Special thanks to Matt Primovic, station manager, for answering the questions!
Tell me a little history about your stat
KJHK first went on air in October of 1975, so this October we will be celebrating 40 years on air. Prior to 2010, KJHK broadcast from a small shack behind KU’s football stadium. In 2010, KJHK moved into its new studio space in the student union on campus. KJHK doesn’t focus only on radio, though that is of course our specialty. Over our 40 years on air, we have developed an award-winning in studio performance series (Live @ KJHK) and taken our radio and put it on the internet, and more recently through our mobile apps. KJHK prides itself on being the self-described “sound alternative” to commercial radio in the area, and strives to uphold that ideal.
As previously mentioned, KJHK strives to provide an on-air experience that you won’t hear from any of the local commercial stations. We also have a robust multimedia department, the most noticeable facet of which is our live in-studio performance show “Live @ KJHK.” The station brings at least one (often more) band per week in to the studio to perform live on air, or to pre-record for future broadcast. All of our in-studio performance get audio and video post-production so that our videos are as high quality as possible. Our YouTube page is at nearly 400,000 views (doubled from this time last year), and up over 1000 subscribers. We also have a unique partnership with another organization on campus that does event planning, that allows us to put on large shows in downtown Lawrence, KS. It has been an incredibly successful endeavor for the station, and has allowed us to put on shows featuring the likes of HAIM, Real Estate, Chance the Rapper, and SZA in just the past two years.
Why did you choose to work at the radio station?
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for your station?
I wouldn’t call a lot of what I’ve done at the station crazy, but one particularly funny memory that I have is from when we were trying to produce a video for mtvU to showcase the station. The idea was to have a single shot video that was a tour through the station, while we made fun of college radio stereotypes in each room. It took over two hours to make the video that ended up being barely longer than a minute. It was a hilarious and fun experience, and I think its pretty representative of the spirit of KJHK.
What’s the best part of college radio? And the hardest part?
I think the best part of college radio is the opportunity to be in a creative and hard working environment, surrounded by people who share a similar passion for music. KJHK has been an incredible experience for me because of how it pushes all of the staff members to do their best work, and in the end it is an extremely rewarding experience. Of course having connections to go to shows in the area isn’t bad either!
The hardest part about working for KJHK has been balancing work with school. The expectation at KJHK is that we will continue to improve every year, and that requires a lot of work from the staff, and requires everyone to be ready to go at a moments notice. It can be difficult at first to balance the two, but it is definitely worth it in the end.