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New KDIC management revamps programming, events

Anshul Tambay ’20, Karman Bhinder ’22, Sohom Pal ’22 and Noah Delgado De Torres ’22 host a radio show on KDIC in the radio station’s studio in JRC. Photo by Alec Maloney.
Anshul Tambay ’20, Karman Bhinder ’22, Sohom Pal ’22 and Noah Delgado De Torres ’22 host a radio show on KDIC in the radio station’s studio in JRC. Photo by Alec Maloney.

KDIC, Grinnell College’s student-run radio station, has been making efforts this year to generate more content, more listeners and to connect with the campus community. The radio station has historically had low numbers of listeners, as well as a hands-off management style and a relatively distant attitude towards the Grinnell community. Under the leadership of Alex Grigorovich ’20, KDIC is shifting towards a more engaged stance.

Grigorovich said that listenership was down simply because students weren’t aware of KDIC’s existence. “People just don’t know about KDIC,” he said. “I’m trying to establish a more legitimate … presence of KDIC into the Grinnell community.” One of the ways that Grigorovich hopes to improve the quality of KDIC’s image is by putting out a diverse set of student shows.

There are around 30 student shows this semester. Grigorovich said, “We’ve got a lot of really fun, eccentric student show ideas that people are implementing here.” These shows range from a radio puppet show which listeners can hear but can’t see, to talk shows, to more standard radio segments with music and short mic breaks.

E.J. Schwartz ’23 co-hosts a late-night talk show on Saturdays with Alex Sun ’23. For Schwartz, the idea of doing a radio show seemed a natural extension of his current goals: a way to attain something he had already been working towards.

“I always wanted to do some sort of podcast idea,” Schwartz said. “I found out about the radio show and it seemed like a way to frontload the process: I could do it there, I could record it on my phone and put it on Spotify as a podcast.”

For Lucy Polyak ’23, who started a music-based radio segment with Zoë Kaufmann ’23, KDIC provided a creative outlet and a student-run space to put her voice out into the world. “It’s a real application of self-gov,” Polyak said. “It’s just you and whoever else you’re sharing the space [with].”

Student DJ shows aren’t the only content KDIC is producing now. This semester, Grigorovich put together a newscast team for the first time in KDIC’s recent history. The newscast is called West Campus Weekly, and plays during off-hours, when student shows aren’t on air. It focuses on campus events, speakers and other Grinnell happenings. “My hope for that is that it creates useful information that’s actually relevant to students here,” Grigorovich said.

Grigorovich also hired an event-planning team to start interfacing with the community in a more direct manner. A decade ago, KDIC was known for the events that they hosted; The Grinnellian was a KDIC event before it was run through Freesound. But in recent years, KDIC management let this aspect of the station fall to the wayside.

Grigorovich’s team hopes to revive the tradition, with potential plans in the works for a silent disco, a KDIC battle of the bands and live broadcasting nights at Saint’s Rest. “I want to have a genuinely viable option of engaging with other students that they otherwise wouldn’t meet,” Grigorovich said.

The larger staff also includes the new position of social media manager and a new assistant station manager. “Everyone I’ve met that works there has just been incredibly helpful and incredibly nice,” Polyak noted. “If you have any interest at all in hosting you should for sure apply.”

With an official broadcasting schedule coming to KDIC’s social media soon, the station is preparing to ramp up their efforts to engage with the community. “People should expect much bigger things from KDIC moving forward,” Grigorovich said.

You can tune in to KDIC on any radio at 88.5 FM, and can stream the shows live at Listen to Polyak and Kaufmann’s show from 5 to 6 p.m. and Schwartz and Sun’s show from 11 to 12 p.m. on Saturdays.

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