Fall days and radio waves: It’s KMSU’s Fall Pledge Drive

Chilly air, shorter days, and 89.7 FM radio waves can only mean one thing: it is time for KMSU’s Fall Pledge Drive.

KMSU Radio, located in the Alumni Building across the street from Bresnan Arena, began the first of its biannual pledge drives Wednesday and is scheduled to last until Nov. 4.

The noncommercial public educational radio station will look to raise $30,000. The goal is up from last year’s fall pledge drive, which sought to raise $25,000.

James “Gully” Gullickson, general manager of KMSU, said the money raised will help keep KMSU’s on “solid financial footing.”

“KMSU is a noncommercial radio station, so we don’t get revenue from advertising,” Gullickson said. “Therefore, we need to obtain funding from other outside resources. These include grants, local businesses who underwrite programming (different from advertising), and the people who listen to the radio station.”

Although $30,000 may seem like a high goal, Gullickson said all funds raised during the pledge drive will be used for the betterment of the station.

“Equipment is a big expense,” Gullickson said. “Part of every radio station’s budget gets chewed up every year replacing broken or outdated equipment. KMSU also purchases syndicated programming from a variety of sources. This rounds out the sound of the station, with students and local volunteers shouldering the bulk of the daytime/weekday programming.”

Beside the positive feelings associated with giving, donors also receive other premiums for donating certain amounts.

A donation of $25 can earn you the “Finders Keepers 14: Batsongs” CD or a KMSU yellow mug. A $50 donation offers either a KMSU baseball cap or a vinyl copy of Johnnie Frierson’s “Have You Been Good to Yourself.” $60 will get you the “Live at the World Café Volume 40” CD.

A $100 gift will award donors one of a few options. First is the “Howlin’ Wolf: The Complete RPM & Chess Singles,” Jerry Garcia Band’s “Garcia Live Volume Seven,” or The Beatifics’ “How I Learned to Stop Worrying” 20th anniversary reissue with exclusive companion 10” EP are all albums up for grabs.

If that doesn’t suit your fancy, donors could select the KMSU Day Sponsorship—pick whatever music you want for a whole day. You could also be on-air with Shuffle Function, too.
A $200 donation will take you to the Record Expedition in the Twin Cities.

These premiums are a way of thanking listeners for their support of a station that was conceived over 50 years ago.

“We ask [our listeners] to donate whatever they can to keep KMSU vibrant and on solid financial footing,” Gullickson said.

Anyone can donate online at, but Gullickson prefers listeners call the station.

“Then we get to have a conversation about what they like and what they would like to have us change with our programming. Most listeners say they love what we’re doing and not to change a thing, but some do express opinions about things they would prefer to hear on-air,” Gullickson said.

Seasons come and seasons go, but one thing that hasn’t changed at KMSU is listener support. If you wish to give to KMSU, call in your pledge at 507-389-5678, or toll free at 1-800-456-7810.

If you are a broke college student but KMSU sparks your interest, feel free to contact Karen Wright, Operations Manager, for more information about the student-run show Radio a la Carte or the campus news program Southern MN News Project. She can be reached at

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