KSTM radio is back on air


by Erin Gerken

KSTM, the Simpson College radio station, has been through many setbacks but retains high hopes for the future and a complete relaunch, as well as a rebranding of the station, in January.

The rebranding of the radio station is mainly an effort started by the radio station itself.

“(The rebranding idea) was kind of a collaborative effort between myself and Steven Chappell,” junior and KSTM station manager Jesse Stewart said. “We kind of talked about how just looking at the current state of the station nobody has really done upkeep on it. I looked at a logo and it made me feel like I was looking at something from the 80s. I just felt like in today’s world there needed to be a change and this was the perfect opportunity to do that.”

There is a lot of excitement surrounding the rebranding.

“It’s basically going to be rebuilt from scratch,” Stewart said. “We have a lot of ideas on the table; I’m really excited to move forward with them. Everything that we’ve discussed so far is going to be really good.”

The rebranding is being implemented with the help of Simpson College’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

 “Our big push now is for our re-launch and rebranding in January,” Stewart said. “Probably the first week of the spring semester we are looking to have a launch party. We are working with PRSSA to get that going.”

The goal of the rebrand is to expand the audience of the radio station and make it more applicable to the community.

“I think the future of the radio station is really exciting,” said Steve Griffith, senior vice president and academic dean. “The intention is to broaden its listenership and reach out to the community to even greater measure.”

PRSSA will assist the station in becoming more involved in community outreach through the rebranding.

 “(The radio station) reached out (to PRSSA) because they wanted our help in relaunching and rebranding the station,” junior and PRSSA member Natalie McCormick said. “Overall, the goal is to gather more listeners and have the radio station play a more active role in the community and on campus.”

Stewart said the station has the unique opportunity to fulfill the needs of the county as a whole.

“KSTM is the only licensed radio station in Warren County and that’s kind of something that we want to focus on,” Stewart said. “We want to be a voice not just for Simpson College but Indianola and Warren County.”

The rebranding effort has mostly been met with support and enthusiasm.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Griffith said. “If we can get more support not only on campus but in the wider Simpson community in town I think it would be better for everybody. It would bring more visibility and give our students a better experience. The future of the radio station is really exciting.”

There are many possibilities for the radio station with the new Kent Campus Center.

“There has been talk about a remote studio in Kent Campus Center,” Stewart said. “I can’t say one way or another if that is going to be definite. I think that would be great, that would give KSTM a little more reach and other places to host events”

The radio station has been experiencing problems since the Brenton Student Center was demolished this summer.

“The underlying problem was that it (the radio studio) was located in the old campus center,” Griffith said. “When that came down we had to put it somewhere else. We didn’t have a great place to put it on campus, so we looked around to see what the best place would be that was available.”

The studio was placed in McNeill Hall, however that created other issues.

“Once we got into it we realized that there were soundproof problems that we didn’t anticipate,” Griffith said.

A soundproof door was installed, so that the current location for the station would be adequate for a potentially long-term timeframe.

 “It’s been kind of a long process,” Stewart said. “There’s been a lot of miscommunication about everything. There isn’t one person to blame for anything that happened. It’s just one of those things where it has taken this long but it’s at a point now where it’s done and we’re looking for the future for KSTM. We are very close to being able to go back on the air.”