Behind the Mic: Brandon Battaglia

Brandon Battaglia in front of some shrubs by West Commons.

Listeners and fans of KCR College Radio know of the variety shows broadcast on-air. But, what some are not aware of is KCR’s coverage of Aztec Baseball. During the season, commentators, such as Brandon Battaglia, take to the airwaves from Tony Gwynn Stadium. I sat down with Brandon for a special edition of Behind the Mic.

As a new member of KCR, Brandon went ahead and auditioned for baseball commentating at the beginning of this spring semester. First, Brandon was assigned to two games in the beginning of the season – and his performance warranted more appearances. Since then, Brandon has commentated nearly 10 games for KCR.

To get a better understanding of what it’s like to commentate, I had Brandon walk me through a typical game. He and his partner, Sean Nichols, arrive to the stadium about an hour prior to the first pitch. During this time, statistics and information, including topics like “who’s gonna be big in the game” and “players’ backgrounds,” are gathered about the opposing team.

Going into the commentating gig, Brandon told me he didn’t have many expectations. However, he now believes it will all work out.

An avid fan of the sport, Brandon told me, “Watching baseball non-stop is finally paying off with [commentating].” He added that he “just has a really good time doing it.”

In addition to KCR’s live broadcast of baseball games, Brandon has begun covering games for the Mountain West Conference. According to Brandon, he got a call from KCR’s General Manager, Matt Hoffman, to fill in for a game. After a successful broadcast, Brandon and his partner Sean were signed on with the network for the remainder of the season.

Brandon, an international security major, joined KCR in January 2017 as a sports talk show host for “Diamond Sports.” He and Michael Quinn host the show every Saturday at 2 p.m. They equally cover San Diego State teams and professional sports. During the season, the SDSU basketball team was the trending topic on each show. Brandon told me he addresses current player moves, playoffs and other headlines for the NBA and NFL.

Listeners can expect to hear a lighthearted debate about sports between Brandon and Michael. Brandon mentioned that the two try to make the show sound like a normal conversation, adding that “it’s a people’s sports show.”

Brandon has hopes to resume commentating for both KCR and the Mountain West in the 2018 season.

You can catch some of Brandon’s written commentary on Aztec baseball games, and listen to his show, on KCR’s website. For the other games, Brandon’s coverage can be viewed on the Mountain West website.

In addition, you can find your favorite DJs on our KCR schedule.

Featured Image: Brandon Battaglia, a sophomore at SDSU, is optimistic about his future in commentary. Photo by Sumner Shorey.

Behind the Mic: Tony Berteaux & Daisy Santana

Daisy and Tony posing in the KCR studio.

Some of the best entertainment can come from the most natural and off-the-cuff conversations and reactions. Tony Berteaux’s and Daisy Santana’s “22 and Not Pregnant” does just that every Thursday at 7 p.m. Both hosts were able to join me for another edition of Behind the Mic.

Tony created the show during his first semester at San Diego State nearly three and a half years ago. Daisy came on-board when the show was “18 and Not Pregnant,” and has been on air with each age iteration of the show since.

During the show’s early days, the two covered trending reality television including such shows as “Honey BooBoo.” According to Daisy, the show has since developed into a general coverage of pop culture and “hot topics — whats going on in the news, whats going on with celebrities.” The two added that their personal lives and stories reach the air too. Tony pointed out there are recurring characters that  have appeared on air and within stories including Teddy, Nick Santana and other friends of the hosts.

Daisy said every week’s show is different, with either a mix of pop culture talk and personal stories, or one dominating the showtime over the other. Listeners can expect the show to be completely improvised and natural. Tony pointed out that the “uncensored nature” of the show is what makes “22 and Not Pregnant” unique for listeners.

Food reviews are one of many featured segments that come on-air. Tony explained that he will buy something from the Aztec Market (not sponsored), eat it live on air and follow up with a review.

Online quizzes, such as the ones on BuzzFeed, are also featured on-air, with the two hosts completing them together.

Daisy told me the best part of hosting is, “bringing the creativity that’s in our minds and our personalities and putting that on-air.” Both hosts agreed their show is an hour to escape their lives and to let loose.

Improvisation rules are an element of the discussions on-air, according to Tony.

Despite the concentration on pop culture and their personal lives, the two do hold music breaks, usually with Tony’s picks. Indie and other “chill” music can be heard in between the hot topics.

