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KJHK Q&A W/ Ray Bennett

Ray Bennett

Grade: Graduate Student

Major: Masters in Social Welfare

KJHK Position: Station Manager



Dakota: Who are you?

Ray: I’m Ray!

D: Ray where are you from?

R: Basehor, Kansas.

D: And where is that?

R: Near Kansas City, but more rural. Not Johnson County.

D: What do you do for KJHK?

R: Everything.

D: What does your typical week look like?

R: I DJ on Monday nights. Tuesdays I come in nice and early and have meetings all day. I meet with all of the different directors, cabinet leaders and have some reception hours thrown in as well. Thursdays I just have office hours all day and DJ a rotation show to help out with Programming.

D: What’s the show you have?

R: FemFM on Monday Nights. It’s Fem-friendly music. This is my sixth year doing FemFM. I started in 2013 or 2014 with a co-host, and that was when I was a Freshman. That was the first thing I did at KJHK, music staff and FemFM.

D: Other than that what else have you done at KJ?

R: Almost everything actually. From the beginning, my first semester was a volunteer on music staff. I reviewed music and started DJing after that. Sophomore year I applied to be assistant music director and did that for a year. While I did that I was also on Multimedia staff before it was a paid staff. I might have done a little bit of Street Team but it wasn’t until my junior year where I got really involved. I was Program director and I also was, at one point, on six different staffs: Music staff, Live Music Committee, Multimedia staff, Arts and Culture, Street Team…the only staffs I haven’t done are Production and Sports staff. My senior year I was Community Engagement Director. And now, Station Manager.

D: Any position help you the most with transitioning into Station Manager?

R: It all together coalesced. I think Program Director – being in charge of a lot of people and volunteers. Community Engagement Director – I did a lot more of the external stuff. Honestly just all the volunteer staffs. Being on volunteer staffs in different areas of the station really helped. I’ve seen KJHK go through a lot of changes and that helps too – knowing where we’ve been and where we’re going. It’s helpful for when people have new ideas but are unsure of the direction they want to go. I can direct them on what things have worked and what hasn’t, but really I just like to help my directors and staff members to do the best job they can.

D: When you came in as Station Manager did you have a goal in mind or any road map?

R: Yeah, we really wanted to work on recruitment and transition. Last year was kind of a hard year for us. We lost a General Manager and went through a lot of administration changes. I think this year it’s been a chance for us to think about growth and how to expand what we are doing. It’s just a great service and we want people to hear about it.

D: Was there any part of the job you weren’t prepared for?

R: I think the one thing I didn’t expect was how little contact I’d have with volunteers. With my previous positions it was all direct contact with volunteers and I liked working with tons of different people of different backgrounds. And now I just work with my advisors and the executive staff. However, I’m fortunate because I have a really good executive staff and they really kick ass and do a lot of good stuff and are respectful. I couldn’t ask for a better staff, but I am trying to make it a point to meet more of the volunteers as possible. Yeah I don’t know… I think the nature of getting hired in upper management is you don’t have much interaction with everyone, but like I said I have a great staff and am really excited about what they are doing with their volunteers. I know the station is in good hands. Next year I have more academic commitments so I’m just going to volunteer again.

D: Oh really? Are you going to have anything prepared for the next person who comes in? Any long-term goals of yours set out that they can help accomplish?

R: Oh I hope so yeah. I think again building on the progress we made this year. We are going to have a better transition than last year because we are going to have more time to train people. I think I want to be as much of a resource for them as possible.

D: From your vast experience here, what do you think KJHK as to offer over the other organizations such as the Kansan or KUJH-TV?

R: It’s wild ha ha. I don’t know…. Everybody’s so weird and I like weird. It also is one of the few organizations that has a lot of community ties. Everybody in town knows about KJHK. We’ve been around for over 40 years and people in the community DJ’d here in the eighties and we have connections to alumni all over the world and all of the people who have been listening for years in town. It’s just became this institution that’s not really an institution. I like that. It’s unique.

D: That’s pretty cool. That’s all I have for you today. Thank you Ray.

R: Yeah! No problem.