The beginnings of KBSU are interesting from both an historic look and a look at the politics of BSU.  With permission from Idaho Radio News I have re-printed part of this thread on KBSU.

 

 

University Pulse brings radio to the community

December 2nd, 2007 by Don@IdahoRadio

Another great media-related piece from the Boise Weekly, as Amy Atkins has a Q&A with Boise State Radio's University Pulse General Manager Jeremy Miller. Miller talks about the way the service is funded (from a $2 fee that every student pays), how it started - and what's in store for the future. UP plays for 12 hours each Sun day over-the-air on KBSU/730 AM and via a 24/7 Internet stream. All the programs are pre-recorded according to Miller, with the exception of one Tuesday night live show. Also, BSR's program stream is played at all times in the Student Union Building and Rec Center on campus.

5 Responses to "University Pulse brings radio to the community"


  1. KBSU Survivor

I'd like to call Jeremy Miller on an outlandish statement in his Boise Weekly interview:

"It's been known as the Pulse since 2005. I think it was set up in response to a few hardworking students who saw there were no students on Boise State Radio and yet [Boise State Radio] was receiving student fees..."

 

"I think" Jeremy should check his facts. BSR has employed students and run student programs since the early 1990s. University Pulse was a re-branding of the existing student programs, moving them onto the FM dial and onto Sunday instead of having them stuck in the 10 pm ghetto on the AM station.

Many more students have been employed at BSR as technicians and reporters. The current BSR news director is someone I hired as a student 10 years ago.

Comment on Feb 13th, 2008 at 9:26 pm  

  1. tim johnstone

Well cheer leading for BSU Radio is all well and good but the last time students had any real contributions to radio at Boise State was before Dr. Kaiser stole the station from the students and the community members who ran it.

If you want to open that particular can of worms I'd love to take you to school (so to speak).

Comment on Feb 14th, 2008 at 12:53 pm  

  1. Idaho Radio Buff

Tim, I'd love to learn the history. I'd always heard BSU was a 'student' station at some point in time. (pre-Table Rock?)

KRCL in Salt Lake City, Utah is falling into the same kind of fate right now - moving to paid DJ's and a routine "triple A meets public" music format M-F 6a to 7p (in other words, when most people listen...)

Comment on Feb 14th, 2008 at 1:06 pm 

 

  1. wackyhost

I am the former GM of UP who revamped the station and turned it from BSU Student Radio to the University Pulse.

"It's been known as the Pulse since 2005. I think it was set up in response to a few hardworking students who saw there were no students on Boise State Radio and yet [Boise State Radio] was receiving student fees..."

Yes this statement is false. There were a few students workin for BSU radio as employees. I got hired on from the Student Activities Association. I then hired employees and they were also under SAA with Rob Meyer as our supervisor.

The problem with the old system was...in order to have a show on the air, one would have to be taking certain Communications classes, and record in the class studios.

My goal was to give the general student population access to have a voice on campus with the radio. We acquired an office and a studio in the Comm Building. We changed the name to University Pulse and put us on AM 730 from 12 to 12 on Sundays and streaming on the internet daily.

The were student fees being charged to the gen student population and the gen population didn't have a say in day to day activities. Administration was contemplating getting rid of Student Radio all together if changes weren't made.

As far as I know they are still only on the AM dial and streaming on the internet. They can also be heard through out the campus and parts of the community.

I think I was successful in changing the face of the station. And I am proud of my time there. They are now a prominent entity on campus. This was my only goal and it worked.

Comment on Feb 14th, 2008 at 1:43 pm 

 

  1. Art Gregory

This topic is way too involved to try to settle in one post; but I'll try and elaborate a little on it, so please forgive the long post.

Student Radio at "the college" dates back to KBJC (Boise Junior College) in the 1960s. The History of Idaho Radio Foundation's September Newsletter featured a story on the beginnings of Boise State Radio, authored by Gary McCabe, current afternoon host on 94.9 The River. In the 60s and early 70s, KBJC (later KBSC) ran a "carrier current" station that broadcast into the SUB and the dorms. I worked there in 1970-71 when I first attended Boise State College as it was known back then). The studios were located in what is now Professor Marty Most's office, upstarirs in the Communication Building on the main campus. The building used to known as the Subal Theatre. The Speech Dept was located on 2nd floor of the Admin Bldg. - there was no "Communication Dept."

