By Emma Brenner
On Jan. 1, Kutztown University Radio launched its new program titled “Radio for Pets.” The streaming of calm, soothing music plays at late night and early morning, in between student-run specialty shows. With “oldies” music including the likes of Frank Sinatra and Whitney Houston, this new and innovative program is intended to keep pets content and their owners at ease.
KUR streams 24 hours a day and seven days a week, and when students aren’t on the air, they play an assortment of relaxing music. The radio station is available to KU students and the community, and it was the community’s response that inspired Michael Regensburger, the KUR radio station manager and staff advisor, to pursue this idea.
Older residents of Kutztown gave consistently positive feedback, commenting on how they and their feline and canine companions enjoyed listening to the station’s daytime music. The various mentions of pets led Regensburger to suggest the development of a new, official program: “Radio for Pets.”
Previously called names such as “Café KUR” and “KUR Diner,” the daytime program consisted of classic songs from the 1960s through the 1990s, with a few contributions of current artists.
With Regensburger’s revelation to reinvent the program, development for “Radio for Pets” began in the summer of 2018. KUR maintained the same musical style but transformed the simple pastime program into having a purpose by adding the imaging “Radio for Pets” between songs.
Regensburger strives to build KUR as an opportunity for students and a method of giving back to the community. “Radio for Pets” wholistically aligns with the organization’s goals. KUR encourages Kutztown locals to send pictures of their pets to be featured on the station’s social media accounts and on KU TV. Since the program’s launch on New Year’s Day, the community has submitted an abundance of photos.
Hourly pet health tips and news break up the program’s music streaming. KUR also partnered with the Humane Society of Berks County to have a pet featured each week on the radio’s station. Regensburger’s hope is that “Radio for Pets” will serve as a positive message that inspires proper pet care and adoptions, unites the community and promotes KUR.
In Regensburger’s words, “Radio for Pets” gifts the program with “new life, so it’s not just musical wallpaper.” Its primary purpose is to benefit the people of Kutztown and to perhaps inspire other collegiate radio stations in the process.