Radio station format denies musician airplay

Nicole Knight
Staff Writer

A University of La Verne student began a protest against KULV when the radio station denied his band airtime, due to the fact that the student’s hard metal band did not fit the program’s format. The student has posted flyers around the University’s campus questioning the purpose of the student-run station.

The story began when Clint Compton, a ULV student and drummer for the band Neurotoxin, approached KULV with the request for his music to be aired. Following regular procedures, Cassandra Campos, program director; Casey Oliver, music director; and Taylor Kingsbury, assistant music director, worked together to evaluate the music.

KULV is the University’s student-run radio station. Working on the KULV staff prepares students for work on a corporate radio station.

“Along with serving the students, KULV is a laboratory for radio students to learn how the business is actually conducted,” Campos said.

The drummer remained persistent by checking on the status of his request every day. However, since Compton’s hard metal band did not fit KULV’s alternative rock format, the staff was forced to deny his request, but thanked him for considering KULV.

Compton then returned and asked for the KULV staff to reconsider their decision. The three student directors listened to Neurotoxin again, thought long and hard and after much debate a unanimous decision was made: The music did not fit the format and therefore could not be played.

“Even if the best rapper requested to be aired, we wouldn’t play him because it does not fit our format,” Oliver said.

The programming staff then informed Compton his music could not be aired. To KULV’s surprise, the student was not as persistent as he was before, but instead nodded and walked away.

Compton’s response had led the KULV staff to believe the matter was understood and finished. Then the staff began to see flyers around campus speaking against KULV concerning the recent incident. The black flyers, made by Compton, titled “Reclaim Our Airwaves,” accused KULV of not allowing any student music to be aired.

However, the radio staff refuted the claim saying that KULV listens to and accepts student bands every day, but they are required to fit the format.

The radio station features a night for local musicians in the alternative rock genre.

Compton’s flyers against KULV traveled to Rhino Records in Claremont through his own hands.

As a floor manager for the music store, Kingsbury was present when Compton visited Rhino Record and remembers the incident vividly. According to Kingsbury, Compton walked around the store for a few minutes trying to hand out flyers to customers. This presented a problem as Rhino Records does not allow soliciting inside it’s stores.

Kingsbury informed Compton that he could not continue with his actions, and with this command the musician began to sulk away.

Next without notice Compton cut in front of a customer making a purchase and “slammed down” his flyers on the Rhino employee’s counter, Kingsbury said. Kingsbury immediately asked Compton to leave after the incident.

The musician realized his defeat and exited the store.

Kingsbury said Compton knew he worked at Rhino Records, and purposely came in to harass him and his customers, even though KULV does not reach the Claremont area.

“What really made me mad is when he stepped in front of our customers,” Kingsbury said. “He shouldn’t bring his personal business into my work.”

Kingsbury mentioned that he treated Compton like every floor manager would have treated a solicitor.

“He had every right to voice his opinion about the station, but he shouldn’t have taken the conflict to my work, where the issue has no relevance,” Kingsbury said.

Compton told a much different story than the KULV staff.

“They said that ‘they’re a very prestigious radio station and they are formatted like any other mainstream radio station.’ Therefore they only play mainstream music, which I thought was taking away from a very important aspect of the radio business: communication,” Compton said. “The radio station lacks communication with any artists or promoters.”

After his incident with KULV, Compton and his band felt the need to tell the student body about their experience in hopes the radio station will change.

“The purpose of the flyers is to not only let the student body know about my experience, but that the radio station won’t play anybody from the student body no matter what musical style they are,” Compton said. “This idea of only playing mainstream music is literally a disgrace to our music department.”

In light of KULV’s decision, Compton composed a petition against the radio station. According to Compton, the petition has so far been signed by 15 faculty members and 69 students.

“What I hope to accomplish here is to first let everyone know that there is a problem with the radio station and then hopefully they will fix it,” Compton said. “In other words I would love to hear music produced by our own student body on KULV.”

Steve Compton is also a member of Neurotoxin, as well as Clint’s brother and a ULV graduate. Steve Compton said the band put forth a mutual effort to distribute the flyers. The message on their flyers speaks to the student body and questions the purpose of KULV.

“What’s the point of airing commercialized radio selections on a college radio station if these artists are already receiving plenty of exposure?” Steve Compton said. “By refusing to air our material not only is KULV violating and shutting out its very own student body, but it is also putting down its very own music program.”

Steve Compton studied music at the University and credits much of his success to ULV’s teachings.

“KULV should be proudly embracing me and other music artists as homegrown artists,” Steve Compton said.

Nicole Knight can be reached at

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Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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