I didn't have much interest in the collge station, but did help out there a little bit. Scott Beltz was the G.M. as I recall. I was only 18 years old at the time and working an announcer for both KBOI-AM and 97.9 KBOI-FM. KBOI-FM played rock from 6pm-Midnight Mon-Sat. I quit BSC to move to Salt Lake City to work for KUTV-TV in 72′ and they must have shut the college station down in 1973 or so.

From 1974-1975 I was Program Director of KYME-AM (now KBSU-AM) and both Gary McCabe and Rich Landucci worked for me at KYME. We were playing soft album rock with a playlist of over 150 cuts, and also featured some jazz cuts. Gary McCabe was a student at BSU and had this idea to start an FM station using the equipment from the old carrier current station. He and I taled about it a lot, and I tried to help him in any way I could. I left in late 75 to work for KIDO-AM, and a year later joined KUUZ-FM (now 96.9 The Eagle) and helped Fred Lillge put that station on the air almost 31 years ago (Feb 21, 1977).

Well, as our Newsletter story states, Gary got KBSU on the air with 10 watts, and he was the station's first G.M. Rich Landucci was the station's first P.D. Both Bob Lilly and Carl Scheider were students at the time, and both worked at the station from the very beginning, which signed on 31 years ago, in January of 1977.

Our Newsletter story really only covered the first couple of years, and we even featured a Program Guide from Jan of 78 (30 years ago) that listed Carl Scheider, Bob Lilly, Victor and Arthur all doing shows! We hope to cover the rest of KBSU's History in another issue.

Dr. John Keiser did indeed move the students out and installed his own Management in 1985. We had a big get together at BSU Radio in March of last year where many of the founders and key employees such Gary McCabe, Bob Lilly, Carl Scheider, Marla Leggette, and others attended and "told their stories." I tape the entire meeting and we are in the process of transcribing it. I'm sure we'll post it on our website which is under construction as we speak.

I later returned to Boise Sate and got both a B.A. and an M.A. in Communication and even teach a few core classes for the COMM Dept. During my tenure as a student, I took Dr. Rudd's class on student radio, and did two independent studies to search for an FM frequency to start another student station. All the avialbale channels were gone (or already filed for)so the Non-Profit Group I started with two other BSU Professors, Idaho Communicty Radio Inc., never filed for any stations. Last year after the BSU Meeting, we turned over the name and entire organization to a new group of folks who still hope to start a station. We wish them luck, as this type of station is truly needed in Boise. However, like the first KBSU-FM found out...funding any radio station is a costly proposition; and without financial backing from a church, a State institution, or commercial advertising, it's a hard thing to sustain. KBSU-FM tried for almost 10 years (1977-1985) and did a magnificent job on the air. But money was always a problem, and getting the station up on Deer Point ultimatelt took State of Idaho Board of Education funding, something the student run KBSU-FM station never really had.

The current KBSU management is much better about employing students. In fact, there are a lot of students that work there, and some that are even paid to do so! But ultimately, total "free form" radio that runs 24 hours a day may have to wait for a less expensive and more abundent form of delivery. Digital radio may be the answer, and web streaming to i-pods or cellular phones may be another form of delivery.

One of the advantages of studying and collecting broadcasting history is the perspective you get. Radio has been declared "dead" many times; first when television emerged in the 40s and 50s, when the 8-track tape, casette, and later the CD were invented, and on and on. Radio has survived and is stronger than ever. FM stereo radio added new life to radio in the 1960s and really took off in the 70s (KUUZ-FM signed on with a 10.1 share 12+ when FM penetration was at best only 45-50% of the market).

So perhaps all wer are waiting for is "the next" form of delivery for radio. The "content" of good radio (vs bad radio) still matters...and those stations (and professionals like those wo frequent this site) who are willing to provide good content, will always have listeners. Otherwise TV, the 8-track, the cassette, and CD would have already killed radio by now. True, some of them "changed" radio...but as we study and chronicle broadcasting history, "change" is what it's all about.

Art Gregory - founder
History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation

Comment on Feb 14th, 2008 at 7:29 pm