Behind the Sound of KWVS
KWVS, the student led radio station at Pepperdine University, has said hello to new faces who bring a new vibe to the station.
Alyssa Sarti, a junior at Pepperdine University and the station manager at KWVS, has brought in Arthur Puu, a junior at Pepperdine University, to be the new program director at the station. However, instead of mixing songs and hosting radio shows, the program director is the person that no one sees, but yet, still controls a lot of what goes on behind the scenes.
The program director is in charge of the sound and music of a radio station like KWVS. The program director manages the programming of each show as well as overseeing the departments and staff of the station.
“The obligations of the program directors are to organize DJ show schedules, create weekly programming show plans, publicize show schedules, maintain a log for the station, and assist in station-wide events,” said Puu about his job as program director entails. In other words, without the program director, the show may still go on, but there is still the question of whether or not it would be quite as organized. The programming director may even go into more depth and coordinate interviews with special guests, such as celebrities or musicians.
“At KWVS, the program director puts together a weekly schedule on the automation system; putting together music and specific shows for each day at certain hours into the program,” Puu said about how managing and scheduling at KWVS is done. The scheduling for the DJs, according to Puu, is based on their class schedules since all workers at KWVS are students at Pepperdine. The scheduling for the events such as jam sessions and live shows, are discussed at the station’s monthly meetings which include all of the managers and DJs.
As for the monthly live shows, the program director leads the station into doing countless promotions.
“We put up flyers throughout campus, create Facebook events, and publicize through the radio,” said Puu about what he spearheads. “This month’s Jam Session involved student performers who had to submit samples of their work before being chosen,” said Puu. The directors at the station listened to all samples of work and narrowed the Jam Session to having three performers. In a more technological aspect of the preparation of the Jam Session, Puu said that he had to arrange to borrow the AV equipment for the student performers to use and be able to broadcast through the radio, while at the same time going live at the amphitheater.
To become a program director is no walk in the park though. Puu said that he went through training by the station manager, Alyssa Sarti, after being chosen to become a program director.
“It was a bit easier of a transition to work with other directors and the technology that is required because was a radio sports show host prior to this,” said Puu about the training required to hold the position of program director. Considering how many hats a program director has to wear, a range of knowledge is important. Puu said that most program directors will get the best training by gaining a combination of work experience with KWVS as well as being academically educated on the industry and what a career as a program director really has to offer.
Although KWVS is confined to the Pepperdine University campus, Puu said, “that as long as the directors and DJs are working well together, it will better bring out KWVS’s brand not only around the Pepperdine campus, but throughout the entire world.” The role of program director, if done well, will help the directors, faculty, and DJs of KWVS develop strong connections and ultimately lead to a successful station.
Seeing that the October Jam Session has come and gone, the program director and the rest of the team at KWVS are now set to begin planning for November – and the process of finding performers and making this upcoming month at KWVS a success, begins now.