By Will Rosson
The best 10 watts in Kansas has gotten even better.
Southwestern’s radio station, KSWC The Jinx, won two awards at the 2010 Kansas Association of Broadcaster’s awards on April 6, in Wichita.
Blake Carter, communication senior, Julie Mathers, major and year, and Will Rosson, music education junior, took second place for Promotion Event.
Carter, Tony Lara, major and year, and Rosson received an honorable mention for Station Website.
Tommy Castor, KSWC faculty advisor, said, “We had never entered before. This year we decided we had a couple of entries that we decided were pretty good quality. It’s pretty significant because we’re the only school this size that entered.”
The station competed against larger schools like Kansas State and the University of Kansas. Rosson said, “I was excited when I found out we won. We haven’t entered in recent years and we did well for the first time.”
Cowley County has noticed that the station has improved as well. On the fall 2009 listener charts, The Jinx was ranked No. 20 in the county. The station had never even appeared on the charts before spring 2009. The strength of the radio signal is only 10 watts, enough to cover the city limits of Winfield. “The ratings are impressive because we are not a professional radio station and we don’t have a lot of power. I’m really proud that there are more listeners than just college students,” said Castor.
The ratings don’t even cover the number of listeners who tune in to listen online. Castor said, “Our listenership increases for people logging on to football and basketball games. It’s a good outlet since we don’t have a strong signal.”
Rosson would like to see the station improve the strength of the signal. “Even just another 15 miles would give us a boost in listeners and what we could do with the station,” said Rosson.
The Back to School Backpack promotion, which included two Blink-182 tickets, was the promotion that placed at state. The promotion was the first of its kind for the station. Carter said, “Within the first two days of students being back in August, there were over 100 people signed up. That doesn’t include the people who signed up over the summer.”
Students can be looking for another big promotion in the fall. “We’re still planning but we want to do something huge. Something that gets all the students involved,” said Carter.
Carter would not only like to involve the campus, but also the Winfield community. “We’re Winfield’s hit music station, the station at the top of the hill. We really need to do more with the community,” said Carter.
Anyone at Southwestern can join the staff at the radio station to be part of next year’s planning. Castor said, “If you have an interest in broadcasting or an interest in music, music production or performing, radio is a great outlet because you can perform and entertain.”
Students who sign-up for radio experience, take a class and have a board shift at the station once a week. “You have the freedom to come play the music you want and get the experience to be a good broadcaster. We want to get the students involved. We’ve built the station up so that we can enter contests and win awards. It wasn’t this way a few years ago,” said Castor.