West Texas A&M University's Student Radio Station, KWTS The One 91.1, is celebrating its upcoming 50th anniversary and will make a big announcement during its Friday broadcast.
KWTS is planning to celebrate its golden anniversary with a birthday party in the fall. The celebrations will be held during Homecoming Week, Sept. 26 to Oct. 1. WTAMU alumni, who have listened to the station on air over the years since its creation, are invited to come back and celebrate the milestone.
The university plans to preset the 50th anniversary celebration with a surprise announcement about a format change, between 7 and 9 p.m. Friday during “Psychotic Reaction,” a weekly radio show hosted by Dr. Marty Kuhlman, WT’s Jenny Lind Porter Professor of History.
"On my show, I have a segment called the 'Way Way Back Machine,' and we will use that to talk about the history of KWTS and how they have impacted the university. ... We just want the community to listen in to some good music and have a good time with us," Kuhlman said.
Kuhlman began the classic rock show in 1998 with Dr. Bruce Brasington, WT’s Twanna Caddell Powell Professor of History, and has hosted it solo since 2007.
This Friday, Kuhlman will be joined by KWTS adviser Randy Ray, director of broadcast engineering and associate lecturer of media communications at WTAMU, where they will play hits and new releases from 1972, the year the station began, and announce the new format change.
"Two big things will be announced this Friday, the celebration this October, and the upcoming format change. ... We are changing it to a format that is not currently in Amarillo, so we think that people will be excited about it," Ray said.
The KWTS station is a noncommercial rock station that officially launched at 3 p.m. April 12, 1972, at 10 watts. The station later upgraded to 100 watts in 1982, encompassing the perimeter of the city, then to 6,000 watts in 1998, which covers nine counties in the Texas Panhandle.
Ten students currently work as DJs or engineers at the station. KWTS hosts six weekly shows that feature country music, Tejano, K-pop and more. The radio station also hosts Live Lounge and One Sessions live concerts, posts podcasts, and broadcasts music at tailgates and other on- and off-campus events for WT.
"KWTS has always had really diverse programming, and we want to continue doing that. One of the things that we're really proud of is that we've played live music over the air just to change that programming. We want to continue to offer things on KWTS that you can't find other places," Ray said.
This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: WT Student Radio Station makes special announcement live on air Friday