UCRN Conference Fall 2019: RECAP

On November 16, 2019, KXLU 88.9 FM Los Angeles was honored to host the Fall University of California Radio Network (UCRN) Conference.

The big day started bright and early at KXLU HQ, where guests were welcomed with breakfast goodies and a tour of the station.

After our breakfast meet-and-greet and station tour, present members of each station introduced themselves. We had people from KALX 90.7 FM (Berkeley), KSPC 88.7 FM (Claremont), KUCI 88.9 FM (Irvine), UCLA Radio, KUCR 88.3 FM (Riverside), KCPR 91.3 FM (San Luis Obispo), KCSB 91.9 FM (Santa Barbara), KZSC 88.1 FM (Santa Cruz; kzsc.org), and KXSC 1560 AM (USC).

As the KXLU Welcome and Station Introductions came to a close, we got started with a series of panels, workshops, and presentations. At this UCRN, the directors of KXLU planned and offered three panels entitled, “Music and Visual Media,” “Calling All Artists: Designing for the Music Industry,” and “Life After College Radio.” Other scheduled events included a workshop, “Radio Resistance: How Artists and College Radio Can Work Together to Sustain Independent Media,” and a keynote presentation, “Listening Outside the Box.”

Music in Visual Media

In the first portion of UCRN, Program Director Lilly McCarty planned and moderated the “Music in Visual Media” Panel, where from CD to screen, the audience learned how music helps to shape visual media into a cohesive work. An additional goal for this panel was for the audience to gain an understanding of the technical aspects of music supervision and how to use a logistical and creative mind to get into the business.

Our guests included Jessica Makhlin (Former KXLU DJ & Music Coordinator at Transit), Heather Guilbert (Lecturer at LMU & Music Supervisor at Francium Enterprises), and Taylor Rowley (Former KXLU DJ & Music Supervisor)

Calling All Artists: Designing for the Music Industry

Planned and co-moderated by KLMU Co-Director Rachael Moreno and KXLU Social Media/Web Director Alexa Terry , the audience got a look into visual aesthetics of music and the design behind musical artists and their merchandising. This is where aspiring artists wanting to work in the music industry could gain insight into marketing their art for a music-related audience and navigating collaboration with musicians. The audience was able to ask the panelists questions and advice about working as a visual artist in the music industry.

Our guests included Antonio Aiello (Freelance Art Director & Designer), Luke Kim (DJ/Founder/Promoter of Directory), and Grace Danico (Freelance Designer, Illustrator, Archivist, and DJ).

Radio Resistance: How Artists and College Radio Can Work Together to Sustain Independent Media


Led by QTPOC (queer, transgender, people of color) artist-activists Quisol and Diaspoura, this workshop’s goal was to initiate an urgent conversation on how to preserve independent art and media, uplift emerging talent, and promote systems of equity in the digital media world.

Throughout the workshop the audience was split in groups and given real-life scenarios that dealt with these topics. The groups then came together to form plans on how to handle their specific scenario.

Life After College Radio

In collaboration with Loyola Marymount University’s Music Industry Society, this panel focused on how to have a career in music post-college radio and how to use the connections you have made to get a foot in the door. The panelists were able to share their experiences as college radio DJs, and went into how this shaped their future endeavours.

Our guests included Shoshana Reist (Marketing Assistant at Epic Records), Rubi Gonzalez (Producer/On-Air Personality at iHeart Radio), Michael Stock (DJ/Founder/Promoter of PART TIME PUNKS), and Bennett Kogon (Associate producer at SiriusXM & On-air host for SiriusXMU).

Listening Outside the Box

Associate Professor of Journalism Evelyn McDonnell is an expert on music, gender, and politics. She has written or coedited six books, from Rock She Wrote: Women Write about Rock, Pop and Rap to Women Who Rock: Bessie to Beyonce. Girl Groups to Riot Grrrl. She is also a series editor for Music Matters, a collection of short books about musicians. As a longtime journalist, Evelyn McDonnell has been a pop culture writer at The Miami Herald and a senior editor at The Village Voice. Her writing on music, poetry, theater, and culture has appeared in publications and anthologies including The New York Times, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Ms., Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Review of Books, Travel & Leisure, Billboard, Interview, and Option. She teaches students how to write and make noise at Loyola Marymount University, where she directs the journalism program.

Through this keynote, Evelyn talked about the history about the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame and delved into the severe underrepresentation of women present within. With statistics, she went into detail on how the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame is essentially a “self-selecting boy’s club,” giving her own accounts as a seasoned-veteran in the world of music journalism.

Swag Swap and Spit Pit’s Live Performance

After the series of panels, workshops, and presentations, UCRN radio stations commenced the “swag swap,” a tradition done at every UCRN conference. Each station brought a variety of fun radio goodies, such as stickers, buttons, t-shirts, and portable radios!

KXLU brought a plethora of nifty items, from soap on a string, buttons, stickers, to our sweet UCRN-exclusive totes, a joint-effort design by Social Media/Web Director Alexa Terry, and Music Director Kees Wilcox.

The eventful day of UCRN Fall 2019 concluded with a live performance from San Francisco-based girl-rock band, “Spit Pit”. Their energy was extremely fun, with adlibs throughout their songs that were very reminiscent of Le Tigre. The fun, DIY spirit of Spit-Pit was a perfect way to end the UCRN Conference for Fall 2019!

Written By: Alexa Terry

Photography By: Isabelle Gremillion