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Sunday, March 26, 2023 — Houston, TX

UH models online radio after KTRU

By Hallie Jordan     9/7/11 7:00pm

Following suite of KTRU, the University of Houston has a new online-only radio station, COOG Radio.

Though UH has two large scale radio stations, COOG Radio will be the university's first and only student run station.

UH senior Conner Clifton had the idea to create the radio station two years ago after watching the movie Pirate Radio.

"KUHF is an NPR station and not really with UH but its own entity," Station Director and Founder Clifton said. "KUHF bought 91.7 and a lot of people think students are affiliated with that but we aren't."

COOG Radio, which started airing on Aug. 29, is open to playing any type of music as long as it is not mainstream or overly popular. "If you have heard it on the radio in the past five years we won't play it," Clifton said.

Some of their genres will include electronic dance music, African tribal, local bands, oldies and some film scores including Harry Potter, Clifton said. So far, the station has had about 2,000 listeners, Clifton said.

The station currently has 40 DJs who are working to promote their own shows and create a persona, he said.

"We are using this as a way for students who are interested in pursuing specialty radio to express themselves and be heard by other UH students," Clifton said.

Clifton, who grew up in Houston listening to KTRU said the station has been influenced by it.

"We really, really like [KTRU] and look to it as a model," he said. "We want everyone to know that we do not hate KTRU but love them and hope they love us back."

Current COOG Radio DJ Josue Garcia, who DJs electronic, hip hop and R&B, said he hopes the station will help students get their voice out to the Houston area as well.

"It's a chance for the DJs to get exposure, be a part of a brand new student organization and an outlet for them to have a voice," Garcia said.

KTRU Station Manager Joey Yang said he does not see the COOG Radio to be competition but rather a way for more people to get interested in the music scene.

"For a while, a lot of UH students actually came to us and DJed, which we loved," Yang said. "I'd love to see what they come up with. I think it's great for them and they have been needing this."

Though KUHF has internships for students who are studying communications, both Clifton and Garcia said they thought 88.7 does not give students the opportunity to host a program or learn to DJ.

"With the student–run radio you get experience planning talk shows, playing music that you like and to DJ," Clifton said.

Clifton said he was a fan of the Indian Show, World Show and Kids Show.

"I was so sad to see KTRU go off the airways," he said. "It came at a really dark time for the arts in Houston and put a really negative light on public radio and UH. However, I think there is a silver lining because online is the future."

Being an online-only station means they do not have to comply with any Federal Communications Commission regulations, meaning DJs can play whatever they want.

"It lets DJs play whatever they want," he said.

Being kicked off the air and replaced by online radio has not helped KTRU nor will it be a good venue for a UH student radio, KTRU DJ and University of Houston junior Vincent Capurfo said.

"I thought the least UH could have done is to give [UH] students a radio station, instead we came out with an Internet streaming website," Capurfo said. "It's not radio, its on the Internet."

Capurfo, who still works for KTRU doing general shifts and subbing for the occasionally for the Wednesday blues show, said the station has taught him to appreciate the relationship between the music player and the listener.

"I've always gotten a lot from KTRU," Capurfo said. "I am a regular guy who grew up listening to KTRU and it affected me a lot. The station benefited so many people who had never even been to the Rice campus."

Listeners can tune in at Coogradio.com online or n.coogradio.com on mobile devices.

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