Turn IT UP

Gorilla Radio seeks to expand recent growth

| Marcus Clem editor in chief |

A rapidly growing group of students are using a recent windfall to broadcast Gorilla Radio’s evolution.
The club’s members, all volunteers, are trying to figure out what to do with the more than $400 they just raised through this year’s radio-thon, a 24-hour pledge session.
“That’s more than we’ve had since I’ve been here,” said Seamus Hamilton, Gorilla Radio president. “When I arrived, we had maybe $12 in our treasury.”
The money is used mostly for equipment and maintenance, because the station is free to play any music that its members happen to own, though efforts are still made to promote up-and-coming artists and bands for little or no cost.
A lot more people are involved in that too. For the first time there’s some competition for its 4 p.m. to midnight slots on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Using an old, empty can of Spaghetti-O’s as a gavel, Hamilton regularly presides over a full room during club meetings. Everyone has an idea and a new style to bring, everything from alternative rock to sports talk shows or heavy metal to country.
Dalton Gainer DJ’s the show “Alternate Takes” in partnership with Kat Bailey from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Cale Peterson, freshman in communication, and Austin Nicholas, freshman in communication, dj the Gorilla Radio.

Cale Peterson, freshman in communication, and Austin Nicholas, freshman in communication, dj the Gorilla Radio.

“We’ve got like 15 new members this year,” said Gainer, junior in wood technology. “Our active membership has also stepped up. We’re starting to get a foothold.”
The station is limited to “listeners” of the TV channel CAPS 13, which also broadcasts its content through www.pittstate.edu.
Plans such as partnering with 89.9 KRPS or 860 AM KKOW have been explored, but formatting rules prohibit actively sharing content, says Kelsey Renfro, KRPS program director.
“We’re always looking to do internships, and I’ve asked myself why there isn’t more of an overlap between us,” she said. “But, we wouldn’t be able to change our format. If there’s an opportunity to have a Gorilla Radio person, we’d be open to it, but us playing what they play wouldn’t really be an option.”
Bailey, junior in graphic design, says that the way things are done now offers valuable freedom to Gorilla Radio’s artists.
“For me, it’s just about the idea that you have this freedom to make this connection through a shared music taste,” she said. “It gives you the opportunity to talk about what issues you want to talk about. You can put yourself out there as a playlist representing yourself.”
Still, the lack of knowledge about the fact that Gorilla Radio even exists is something that its members have to confront.
“The awareness of this campus has of us is basically zero,” Gainer said. “When I say I’m on Gorilla Radio, people ask, ‘What station?’
“We did think at one point that they were playing us in the Student Rec Center, but later found out that it was just a Pandora station called ‘Gorilla Radio.’”
Hamilton has big plans that he hopes his successors will follow to expand the station’s reach.
“I think we can be an established club that is self sufficient, mostly through online radio,” he said. “I don’t want this club to go down, and I don’t think it will, but I want to be able to use this momentum while we have it.
“I don’t know what we’ll do with a less handsome president, though.”

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