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(Re)making Poodle Radio, Part Two

The Indy‘s Radio Show Prepares to Go FM


When last we left Poodle Radio, it was broadcasting through UCSB dormitory electrical current on KJUC, KCSB’s AM training station. (And, much more conveniently, streaming right here on independent.com.) As the program’s host and producer, I’m happy to report that its days in the KJUC studio are numbered.

While KCSB’s broadcasting proving ground isn’t without its charms, I can assure you that it pales in comparison to the freeform-radio powerhouse that its FM operation. By the time this column sees the light of day, all necessary paperwork will have been filed for Poodle Radio to make the graduation from KJUC to KCSB proper.

That is, we’ll graduate assuming our grades and behavioral record are in order. If our various spitballs thrown and exams botched are deemed more or less within the realm of acceptability, the show will appear on KCSB’s spring broadcasting schedule, which goes into effect on Monday, April 5, at 6 a.m. (Consult KCSB’s schedule page for the exact airtime.) If you prefer listening to the show after it’s been archived on the Independent site, you won’t have to do anything differently. But if you’re an antenna-clutching radio purist who prefers to take the term “on the air” literally, know that you’ll soon, fingers crossed, be able to enjoy it live, via the 91.9 frequency, at home, in the car, maybe out on a boat—wherever radio waves reach.

Disclaimer: This is by no means guaranteed to happen on the week of Monday, April 5. While the spring schedule will most certainly begin then, there always remains the slight chance that a given show, no matter how packed it is with poodle-y goodness, will not be granted a time slot. The schedule creation process is a complex, mysterious one, a time-honored rite laden with the weight of tradition and performed behind closed doors by a tired, stressed-out KCSB staffer. Many hopeful programmers apply, and there are, after all, only 168 hours in a week. We put a lot into our show, but there might just happen to be more demand for the all-gamelan-and-death-metal extravaganza gunning for the same slot as us. Thus, despite the enormous degree of good intentions involved, anything can happen.

But if all goes as planned, what should Poodle Radio listeners be prepared to hear from this new iteration? The program’s evolution over its 16 installments on KJUC—not that I’d recommend you listen to them all in a sitting—gives a good idea of the direction in which we’re headed. You might have noticed a recent shift from compartmentalized segments of pre-recorded conversation to live host-guest interaction. Given the greater dynamism of the latter recording style, and given the FM control room’s four dedicated guest microphones, you’ll be hearing a lot more of that in the coming quarter. Some have pushed for shouting-intensive Crossfire-style debates between ideologically opposed public figures on the most controversial topics roiling in Santa Barbara. This possibility cannot be ruled out, although the setup equally permits the hosting of live bands. Maybe one could provide the background soundtrack to the other.

Another finding to come from our KJUC experimentation is that a guest’s physical presence in the studio always soundly trumps their virtual presence on the phone line. As obvious as this notion may seem, experience has reinforced it and then some. Luckily, a probable weekday time slot on the FM schedule will make it that much easier to get real human beings on the mic, unmediated by miles of telephone cable. Not that the phone will be dispensed with altogether. Since KCSB is equipped with the technology to put live callers on the air, opportunity opens up to get the listener’s voice directly involved. Perhaps you’d like to get in on the aforementioned heated four-way arguments over Santa Barbara’s big issues (or voice a complaint about the live band currently jamming).

As a work in progress, the program is always open to suggestions, no matter how difficult to orchestrate or un-radiolike they may seem. Is there anything in particular you’d like to hear (or you’d like stop hearing) on Poodle Radio? You can help the program evolve by sending your feedback and/or far-our ideas to colin@independent.com. As we move to the next level—if indeed we do move to the next level—they’ll come in handier than ever.

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