The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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KANM returns after nearly year-long absence

Photo by Photo by Yuri Suchil

KANM student radio is back on air after being absent for two semesters.

Following a two-semester absence, KANM, Texas A&M’s student radio, is back on air.
Founded in 1972, KANM ran unhindered until the spring of 2016, when they had to cease operations. Since 2013 they have operated only online through their website.
“Over the last year, we had some problems,” said Roland Davila, communications junior and station manager. “Our equipment broke down; we ran into some legality issues with software, so we had to shut down. So all of our equipment is new — we have brand new software and a digital library.”
Problems began in the spring of 2016, when KANM was informed all of its equipment was about to become outdated.
“We found out that due to security issues, A&M wasn’t going to continue with certain software,” Davila said. “All of our computers ran that software, and were taken away and trashed.”
The funding for the new equipment came from a grant that faculty adviser Billy McKim applied for, as well as a partnership with A&M’s Student Activities Department.
“Our partnership with StuAct was done to make us more of an educational program,” Davila said. “So once a semester — and we try to do more than once — we’ll bring in someone who’s in this field to come in and say what you can do with this as a career. With that, we got new computers and other equipment.”
The off-air absence marks a new era for KANM, but was not without its hardships, including appealing to its audience.
“If this was KANM a year and a half ago, I would say we mostly tailored to the indie punk scene,” Davila said. “But we’re opening it up and trying to appeal to everyone.”
Despite the absence, there has been no shortage of people who wanted to be a part of KANM.
“Every semester, we thought that we could come back,” Davila said. “We recruited new members, and it was hard to see all these new members who were really excited not get a chance to do it. But some things are out of our hands. When I joined, everything was running smoothly, so it was really hard to see it crash. Overall though, it’s great to be back.”
The main obstacle KANM faced was updating its equipment
“The hardest part of coming back was getting all the new software installed,” Davila said. “There was a lot we needed help with, getting stuff ordered, getting StuAct to approve what we were ordering, the like.”
When KANM announced its return, Davila said it re-energized the staff, including marketing senior and KANM secretary Melissa Wisan.
“The best part about being back on the air is that it is signaling the rise of the phoenix that is KANM. We are rising from the problematic period and becoming what we weren’t to be,” Wisan said.
The main goal, according to Davila, is exposing students to new music — both staff and listeners.
“My favorite part has been exposure to the limitless amount of underground music across the country,” said civil engineering junior and KANM staff member Eliot Guerin. “We are sent CDs by labels and independent musicians all the time. Some of these are incredible, some are unremarkable, and many are very strange. In our age of streaming and digital downloads, receiving physical CDs and getting them on the air really keeps the tradition of indie music alive.”
Thanks in part to its updated software, KANM now runs on an updated online stream, as opposed to a radio frequency.
“We have a new streamlined music format which should lead to tighter, more entertaining shows, and I can’t wait to tell my listeners all the music-related stories I’ve built up during a year of being off-air,” Guerin said.
Part of KANM’s efforts to expand its audience included moving away from a music-only format to include news stories and interviews that will focus on A&M and its students, Davila said.
“My show this semester will be a podcast. So I invite big members on campus. We let people do sports shows, talk shows or whatever they want,” Davila said. “I’ve interviewed members of TAMU Anti-Racism, for example, so we get to talk about important issues.”
KANM is up and running following its reopening. Show schedules and additional information can be found on the station’s website, as well as their online frequency.

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