Campus radio station KCOD relaunches as COD Roadrunner Radio


Photo courtesy of Andrew Allan-Bentley. Martha Hackett, student production manager (left) and Linda Luna, student intern (right) create new holidays sweepers for COD Roadrunner Radio.

College of the Desert’s radio station, KCOD, returned this Fall semester, streaming fully online as COD Roadrunner Radio. Students are now back at the station working on the rebrand, producing new segments, and shows and offering fresh music programming.

Students seem happy to be working in the radio studios again after a two-year break. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the station to switch gears. KCOD streamed online in the beginning, in addition to airing programs at 1450 AM and 99.9 FM. KCOD stopped operating on both frequencies and changed its name. The station is now fully online.

“Unfortunately, the world has undergone a pandemic, and during that time it was decided KCOD should be running in silent mode, so they decided to go fully online,” said Celina Gentry, the media lab technician for the media department. “People can still use their smartphones and the Tune-in app the same way you would listen to FM radio.”

Scott Colwell, the interim radio station manager, believes the benefits of going fully online present more opportunities for the station to be heard. “Because we are located in the Coachella Valley, Coachella gets searched a lot, there are advantages of being an online station because now we have a global market and can focus our efforts on garnering a broader audience,” Colwell said.

The award-winning radio station has been an integral part of the Arts and Media Department since its launch in 2011 by Laurilie Jackson, the assistant professor of media production and faculty advisor of the station. She says the station gives students hands-on experience and allows them to develop creative content to air. Students create everything from sweepers, station IDs, bumpers, music, news, sports, talk shows and even podcasts.

“Our media students, their peers and the Coachella Valley benefit from having a college radio station,” Jackson said. “I am thrilled that we are in a place where we can reinvest in and relaunch this valuable program. I’m excited to see what our students come up with and watch them find their voices.”

The stations’ new identity has kept students busy this semester. “As student workers, we have to rebrand everything that was heard on the station’s cycle, changing it to COD Roadrunner Radio, and in doing so we are connecting more with the campus as a whole,” said Martha Hackett, a student production worker at the station.

Student intern Linda Luna is working on fresh new sound bites played during breaks between music and programming segments, with students performing and recording the voice-overs at the station.

Colwell’s plans include more student involvement by promoting the station on social media, with a greater presence at campus events, and the campus cafeteria Beeps Café. “We have an opportunity for their voices to be heard, we would love to have a schedule which caters to our students as we are student-based, but also use the station as an outlet for non-profits who serve our community,” Colwell said.

“Many students have to deal with a lot of significant issues such as homelessness and food insecurity, said Gentry. Students are using this platform to create PSAs to inform the campus community about the many resources at COD available to help. Students are required to come up with show ideas as part of the curriculum which will give the station an understanding of what music the students are interested in. “There are students who are songwriters and musicians, all of our local creative people could get airtime,” said Gentry.

“Our media students deserve this new chapter,” said Superintendent/President Martha Garcia, Ed.D. “We have coupled classroom lessons with real-life application in a way that sets our students up for success and emboldens them to go after their academic and professional goals.”

In the spirit of the station’s relaunch, the new logo, designed by student artist Stephanie Kelly, was selected from several submissions by students from the Arts and Media Department.

You can listen to COD Roadrunner Radio at or on the TuneIn app. To learn more, visit the website or email the station at [email protected]. COD Roadrunner Radio is located at 72915 Park View Drive, Palm Desert. Across the street from the main campus off Monterey Avenue.