• Lydia Yu

KSPB is an Intricate Operation Behind the Scenes

Established in the 1970s, KSPB stands, “at 1000 watts, it’s the nation’s most powerful high school radio station… KSPB can be heard by listeners in four counties (Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and San Benito) with a potential total audience of more than 1.5 million people.” (school site) To learn more about such an essential part of school life we interviewed the DJs of KSPB 91.9.

As listeners of radio, not many would think about the behind-the-scenes, or more fittingly, the behind-the-sounds, work of the DJs. The work isn’t exactly Radio Rebel where the DJ simply presses a button and starts talking. For example, DJ Quiliam (Quinn Karm) and DJ Crispy (Ryder Weston) admit the secrets to music choice, “we usually try and stick to relatively similar kinds of music for each show… Because switching things up mid-show can cause someone to get kind of confused or not as interested.”

Additionally, many shows are run by multiple people, involving co-hosts and internal squabbling. However, the DJs of KSPB navigate the situation well. The division of labor and the creation of basic rules is the key. For example, the co-hosts of The Once Weekly Semi-Average Radio Show, MC Spork (Scarlett Ingram) and Dr. Fungus (Russell Miller), divide the work, “I usually do the editing and what that entails, while Scarlett is more of the creative spirit.” Furthermore, D Mob (David Bray) and his co-hosts DJ RMAC (Rider McCormick) and DJ M-motion (Malyk Williams) set up ground rules to avoid conflicts: “Country is the one no-no.”

From left to right: DJ M-Motion (Malyk Williams), DJ RMAC (Rider McCormick), and DJ D Mob (David Bray)

The first impression of KSPB is the wide, lively variety of radio shows present. There is definitely something for everyone. The selection ranges from DJ Rybo (Ryan Hubanks) who reviews media like movies and books or video games, to DJ AQ (Alex Qin) which presents different styles of pop or rap music from other languages, to Quiliam and Crispy’s theme on technology, business news, and current events.

Another aspect of KSPB is the diverse spectrum of the different styles of hosting. Some adopted the traditional and professional style. Rybo elaborates, “I see a lot of reviews on the internet so I try to mimic that formula of talking about the pros of the movie, talking about 3 elements I find significant to the movie before I give it a rating.” Furthermore, AQ says, “My music show was inspired by a show in my hometown in China. I’m just trying to imitate their style, the way they present productions, and how they introduce each show and each song.” On the other hand, others deviated from their broadcasting idols for a more casual tone. Quilliam describes his show: “Just the standard talk-radio format, NPR is kind of an influence but we take a more casual spin to it.” Additionally, D Mob says, “Our show is called All Over the Place so we just kind of meander wherever our minds go.”

Ever since the rise of television in the 1950s, radio has been disfavored. Especially since the 21st century, the introduction of online streaming services attracted more listeners as an alternative to radio due to its offering of a wider variety of songs catered to the listener’s personal preference. However, radio shows have the personal flair of the DJ that cannot be experienced through Spotify, Apple Music, etc. After all of the DJs hard work, help revive the artform, support our school radio, and listen to FM 91.9.


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