It’s been more than a year since UCF’s student-run radio station was defunded, but former Knightcast members who fought for its survival are still licking their wounds. And while a newly established campus recording studio added insult to injury for some, others are grateful the equipment is being put to use.
The Office of Student Involvement opened a podcast studio in Ferrell Commons’ All Knight Study 2 earlier this month, allowing students and faculty to record podcasts, do voice-over work and record music.
The studio, equipped with a Behringer X32 soundboard, five RE20 microphones, three Behringer C1 condenser mics, a Samson CO3 multi-channel mic and Adobe Audition, occupies the same space as its predecessor, Knightcast.
Zero-funded in March 2014, Knightcast lost its Student Government Agency status during a heated Senate meeting, leaving its 115 members without a studio to call home.
Then-SGA Vice President Jacob Kahn recommended they form a registered student organization and seek funding through the Senate.
“That month, Knightcast, Pride [Commons] and Late Knights were all on the chopping block. Pride went under the Multicultural Student Center; Late Knights stayed because it actually reached thousands of students,” he said, adding that Knightcast’s DJ service was reincorporated into OSI Productions.
The spring 2015 graduate, along with OSI Director David Oglethorpe, confirmed that, to his knowledge, steps were never taken to form a Knightcast-esque RSO. However, Oglethorpe pointed out that even if the members had applied for such recognition, it would not have guaranteed them use of the equipment.
Owned by SGA, the equipment steered OSI in the direction of a recording studio when it was tasked to find a purpose for the Knightcast leftovers.
It’s great that the materials were repurposed, because the alternative would have been it gets cataloged and auctioned off as state property, Kahn said.
Oglethorpe believes the podcast studio will see more success as it offers basically the same services, but with less overhead — any student with at least a half-time enrollment status and 2.5 GPA can use the equipment.
“My whole argument for disbandment was the numbers,” Kahn said. “It wasn’t reaching the potential it could have, even after rebranding. ... It had been on the decline for years.”
Knightcast’s live portion reached 280 listeners per weekday, 1,511 per week and 47,000 per year, Jessica Gottsleben, then-student director of Knightcast, said in a previous interview. However, Kahn claimed these numbers were based on hits instead of unique listeners.
“The hard part about removing Knightcast was that there was a very tight-knit, although small, community,” Kahn said. “At the end of the day, you have to do what’s for the greater good and what’s best for the student body.”
Part of that tight-knit community was Sean Villegas, a 2014 graduate who hosted a variety-education radio show called Schitzo Radio. Villegas remembers being upset when Knightcast was disbanded and felt mixed emotions upon hearing the news of its equipment’s revival.
“I’m happy that the next generation gets to do something similar to what we got to experience over at Knightcast, but there’s still that twinge of sadness,” he said.
Despite his “remaining bitterness,” the alumnus hopes the service will see better success than Knightcast.
“It’s so hard to get people on at a specific hour,” he said. “The whole podcasting situation might be able to help that out.”
Caroline Glenn is the Content Manager at the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter @bycarolineglenn or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.