New 90’s alt rock station offers new opportunities

in A & E/News/SCSU News by

If you’re a child of the 90s, or just have an appreciation for the sound of alternative rock, it may be time to program a new station into your vehicle’s dashboard. With the launch of SCSU’s new 90s alt rock station, 97.5 FM RadioX, the sounds of Nirvana, Hootie and the Blowfish, Gwen Stefani, and many, many more are now available to St. Cloud listeners.

The station was started by a team of three: one faculty member and two students. Adjunct professor and KVSC Operations Director, Jim Gray, had the seed of the idea for a 90s alt rock station.

“Jim had an idea for something but wasn’t quite sure what,” said Jesse “Scooter” Wheeler, music director for RadioX and one of the students instrumental in bringing the idea for the station into fruition. “He’d been watching the trends and he came up with the idea of alt 90s and he knew I’d always been a fan–that’s when I grew up. He got a hold of me two years ago to come up with a playlist. It kind of mushroomed from there.” The station launched on January 19, and St. Cloud seems to be welcoming the new station with open arms.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive.” Wheeler pointed out that within a couple weeks time, the station’s Facebook page had already reached nearly 400 likes. RadioX’s program director, Trevor Klopp echoed the excitement at the positive response the station has been generating.

“We’ve gotten nothing but great feedback since we’ve started. It’s not too alternative, so even people who aren’t really in-depth into the 90s music scene can turn on the station and enjoy it and hear songs they recognize, which is another difference between RadioX and KVSC, which plays more alternative content.”

Wheeler explained that the 90s alt rock format makes economic sense, as the primary target demographic for the station are now at a point where they are likely to be economically viable to respond to the ads that generate revenue for the station.

“We thought as a whole that since the pinnacle of alt rock was 20 years ago that a lot of the folks that grew up with it are in a position where they are financially viable,” said Wheeler. “You want to tackle a format that’s going to be economically viable for the station.” RadioX differs from SCSU’s sister station, KVSC in that it is a commercial station rather than public. This gives students the opportunity to experience training in an entirely different kind of radio format.

“The idea behind RadioX is to enhance options for students, for both listening and training students,” said Klopp. “KVSC can’t train students how to run in a commercial radio station. KVSC trains students in public radio well, but not so much in commercial radio. The station is student-run, but still has a commercial format. It will give students that want to get involved a taste of what it would be like to get involved with a commercial station.” Wheeler said that while they are excited about the new training opportunities the station will provide, it has not fully assumed that role as of yet.

“Eventually RadioX will be dovetailed into training program for students, but the focus right now is just to get it off the ground,” said Wheeler.

When asked where he wanted to see the radio station in five years, Klopp mentioned a few possibilities.

“It’s dreaming right now, but I would like to do a request based show,” said Klopp. “Scooter [Wheeler] wants to do a music history segment…but there’s nothing official. I don’t think it will ever be a 24/7 live format like KVSC.”

Students and community members can tune in on the radio at 97.5 FM, online at 975radiox.com or at tunein.com.