KSYM annual pledge kicks off March 5

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KSYM music director Alexandra De la Garza goes through merchandise Feb. 28 in Longwith. The items will be given to donors for the station’s upcoming pledge drive March 5-11. KSYM is listener supported so the annual pledge drive is responsible for the majority of the station’s funding. V. Finster

The staff has set a goal of raising $35,000.

By Alfred Allen


College radio station KSYM 90.1 FM will begin its annual pledge drive March 5 to help raise funds for the station.

“You have about 20-something DJs coming in over the course of a week so things are going to break form standard use,” Program Director James “Hot Mustard” Velten said in a Feb.14 interview.

Velten is an employee in the radio-television-broadcasting program and is the host of “The Sauce” 7-9 a.m. weekdays.

Funds raised go toward licensing music and purchasing equipment upgrades such as microphones, wires, cables, microphone filters, record needles and CD players.

“There are not many people making cheap CD players anymore,” Velten said. “When you don’t have many to choose from, the cost goes up,”

KSYM uses the licensing software, Zetta, a revision control system, which costs the station $1,000 annually. The system provides digital radio automation.   

The streaming software allows the station to stay on air for 24 hours.  Before purchasing this software, the station signed off at 10 p.m.  

Velten said he wants the station to be self-sustaining because he tries to avoid asking for too much in funding from the college.

KSYM staff members go to businesses asking for donations in the form of gift certificates. In return, listeners who call into the station to donate can receive gift certificates.

The station’s goal this year is to raise $35,000. This is the first year the KSYM student staff has set a target fundraising amount, he said.

The motivation to set a goal was to include listeners in the station’s accomplishments.

“We got feedback from the listener that the pledge drive would come around for one week and then it’ll be gone. We would say ‘Thank you for donating’ but there was really no sense of accomplishment,” Velten said. “It’s cool that we’re still here, but they don’t get to share the sense of accomplishment because we didn’t have a goal, so we could announce it.”

For Velten, the drive is a way to involve the listener, saying the pledge drive connects listeners with local businesses and promotes the idea of a “local” San Antonio.

Listeners can call 210-486-1373 to make donations.


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