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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

10 Questions with…

Editor’s note: For this edition of 10 questions, The Aggie sat down with new KDVS General Manager Ben Johnson to get the lowdown on the life of a general manager and upcoming plans for the radio station. KDVS 90.3 FM broadcasts to the greater Davis area and strives to provide its listening audience with diverse, challenging, noncommercial, freeform radio.


How long have you been working at KDVS?

I’ve worked there for about three-and-a-half years. I started as a new volunteer so I could work with sound.


So you got started there so you could work with sound?

Well I’d known friends involved with KDVS since junior high and high school, and I knew I wanted to be involved as a fan of music and learn how to make music myself.


So now you’re the general manager. What does that mean exactly?

I have more responsibilities. I’m in charge of leading the core staff and taking care of the day-to-day operations. I also have more perspective now on what it’s like to deal with outsiders and the public as the face of the radio station.


What’s your favorite part of your job?

Probably being able to be around so many music fans and live shows on a daily basis.


Least favorite?

Getting a phone call at 3 a.m. saying a DJ didn’t show up or something is broken. I don’t like it, but it can be kind of a fun challenge.


What do you plan on doing after this gig?

I’m not 100 percent sure. Hopefully I can get some kind of job with alternative media. I’m hoping the connections I’ve made in the technocultural studies department will help with that.


What’s something interesting about KDVS that not many people know?

That we have a DJ in there 24 hours a day. We have about 150 different DJs per week during the normal school year. Over the summer we have less.


What’s your favorite radio station besides KDVS and why?

Probably WFMU in New Jersey. That’s the station I look up to as a free form community radio station. It actually used to be part of a college out there, and when the college closed they had enough support [from the community] that they were able to hang on to the radio license and keep broadcasting.


Do you have a favorite program on KDVS?

Hmm. Probably Tim Matranga’s show. Or Mr. Glass. DJ Mucky is good too.


What new things can we look forward to from KDVS in the coming year?

We’re definitely trying to get a better online presence so we can be more accessible to students who don’t really listen to FM radio. We’re also trying to increase our signal strength by possibly moving our tower. Right now we’re looking at some places east of campus, like off of Mace or near the city dump. Also, Catalina Island just got a radio license and will be broadcasting inland to California, so KDVS will be helping them get started.


Interview conducted by RICHARD PROCTER, who can be reached at editor@californiaaggie.com.


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