Radio staff speaks to students

The staff at Monroe’s KOUS Live 96.3 stopped by GSU’s campus on Tuesday to give advice and provide internship and career opportunities in the broadcast industry to engineering technology and communication students.    

E’VONNE GIPSON/Courtesy photo
From Left: Johnny Patterson, GSU engineering technology lecturer, stand with
Augusta Turner, and Dexter Jackson of KOUS Live radio station in Monroe.

“I was elated to come to Grambling State University to speak to all the students about the various opportunities in the broadcast field,” said Augusta Turner (Lady A), CEO of KOUS 96.3-LP. “However, I wanted to see more ladies in the room because there is a need for more females in the broadcast industry.” 

KOUS has provided the Monroe and surrounding communities with entertainment for the young and the young-at-heart. The broadcast consist of music genres: Gospel, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, Zydeco, Southern Soul, Pop and more. 

Turner spoke to the students about the different roles and duties of professionals in the radio station. She explained that there is a lot more that goes on in a broadcast station than the on air personality. She talked about some of the behind the scene responsibilities such as producers, managers, broadcast writers, marketing positions, technology positions and programmers. 

Turner began working in the industry 15 years ago and has been affiliated with Grambling State University through various NAACP events. She also has children and a sister that attended GSU. 

Bishop Phillip Granville, KOUS announcer and gospel director said, “KOUS is an outlet that students can utilize to gain professional hands on experience and be able to place the learned skills on their resumes. The guidance that they will receive at the station will be the one-one-one mentorship that they won’t be able to receive in the classroom.” 

“I am glad Ms. Turner and her staff could join us today because it was important to emphasize all the different jobs associated with engineering technology,” said Johnny Patterson, lecturer and special projects coordinator in the Engineering Technology department. 

“I was a DJ when I was at LSU in 1970,” he said. “I remember I was actually the first black DJ that the school had at the campus radio station. The challenge was trying to find the right time to play music because we had a limited audience during those times.”

“Although my background is electrical engineering, I know radio stations need broadcast engineers, but my students did not. I want them to know that after graduating from GSU that they don’t just have to work at engineering firms, that there are a ton of options in this field.” 

Donald Carral Jr., junior mass communication major, and an on air personality at KGRM 91.5, said he hopes to pursue a career in the broadcast industry after graduating and gained valuable information from the KOUS staff. 

“Speaking with the KOUS Live staff has presented me with the opportunity to network with different individuals who already have experience in the industry,” said Carral Jr. “I look forward to going to their station very soon to use the skills that I’ve learned from my professors at Grambling State University and my mentors at KGRM,” he said.

Joyce Evans, KGRM 91.5 general manager, is Carral’s mentor, but she was also a mentor to Dexter Jackson, now general manager at KOUS 96.3. Jackson is a 1974 graduate of GSU concentrating in mass communication. He worked as a student at KGRM and the TV Center in 1973. 

“We came to speak to the students and introduce them to the broadcast and technology experience,” said Jackson. “I remember when I was a student here at Grambling something that always stuck with me was Ms. Evans saying that we aren’t about the junk talk, but we are about providing opportunities and teaching students how to produce professional work. This is not just for radio, but it is for mass media or whatever the student chooses to do in life.”

“I believe this is the exposure that Grambling needs, and if I can do it, then they can too,” he said. “I was a part of KGRM when we first came on the air after receiving our first license at a seminar at Northeastern.” 

Senior theatre and mass communication major Franklin Nelson said, “I really enjoyed speaking to Ms. Augusta Turner (Lady A), I have had the opportunity to work with mass communication professor and sports broadcaster Santoria Black at Red Peach 97.7 radio station in Ruston, Louisiana on a broadcast called “The Love Zone”.

Nelson said he has learned the ins-and-outs of what it takes to work at a radio station and talking with the KOUS staff has given him more confidence in furthering his broadcast career.  

“As a worker in the education system I must say it was important and well overdue for the students at Grambling State University to be introduced to these many different opportunities,” said Yolanda King, assistant to the Department of Engineering Technology.  It is imperative for them to obtain, pick up and move forward after graduating in order to become successful professionals in their fields and in life.

KOUS will celebrate their 15th anniversary next year in June. Turner invites the students, faculty and staff to join them on their anniversary cruise June 12-19, 2016.  

For more information about the cruise or how to gain broadcast experience at KOUS Live 96.3, contact Augusta Turner at 318-450-5368.