KBCS seeks volunteers

KBCS 91.3 is a nonprofit radio station located just east of BC’s parking garage, and they are currently looking for volunteers to aid their small staff in daily broadcast operations.

General Manager Steve Ramsey said that KBCS trains community members in various tasks essential to radio production, teaching them to produce things for the air like music shows, interviews and reports on topics of interest.

About 100 volunteers help out KBCS with essential day-to-day production, with KBCS broadcasting 24 hours a day. Volunteers also help with other needs the station has such as marketing, raising visibility for their website and administrative tasks.

BC’s Student Programs also gives KBCS a budget to allot to students who receive financial aid, if they want to take a work-study position at KBCS.

Ramsey said that KBCS will work with student volunteers on their schedule, as well as try to match students with the needs of the station.

Sonya Green works in news and public affairs broadcasting for KBCS. She said that there is a need for volunteers who can do some of the writing, scheduling, public service announcing, social media management and production that the radio station requires. She said that the type of volunteers KBCS is looking for are ones that are outgoing, take direction, are self-directed and creative.

“We make good radio,” said Green, who mentioned that working for KBCS is a way for students interested in radio hosting or broadcast journalism to get hands-on training and an opportunity to gain experience in the field.

Ramsey mentioned work-study positions available to students such as marketing, digital audio editing and Web development for their website, KBCS.fm. He said he’s looking for students who are willing to commit since it takes time to train new employees.

KBCS has been running for 42 years and most of the full time staff in paid positions have been with the radio station for six or more years. Ramsey himself has worked at KBCS for 16 years, and said that some volunteers have been helping out for more than 30.

KBCS is the only live radio station in Bellevue, and Ramsey said it’s the only station that actively trains people to do radio. Ramsey wants students to see KBCS as a resource; they have had several successful internships with students in the past and they also teach radio broadcasting through Bellevue College’s Continuing Education program. “We’re delighted to be here on the campus and hope more students find out about us,” Ramsey said.

Patrick Whalen behind the mic at the KBCS studio.

Patrick Whalen works in sales and marketing for KBCS and his job is to pair the station with businesses that can provide support. He said that there are lots of volunteer opportunities, the most popular being the opportunity to host a show or DJ. Still, volunteers who don’t necessarily want to work in the studio can also find relevant work experiences at KBCS.

Volunteers can gain experience in sales and marketing, learn to use software for developing advertisements and assist with administrative tasks, editing and production.

Whelan said that about 75 percent of funding comes from listener contributions, but the rest is mostly acquired through advertising. Volunteers interested in marketing, advertising, sales, media, audio/visual production and the business model of nonprofits are encouraged to apply.