In the University Center of Colorado Mesa University resides the school radio station: KMSA on FM 91.3. The station has been around for decades. Since 1975, the station has been “KMSA Alternative” due to the type of music that the station typically features; however, this will be changing soon.
KMSA has evolved over the years and has been working to expand its appeal and the topics that it covers. In doing so, it was about time for a new slogan to match the change in direction. “KMSA Music for the Mavericks” is the brand new slogan and mantra that KMSA is bringing to the table in order to exemplify the rebranding that the station is going through.
Previously, the radio station had been focusing more on playing music and featuring local bands from time to time. Now KMSA is branching out to get a broader platform so as to expose the listening student body to more topics and experiences that the old platform wasn’t accomplishing.
“We are trying to give students on campus the opportunity to have a voice. Whether that be exploring new music, talking sports, potentially having podcasts about sustainability or politics, really just giving students a chance to be heard,” said Chase Morris, KMSA Operations Manager.
Now making a place for students to have a chance to speak their minds and voice their opinions is great, but getting the current KMSA Alternative to the new KMSA Music for the Mavericks is harder than a simple name change.
“Building bridges upon departments is important,” Morris elaborated. “We are reaching out to the art department, among others, to help make the logo for KMSA. Operating and collaborating with these various students is brand new for KMSA, at least as long as I have been here.”
Chase Morris and her peers hope that within this unknown water lies a new identity that will be cemented by the involvement of the student body. For when the people that are supposed to listen to the broadcasts are helping to develop the very station that they are listening to, there is more stake in the organization as there is an investment in the new KMSA.
Naturally, rebranding is quite difficult. It takes two people to form an identity, and in this case, that is the station itself and the student body. If KMSA simply says that they are a newer and better version of themselves, there is no real resolution to shift in identity. For the entity of KMSA to change to the brand that they desire, the student body has to recognize the shift in the station’s personality. Otherwise, it remains the same.
Although KMSA had many personnel changes this past semester, they are hoping to include the student body in the construction of their new brand. By looking through the successes and failures that the organization has faced over the past several years and learning through experience and observation, the radio station for students, by students, hopes to be built upon CMU.