The university radio station, KACU FM, has changed more than its frequency.
KACU, located on the first floor of the Don Morris building, is a National Public Radio member station. It gets some support from the university, but most of its support and listeners come from the public in Abilene.
Nathan Gibbs, KACU general manager, said KACU is making changes to physical aspects as well as content.
“It’s all part of a rebranding for the station,” said Gibbs.
KACU moved frequencies to 89.5 from 89.7 by switching its signal to a new tower on the south side of Abilene.
Gibbs said this will allow ACU to move forward with plans to develop the land where the tower was located, which is the former Allen Farm northeast of campus. It also increased the signal strength so the station could reach a broader area. Gibbs also said reaching a wider audience makes KACU a rural station so it can receive more funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
“We are unique in that we serve students and the public,” Gibbs said.
The second part of the changes is in regard to content. KACU news director Joy Bonala is responsible for developing content. She started working with KACU in January and has been helping to produce local news and shows. She said the station is partnering with the Abilene Reporter News, which allows students to use their content.
This year a new role of reporter has been created to gather local news. Gibbs said Emily Guajardo, a sophomore convergence journalism major from San Antonio, is filling that position. Gibbs said he hopes to grow this position so KACU will have a news presence similar to the Optimist.
Bonala said students should follow KACU on Twitter and Facebook.
“Students should listen to KACU because the content is rich, and it gives a good picture of what’s happening in the world,” said Bonala.
Gibbs said even students that are not journalism or mass communication majors can practice communication by working at the station. He suggested that students listen to KACU online at kacu.org from their dorms or while going for a run.
“Students should be aware of what’s going on in the world because they have a role to play,” said Gibbs. “Whether that’s voting or even protesting, it doesn’t have to be passive.”