City Times Sound focuses on local music and culture in a complete overhaul of 88.3 HD-2 FM

While the exact date when students will be able to use San Diego City College’s radio studio recording equipment is yet to be determined, the spring of 2022 will see the revival of KSDS 88.3 HD-2 FM, the student radio station. Photo by Vicky Pineda/City Times Media

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2019, students and faculty at San Diego City College’s radio station, KSDS 88.3 HD-2 FM, put together a playlist, tracked it down, and played it. left on a loop.

And so on, until now.

The start of the spring 2022 school year will see the renewal and complete overhaul of the station’s content. The City Times Sound team, which is just a branch of the larger City Times Media platform, will launch all-new programming focused on local music and City College campus life and culture.

I’ve spoken with CTS COO Jakob McWhinney and our collaboration here gives listeners an idea of ​​what is behind the new impetus behind HD-2 and what they can expect from the student station in the future.

How did the idea for a redesign of the HD-2 come about?

The idea for a redesign was born last semester. McWhinney said he was a student at RTVF 130, the predecessor to this semester’s student radio class. Each week, they scheduled a block of student-produced podcast content to air on Mondays at 5 p.m.

But outside of that block, the huge wall of music left in place of student programming reigned supreme. And it seemed like a waste.

So McWhinney approached CTS program director Will Tran, and they began thinking about ways to put together a student radio program that was not only current but responsive to the needs of the San Diego City College and San Diego community. Diego more broadly.

Why will local music be a priority?

As part of the effort to meet the needs of the community, McWhinney and Tran thought of experimenting with something San Diego hadn’t really seen before: an all-local music radio station.

According to McWhinney, San Diego is simply a smaller market than Los Angeles and doesn’t have the same kind of robust music infrastructure, despite being home to a thriving and diverse music scene.

They hoped to use City Times Sound as a way to not only spotlight some of the amazing artists San Diego is home to, but also use local music as a way to tell the stories of the city.

What other types of programs can we expect?

The programming will not be limited to music alone.

The plan is to collaborate with students from City Times Media’s other partners – which also includes digital news site City Times and weekly TV news show Newscene – to create City College-centric news.

The students also plan to produce all kinds of podcast content that includes last semester favorites like the current affairs call show The Listening Machine, the music interview show San Diego Local Spotlight, and the still Processing focused on storytelling, while creating a wide range of brand new content.

What is special about college radio and why should we listen to it?

Unlike corporate radio, college radio doesn’t necessarily have a strict monetary incentive, allowing students to try all sorts of new things, McWhinney said.

This freedom, to create and experiment, and even to fail, is an invaluable learning experience for students. But it can also create the kind of magic that many for-profit radio stations often lack.

A show strictly about UFO sightings in the San Diego area? A block of the best songs on El Cajon Boulevard? An interview show with people queuing to cross the border at San Ysidro? Anything is possible on college radio.

And while a for-profit station might have to worry about recruiting sponsors, all the HD-2 team needs to worry about is creating something dynamic and entertaining.

When will the programming start? How and at what time can we listen?

According to McWhinney, tit’s a big business. Students will need time to build things. The first real week of broadcast will take place at the end of February.

From then on, listeners will be able to tune in at 5 p.m. to hear new content daily or at any time to listen to local music.

Can students still join the team?

There is still time to join the radio team and anyone interested is strongly encouraged to do so. This is going to be a really big undertaking, according to McWhinney, and CTS needs all the help it can get.

If you are a current or former local musician, we encourage you to submit your music to [email protected].