are constantly buzzing with activity and it has become an environment that encourages creativity on all levels, be it developing new bits and promos or even if you are doing homework in the station it is such a creative workplace. With this culture and the group of people that we have the future of 88.1 the ‘Burg looks brighter than ever.
What sets your station apart from other college radio stations?
Chris Davis (The Sparrow): I am impressed by the wide variety of new music we discover every week. Those new songs get played on a regular rotation throughout the week, giving the CWU campus access to brand new music discoveries as soon as they are available to purchase at physical or online retailers. We have an excellent team of collaborators who select only the best songs released in previous years for rotation in our classic alt/rock playlists. We care a lot about our listeners, and so our engagement with them during regular events is crucial. It keeps us from being a group of people in a back room playing music, and lets us get in touch with what people actually want to hear on-campus!
Sawyer Schilperoort (The Sawman): Besides the obvious physical aspects of the station, I feel the atmosphere is what really sets us apart. Functioning almost like a crazy dys”fun”ctional family. We are completely open to all who approach us. Our campus radio station is a home away from home for many and it provides a great atmosphere.
Why did you choose to work at the radio station?
Tayler Shaindlin (Crazy Catt Tayler): I found the Burg at a Freshmen presentation event and immediately fell in love with the idea of radio. Being from a Theatre background, a two hour time slot to create my own character and story excited me, and combining it with music made it even better. Now I’m here with a prime time morning show slot and working in the news department, and I couldn’t ask for anything more!
Nick Oliver (DJ DIRTY SNOWBALL): Honestly working in radio has been a dream of mine for quite some time, as a little kid I always loved listening to the radio. The music, the voices, and the personalities always intrigued me, it all just seemed magical. So in high school I got the chance to job shadow at KISW in Seattle WA. And I have been addicted ever since.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for your station?
Nick Oliver (DJ DIRTY SNOWBALL): Recently, a group of us at the station (Tayler Shaindlin, Russell Widner, Rachel Cizek and myself) all got tattoos of a radio with the letters “B4L” which means “Burg 4 Life”. The ‘Burg will literally be a part of my life forever!
Chris Davis (The Sparrow): I can’t think of anything I’ve done personally that is very crazy! But I thrive on making lame jokes on air and hoping that people will laugh at my awkwardness. It’s part of my on-air personality that people have come to enjoy.
What’s the best part of college radio? And the hardest part?
Sawyer Schilperoort (The Sawman): The fun and experience gained from working among friends and peers is the best thing about college radio. Nothing is quite like doing what you love with people who you call your friends.
Chris Davis (The Sparrow): The best part of college radio is exposing busy students to the fascinating world of popular music by staying on the cutting edge of what is hot in the music world, and not just what is selling on iTunes. We here at the ‘Burg put our love for music above all else, and we let that fuel our desire to provide quality entertainment. The hardest part is ensuring that everyone can hear what they like at certain times of the week. We do our best to please everyone, so naturally most people will find entire days where the Burg plays nothing that they enjoy. It’s part of the sacrifice we make in appealing to the students of Central.
Tayler Shaindlin (Crazy Catt Tayler): The best part and the hardest part are the same for me. I never knew how many valuable life skills and talents could be learned through an experience like this, from working with technology to writing to organization and so much more. The people aren’t so bad either.