BY HARRISON BLUTO
Photo courtesy of The Chaparral. Daniel Almendarez (left), Richard Almendarez and Phil Vaughan install FM tower Nov. 6 on top of MSTC.
College of the Desert’s KCOD radio station installed an FM tower on top of the Math Science Technology Center (MSTC) Nov. 6. This new addition makes it possible for KCOD to grow its audience and better its sound. KCOD has won many national awards in the past for its programming and student work.
KCOD moved into a new building across the street from Palm Desert’s main campus on Park View Drive in August 2018. This move across the street and this new frequency 99.9 FM is a big accomplishment for KCOD. Steve Kelly, broadcast consultant and Toni Bakal, faculty adviser were asked about the move to FM as well as their hopes for the station moving forward. Both said KCOD will improve its sounds and frequency and will now be able to reach a larger audience.
KCOD is a variety station, this means that the programming aired is not dedicated to any one specific genre as you hear on commercial radio. The station’s programming consists primarily of music. There are also talk shows and bilingual programs like Musica Alternativa, a block featuring Latin music. Due to this heavy music-oriented station, the move to FM will be extremely beneficial. FM is known for having a significantly better signal for airing music which will no doubt improve the quality of the station’s sound.
In terms of the station’s programming, Kelly said that it will remain the same, but the FM frequency will allow the sound to be much clearer than the AM. “KCOD will operate on an FM translator which is far less expensive than a regular FM license, but requires that the same content is played on both frequencies,” said Kelly. KCOD is one of eight other stations that use a translator to broadcast from the online cloud to FM and AM. “I’m looking forward to more growth,” said Kelly
KCOD faculty adviser Toni Bakal said, “our listenership is going to go way up.” The improved sound the FM band will bring will be a huge help for the station. KCOD airs the music of upcoming artists, a unique quality Bakal believes will make KCOD stand out from other Coachella Valley radio stations. Bakal is hopeful that the move to FM will make KCOD a staple radio station in the valley and that the community will listen for music from rising artists as well as unique local shows.
Kelly focuses on developing new community shows and hopes the move to FM will bring more community outreach and involvement. “I’m looking forward to more growth,” said Kelly. The move to FM will create a younger sound because of the higher interest this new frequency will provide. All community programs air on Saturdays allowing the weekdays to be more student and music-oriented.
- The California Magazine Report – airs Mondays 6 p.m from KQED San Francisco
- Political Breakdown – airs Mondays 6:30 p.m. from KQED, San Francisco about California politics
- The Filibuster – airs Thursdays 7 p.m. from CKCU Ottawa, Canada about Canadian politics
- Stepping Out – airs Saturdays 9 a.m. from New York about addiction and recovery
- Sunday Baroque- airs Sundays 7 a.m. from WSHU in Stanford Conn. playing classical music
KCOD is now live 99.9 FM but the engineers are still fine-tuning the sound and tower direction. KCOD can be heard strong in the eastern valley on 99.9 FM and on 1450 AM in the west Palm Springs area. To learn more about KCOD visit kcodcoachellafm.com.