A new way to tune into tailgates

Game days on a Saturday in West Texas include food, friends, and football. Buff fans have a number of things to enjoy during the tailgates. One new addition that has been introduced is Tailgate Radio.

Photo Courtesy of KWTS.

“I heard another school talking about how they, on game day, do different things on the radio, something that would be cool for us to do. So that’s when I kind of wanted to call it Tailgate Radio and why don’t we just kind of change the format so that it appeals to as many people as we can,” said Randy Ray, associate lecturer of media communication and faculty advisor KWTS/WTTV. 

After getting all the equipment needed for set up and promoting the new program, the preparation for Tailgate Radio took about a month to put together. KWTS broadcasts live from the tailgates  on 26th Street before the football game hired from lift gate truck rental. A booth is set up along with the equipment and the KWTS truck. Music is played throughout the duration of the broadcast and interviews are conducted by members of KWTS. 

“Within the practicum, all the students are then divided up into teams for each individual director. So I, myself have four team members,” said Benjamin Bermudez, Tailgate Radio and Live Lounge Director, “They helped me load up the truck and then I have them set it up. They put up the tent and everything… I’m in the studio the whole time. So I’m not actually at the tailgate, but that’s where my team comes in,” said Bermudez. 

The students that host and put Tailgate Radio together interview players, coaches, and other fans attending the tailgate. Listeners can tune in to The One 91.1 to hear the live broadcasts as they are happening at the event. The broadcast will go on from the beginning of the tailgate, up until the start of the game. 

“We get set up, we play music, so we add to the energy,” Dr. Michael McFarland, assistant professor, said. “We’ve programmed the music to cover all generations. So stuff because a lot of alumni show up on game day and so we’re playing stuff that they would recognize. So anything from quote oldies to new stuff, just fun, happy, upbeat, keep energy flowing kind of music,” said McFarland.

Students can also get involved with Tailgate Radio as well. Students can be interviewed and have air time by contacting either Benjamin, or any other of the directors for the station. They can also call into the station and can be on air through the live remote. 

“You’d be surprised how many people walk by and go, ‘Hey, I used to be on the radio’ Well, sit down. Let’s talk just a little bit. So a lot of people, especially the ones that have been involved in the program, they recognize it and then they’re just excited for it because we’re still out there doing that,” McFarland said.