Why College/Local Radio Matters

Check out this cool post by Music Blog Director/KWVA DJ Sophie on why college & local radio is so great, featured on her personal blog, A Perfect Playlist!


I have a passion for radio. When I was a junior in high school, I visited my (now) college campus for the first time, University of Oregon, & was immediately drawn to the student-run radio station, KWVA. I loved the idea of a community of like-minded, music-obsessed students talking about/ playing what they love on the air.

The station, at the time, a small hole-in-the-wall studio that was once a women’s bathroom, was covered in stickers and band posters. Promo CDs were scattered among stacks of cassette tapes and vinyl, and hipster-looking students rushed in and out of the studio, welcoming me with giant smiles. I knew I had to get involved.




I’ve been a part of my college radio station for 2 years now, and I am now completing my last year. (That’s me in the studio!) Since my first visit, the studio has expanded and moved to a shiny new space in the student activities center, located at the heart of campus. While on my summer break from school, I didn’t stray far from the radio biz. I interned with the Portland Radio Project, a local radio station in Portland. I met so many cool DJs, learned about some crazy talented local artists, and made some great connections.

According to Pitchfork, “college radio can reflect what local broadcasting should strive for: freeform programming that’s community organized and unentangled in market-based obligation. It is also a continually replenishing talent pool for the industry at large, and every part of the musical ecosystem can count former college radio DJs among their staff” (2017).

Both student-run and local, community radio provides music-lovers and radio enthusiasts the opportunity to think outside of the box. It’s an outlet for up-and-coming artists to receive recognition, listeners to be exposed to new genres, and a place for community members to share their music knowledge on the air without corporate involvement. This is how it should be when it comes to sharing the music we love!

According to FRG, “community and local radio stations focus on local areas they are an opportunity to give the community a voice. Community Radio Station’ staff are usually volunteers, and they are nearly always not-for-profit organizations. Funding is mostly given through donations or would incorporate fundraising in the form of events, pub quizzes and advertising.”


Kirsten at KATU


Kirsten Nicolaisen, a Portland-based journalist working in the social media and digital world of TV news, is a KWVA alumn and DJ at the Portland Radio Project! (We have a lot in common.) 🙂 Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Kirsten made her way north for school where she spent four years working at KWVA Eugene. From production assistant, to DJ, to eventual News Director, Kirsten wore a number of hats at KWVA. A stint at Oregon Public Broadcasting brought her to Portland, which she now calls home. Kirsten spent several years working for ABC news affiliates in Portland, Oregon and Washington, D.C. she’s now traveling the world before moving to NYC to further her career in journalism


kirsten at KWVA


“My favorite memories from KWVA are late nights and early mornings spent in the studio” Kirsten says. “KWVA was my library, my office space, my living room, and my little world tucked away down a long hallway at the student activities center. I loved diving into the music library in the wee hours of the morning when I first started DJ-ing during the Tuesday 4-6 AM shift, and sticking around afterward to catch up on school work… constantly distracted by all the messages and jokes scribbled on the walls. It was in those quiet hours that my love of music, radio and media truly blossomed.” (Above: Kirsten in the KWVA studio as a student.)

Kirsten believes that local radio stations like PRP and college radio like KWVA provides music fans with the most unique music and best radio-listening experience.

“Without stations like these, I believe many talented local musicians would not have the platform to properly showcase their work. I feel lucky to be a part of a growing force in the local music community!” she says.

College and local radio is pretty rad. Let’s help keep it alive!


2014/365/351 On The Air At CFBX




KWVA 25th Anniversary Alumni On-Air Weekend May 26th & 27th

Join us for an amazing weekend of programming! We are welcoming back alumni, 25 hours of alumni to celebrate our 25th anniversary! Here is our special 25th Anniversary Alumni on-air schedule, including names of DJs and the programs they previously hosted:

Saturday, May 26th:

10am The Lonely Guy, host of The Lonely Guy Radio Program

11am Theo Therone, host of Groove Morning to You

noon DJ DAD, host of The Radio Station Wagon

1pm DJ Bandino, host of Sample Chains

2pm DeMoeFunk, host of The Discositdown

3pm Amy Dials, host of Just the Machete

4pm Pigeon (and djpj), host of Better Than Sleep

5pm Queen Autumn, host of The Grasshopper Unit

6pm Screamer, host of Metal Madness

7pm Queen Autumn, host of The Grasshopper Unit (part 2)

8pm DJ Martha, host of Martha’s Tacos

9pm DJ Kiks, host of Saturday Night Time Machine

10pm Janna, host of Mix programming

Sunday, May 27th:

8am Mary, host of radio glitterpie

10am DJ who had no name, host of Texas Chainsaw Acoustic Hour

11am Judge Rage, host of The Death Sentence

noon Snake Peters, host of The Hip Hop Block w/Snake Peters

1pm DJ Elle, host of Let’s Do Coffee

2pm DJ Lux, host of Hottmess Radio

3pm DJ JC, host of Radio Whiteaker

4pm DJ Carma, host of New Haircut Radio

5pm DJ Kellsj, host of Rabbit Hole Radio

6pm DJs Perfidia and Diva, hosts of Dark Waters & Witching Hour

Online the web links are:

Stream 1

Stream 2

Stream 2 will continue to carry alumni programming in the event the softball game is on about 6pm… the UO Women’s Softball team is in the NCAA Super Regionals and KWVA is the voice of the team.