What’s in a name? For the teenaged students in the radio program at the East Valley Institute of Technology in Mesa, it’s a reflection of who they are, the music they listen to and, in this case in particular, the programming they help put over the airwaves.
Recently, EVIT’s radio station — produced in part by stduents and airing Valley-wide at 90.7 FM or 92.7 FM (depending what part of the area) — announced it has changed its name from “The Goldmine” to “The Pulse” as part of a larger branding shift to appeal to its audience.
“When you go to a typical teenager, the name ‘Goldmine’ just feels old,” said radio instructor Steve Grosz.
The audience in question is between the ages of 12 and 24, which falls right in line with the age of the EVIT students — Grosz said they are fans of the name change — who work at the station. More importantly, he said the new name is fits the type of music the station plays.
Although there are a few exceptions — The Pulse will play reggae and jazz on Sundays and will still do what it calls “Wayback Wednesday” that offers a broad collection of music from classic rock to bagpipes — the majority of what the station offers is high-energy Top-40 dance music.
In other words, Grosz said the hits the station plays will be faster and more akin to remixes. So Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball,” which is a relatively slow song, will have its beat sped up to make it more dance-floor friendly.
“We want to be what’s the pulse of a teenager, what’s the pulse of our audience,” he said.
The music, he said, also fills a niche for an area he said currently doesn’t have a station that tailors itself to that current demographic. And it appears to be a rather sizable niche, as he said the station gets approximately 100,000 listeners a week.
Due to the location of the station’s current power source, the station signal is much stronger in the areas that are not close to the broadcast center in Mesa. The signal strength for Phoenix and the West Valley is rather strong, as it is in Gilbert and a large swath of Chandler, but it’s weak in Mesa and north Chandler, among other areas.
“That will be fixed,” Grosz said.
Other changes the station is making beyond the name change and the increase in the signal strength include a revamp of the station’s website. Starting on Jan. 1, its current site, GoldmineRadio.com, will be replaced by TeenPulseRadio.com, and he said the new site will have separate programming than the radio station and will feature new content.
The totality of the changes for what was The Goldmine represents a sizable change for the station in its three years of existence. The station is the core component of EVIT’s “Radio/Audio Production” program. According to EVIT, students gain experience in day-to-day operations of the music and broadcasting industries.
Through the station’s evolution, even the value of the frequency has increased to the point that Grosz said it was valued at just short of $3 million.
“It’s growing beyond whatever we thought it would be,” he said.
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