REXBURG — Brigham Young University-Idaho officially launched its third radio station on Thursday, simply called BYU-Idaho Radio.
But unlike its companion stations KBYI 100.5 FM and KBYR 91.5 FM, this student-run station exists solely on the Internet and targets toward a global audience, rather than just to those who live in southeast Idaho or the surrounding area.
The university intends to make this its flagship station, whose primary goal is to promote the BYU-Idaho experience.
Andy Cargal, a spokesperson for BYU-Idaho and one of the station organizers, said he hopes it will help undecided students consider BYU-Idaho.
“We want to provide opportunities for them to understand a portion of the overall BYU-Idaho experience,” said Cargal. “(But) we don’t really have a target audience — it’s for prospective students, it’s for alumni and even for parents who want to connect with their children while they are here.”
Also unlike its terrestrial counterparts, BYU-Idaho Radio is not a music-focused radio station, nor is its focus primarily religious in nature. Rather, BYU-Idaho Radio centers on original student-produced content.
For instance, the new station features a BYU-Idaho News Program, which covers news and events on the campus. Another student-produced radio series, called “Where Are They Now?” focuses on alumni success stories.
BYU-Idaho Radio also carries programs like the BYU-Idaho weekly devotional, and Music and the Spoken Word.
The new station is a completely student-run operation. Although a few full-time campus employees will mentor and help students create, produce and execute programming, campus officials say that they will rarely be on the air.
Cargal said that one of the university’s goals has been to increase opportunities for students to gain real work experience outside the classroom.
“I don’t know of another university that gives students the experience of building a radio station from the ground up,” said Jess Cannon, the BYU-Idaho Radio student station manager in a news release. “We don’t just have to stand back and watch others run the day-to-day operations — we get to do it ourselves. It’s a great learning opportunity.”
BYU-Idaho Radio is streamed live and is available worldwide from www.byuidahoradio.org, but much of the content is also available as a downloadable podcast.
Referring to the podcasts, Cargal said that this way a lot of people can get and listen to their favorite BYU-Idaho programming (including devotionals) on their own timetable and at their convenience. The podcasts are available on their website.
BYU-Idaho officials wish to assure the public that the creation of this new radio station will in no way affect the content or efforts put into KBYI 100.5 FM and KBYR 91.5 FM, and said that they will remain “business as usual.”