By Crystal Harrell
Modern, authentic, informative, and innovative—these are just a few brand values that the crew at COD’s radio station seeks to promote at the official launch of KCOD CoachellaFM this semester. With the reinvention of the college’s student-led broadcast, KCOD CoachellaFM’s mission is to maintain an active interaction with the community through music, news, and public service programming that is both interesting and relevant to local listeners.
Since its establishment by advisor Laurilie Jackson in March of 2011, KCOD has earned a reputation of delivering quality radio broadcasts to desert residents. With the new KCOD CoachellaFM, the station upholds a vision of diversifying programming and expanding its audience, while educating students about the field of radio production.
The rebranding process began when KCOD’s co-advisor Brad Fuhr decided that the station needed to take a different approach that would better sync with the Coachella Music and Arts Festival—a popular tourist staple that garners thousands of concert-goers each year and an event that makes the Coachella Valley truly unique.
“Once people come here for Coachella and then go away, they lose that connection to the festival until next year. They may stay up-to-date with the Coachella Valley newsletter, Goldenvoice, etc. But the crew thought, what better way to both highlight the local music scene and all the other artists that play at Coachella than create KCOD CoachellaFM?” Fuhr stated.
With that goal in mind, Station Manager Toni Deluca Bakal met with a logo designer from Los Angeles that helped redesign the image of what is now KCOD CoachellaFM—complete with color palettes, font styles, and a new tagline: Where the Music Comes Together. The entire process began in October of last year and was finalized at the start of 2015.
“It did take some time to get everything going with the designer on board, but once we did, it really flew through. All the crew members made a final decision on the logo and approved the new design, so it was a group effort,” Bakal explained.
KCOD CoachellaFM plays indie, rock, pop, dance, and hip-hop genres, along with some local artists and songs from bands that performed at the music festival in its 24-hour playlist. The station also broadcasts several shows, including the comic-oriented Toongasm, Morning Talk with Czarny hosted by the station’s sports director, Bryanna Czarny, and KCOD Culture Source, which provides a five-minute rundown of the month’s happenings around the desert.
In addition to emceeing events like last year’s International Tamale Festival, KCOD CoachellaFM was recently nominated for three Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) awards in the categories of Best Campus News, Best Promo Series, and Best Website. The competition was open to college radio stations across the nation and KCOD CoachellaFM was in the 10 percent of entries selected.
“I feel very honored to be a nominee because Manny Gomez and I had been doing campus news just out of fun, and we sent in our work without expecting anything to come of it. I was really shocked [to find out we were nominated],” stated Best Campus News nominee Alex Winner. The 75th Annual IBS International Conference will take place March 6-8 in New York City.
According to Bakal, her time as the station’s manager is ringing in a new era with “a passionate crew and fun times ahead.” KCOD CoachellaFM can be heard 24/7 on www.coachellafm.com or on Tunein, under KCOD College of the Desert.