By Kris Harris
Laurentian University's campus radio station is currently undergoing some big changes, including the diversification of its programming, the updating of its image, and a total overhaul of the equipment in its two studios.
"We are coming into the 21st century at last," said Deborah Frankel, general manager of CKLU.
The station has already completed the upgrade in its production studio. All broadcasts will be temporarily airing from there while they get to work on upgrading the equipment in the on-air studio.
"Once this is accomplished, our signal will be stronger and a lot clearer," Frankel said.
"Finally people can start listening at home and at the office."
The station is also planning to overhaul its appearance, which is a little dated according to Frankel.
"Basically, CKLU is coming up with a whole fresh face," Frankel said. "We're going to de-grunge the logo, create a new Web site...we're trying to clean it up a bit and get ready to play on a larger scale.
"It's time to take it to the next level."
The main goal of the changes is to connect with the community at large. The station currently airs several shows with a strong local flavour, including City Spins, a show dedicated to featuring local musicians, and Lunch with the Trinnie, where the host interviews a local member of each cultural group represented by the flags on the Paris Street Bridge.
This spring, CKLU will be working with Science North to bring eight weeks of science features to the radio with their series entitled Sudbury Knows No Bounds. In this series, Laurentian science graduate students will be bringing in popular Canadian scientists and airing the interviews.
But local programming is not all that CKLU will be offering.
"I have a very international vision for this station," Frankel said. "I'd like to see us sharing programming from all over the world."
The station is now airing syndicated programs like the environmental program The Green Majority, which originates from the University of Toronto, as well as others. There is also a show that airs in the Hindi language and one that airs in Polish.
Frankel would love to see some of the great shows that are locally produced become syndicated one day, so that the rest of the world can get a glimpse into the Sudbury experience.
Next month, CKLU will also be hosting a different kind of fund-raiser to help raise some money for their new equipment. Speed Dating by Song will be held at the Howard Johnson Hotel on Brady St. on Feb. 10.
"The idea is maybe you meet someone and then you've got a date for Valentine's Day," Frankel said.
The event will be just like any speed-dating event, except the participants are encouraged to bring their favourite music with them to share with their prospective dates.
"It's an easy way to break the ice," Frankel said.
There will also be "date incentive" prizes, including movie tickets to Rainbow Cinemas, and each participant will be awarded a gift certificate to Respect Is Burning.
Tickets to the event are $10 for guys and $8 for girls and can be purchased at Black Cat Too or at the door. For more information, visit www.cklu.ca .