All About Your Favorite Radio Station: KTSW FM-89.9

By Ally Bolender
News Content Manager

KTSW 89.9 is a completely student-run and noncommercial radio station from Texas State University. Under the faculty advisor, Dan Schumacher, students interested in media can get hands-on experience working in one of our many departments.

14 different departments work to pull together the content you hear and see from KTSW. From sports, web content, news, podcasts, social media and events, there is always a way to stay connected with the music scene and the community of San Marcos.

The students that help run KTSW come from all majors at Texas State University. However, KTSW primarily employs students who are in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Man in front of the computer with headphones and microphones.
Nowadays, KTSW offers an in-depth experience for students going on air and working with programs. Josh Orozco prepares the on-air room for a Bobcat Radio episode. Image by Ally Bolender.

When you turn on KTSW at FM 89.9, you’ll hear college rock, electric music, garage, psych-rock and indies. What makes KTSW different than other local stations is the pride we take in providing an audience with new, upcoming and different music.

KTSW plays a lot of local artists from San Marcos, so you know when you turn on your radio that you’re getting the most unique and raw music.

You won’t hear any over-played hits on our station– we like to play deep tracks and music that allows people to discover new albums they love. You can even check out our music articles on the blog to find new music and album reviews.  

KTSW loves to host events with local artists. So, if you’re looking for the best in up-and-coming live music in San Marcos, check out one of our showcases! We often host events on campus, at local coffee shops and outdoors. A schedule can be found on our Facebook page. You can also sign up for our newsletter there.

The KTSW radio station operates 24/7/365. KTSW is unique because of how much local content is aired on our station. We have podcasts from our very own podcast department and Bobcat Radio, a local sports show which covers all Texas State sports, local sports, and breaking news in the sports industry.

You’ll hear from local personalities, organization leaders and Central Texas artists. Localism has been a part of KTSW’s goal since the beginning. We pride ourselves on finding new, unique music from our neighboring areas. We even make our own commercials!

How KTSW Came To Be

black and white photo of a man using radio technology
This is what the on-air radio technology looked like in 1970 at Texas State University. Retrieved from Texas State University Library Achieves.

KTSW signed onto the air on April 15, 1992. By 2009, Texas State University purchased broadcast tower property for KTSW.

In 2014, the KTSW broadcast tower got a new antenna and transmitter building. By 2016, Texas State University purchased a new antenna for KTSW which increased the power to 16,000 watts ERP. 

KTSW airwaves now stretch from north San Antonio to south Austin.

Our Involvement

Old image of two people having a debate and a moderator under a KTSW sign. Description: From the 1997 SWT Yearbook.
This image was taken in 1997 when KTSW often broadcasted local political debates. Retrieved from Texas State University Library Achieves.

The KTSW working theme is to learn, serve and enjoy. Students work at KTSW to gain experience in many different departments. As members of the media, KTSW serves the public with awareness, coverage and entertainment.

Since the pandemic, KTSW has been working around the clock to keep listeners and readers updated with COVID-19 coverage, breaking news and university procedures.

Lastly, KTSW wants its members to enjoy it. Enjoy socials, charity work, fundraisers and concerts.

At the end of the day, KTSW is an academic laboratory for students. By working at KTSW, students can get on-air experience, published work, practice in social media and using software and programs.  

Listen to KTSW’s online stream or turn on FM 89.9. While you’re at it, check out the KTSW blog. Blog articles widely range from music articles and reviews, news stories, sports articles, lifestyle content and event announcements, releases and discounts.

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