As a community funded non-profit, KZMU’s ability to broadcast depends on the generosity of the people of Moab. This year, those listeners came through.
“We’re pleased,” said station manager Marty Durlin. “We had a very good year actually, and we had money to spare at the end of the year.” KZMU hoped to raise a total of $65,000 this year, and came up just short of that goal, raising $63,552. Ideally, they hoped to raise $600 to $700 more per radio telethon, but despite the slight gap, the money raised was sufficient. “When I came, this station was doing a little over $40,000 every year, so we’ve kicked it up, and we just need to keep it going,” continued Durlin. “It’s really great to be making it on our own.”
It takes a substantial amount of time and effort for the station to raise that amount of money. “I think part of it just was to keep asking,” Durlin said. “Just that kind of attention to it and focus on it.” This is easier said than done. Each radio telethon is nine days long, and by the end of that period, Durlin explained, the DJs can be reluctant to keep asking, especially when the station falls short of its goal. But the staff remains dedicated to their goals, Durlin added, saying, “Don’t give up, and people will come through, and they do care.”
As the station breathes a quick and short-lived sigh of relief, they are also planning new programs for the upcoming year, one of which is a new alternative to youth rock camp. “For the past four years, youth rock camp has been a spring break alternative for local youth. They work with an all-volunteer group of instructors and band managers and workshop leaders to learn how to play an instrument in a band and write a song, all in four days,” explained music director Serah Mead. When the youth center went under, KZMU absorbed rock camp. “It’s gone on for two years, and this year we’re going to take a break from rock camp and re-strategize to work on some capacity building and sustainability issues,” Mead said. ‘“In the meantime we’re in the very beginning stages of partnering with another local program to put on a kids radio camp, which would be more of an after-school program.”
Mead continued, saying, “local youth would have the opportunity to learn hands-on radio engineering, DJing, interviewing the public, and basically producing a piece for radio over the course of several sessions here at the station. It addresses the need for local career building and STEM programs.”
The program will likely be an annual program in the spring and fall, and the station is hoping to begin the camp in the fall of 2018.