Tony and Daisy with the KCR letters in studio.

“22 and Not Pregnant” can be considered a legacy show at KCR.

As seniors, both Tony and Daisy have busy lives outside of KCR. Daisy is President of PSFA Civil Core, the official service and volunteer organization of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts. She also works alongside the communications director of PSFA to manage the college’s social media. Daisy works as a student assistant in the Dean’s Office in PSFA.

Tony is a Campus Editor for the Huffington Post. His writings focus on Asian-American representation and antisemitism. Tony also interns at the San Diego Union Tribune. He manages the public relations for SDSU’s chapter of Society of Professional Journalists. Both Daisy and Tony are majoring in journalism and media studies.

On an additional note, Tony let me know that he assisted in making current KCR General Manager, Matt Hoffman, who he is today. Years ago, Hoffman, who was not a KCR member at the time, approached Tony inquiring about the radio station.

Unfortunately, “22 and Not Pregnant” has run its course and will be retired this semester with Tony’s graduation in May. “It would not be the same without the person who created it,” said Daisy. Daisy will continue on KCR with a new show in the spring of 2018, after she returns from studying in Belgium.

Catch the remaining episodes of “22 and Not Pregnant” on KCR College Radio every Thursday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

In addition, you can find your favorite DJs on our KCR schedule.

Featured Image: Daisy and Tony’s friendship adds value to the entertainment they provide on-air. 

Behind the Mic: Alicia Hoole, Caitlin Catalina Cardenas and Nick Lograsso

Caitlin, Nick and Alicia sitting in a courtyard at SDSU.

Tried-and-true radio shows usually have a history. Or, in other words, they’ve been around for a while; this includes the DJs and hosts themselves. KCR’s “In the Red” is an indie-alternative music show hosted by Alicia Hoole, Caitlin Catalina Cardenas and Nick Lograsso, who are currently in their fourth semester together as hosts. Curious about how they’ve stayed together for so long, I reached out for an interview for this edition of Behind the Mic.

Alicia, Caitlin and Nick began hosting at KCR together during their first semester at SDSU. Alicia told me that there is a certain chemistry between the three of them that they play off. Despite being a music show, discussion does pop up occasionally, and when it does that chemistry makes for an obvious sense of familiarity between the three. Alicia added, though, “It all comes back to the music.”

Each of the hosts indicated to me that they have unique tastes in music, which makes for a good mix on-air. That mix includes indie, alternative, classic rock, pop rock and punk rock. Regular listeners will know that every show ends with a pop song, whether it be Lady Gaga or the Jonas Brothers. Interestingly enough, Nick’s favorite Jonas brother is in fact Nick.

Nick said that his music taste started with ’90s alternative, and that he still revisits the genre through his contributions to the show’s playlist. He did say, however, that he’s been influenced by both Caitlin’s and Alicia’s music taste – through genres such as classic rock, pop and 2000s alternative. Alicia added that Nick often plays unknown, but important and relevant, songs from well known artists and albums.

Caitlin’s contributions to the show range from mid-2000s punk, such as Panic! and Fall Out Boy, to classic rock like The Beatles. Caitlin is a criminal justice major here at SDSU.

Between songs, the trio chimes in with some music history about the songs they’re playing, as well as why the music made that week’s playlist. On a recent show, the hosts discussed The Doors and the 50th anniversary of the group’s debut album.

In addition to history and importance of songs, the three bring up venues and shows they’ve recently attended or will attend. They’ll give a short review of the attended shows.

Music for each episode of “In the Red” features separate playlists that Alicia, Caitlin and Nick compile themselves. Alicia told me playlists “reflect what each of us have been listening to during the week.” Listeners can expect to hear a new variety every show.

When he isn’t a DJ, Nick is studying – he’s a computer science major. He also has a leadership role in Gates to Success, an on-campus organization that strives to help underrepresented and first-generation college students. The organization points students in the right direction for services like scholarships and tutoring. Nick is also a part of AITP @ SDSU, an organization of information, technology, business professionals.

Alicia, a communications major, is the Music Submissions Director for KCR. She is also a member of Aztec Music Group, the on-campus organization focused on combining business and music interests. Last semester, Alicia interned at Topshelf Records in San Diego. She hopes to pursue a career in the music business.

If you want to experience “In the Red” for yourself, tune in to KCR College Radio every Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition, you can find your favorite DJs on our KCR schedule.

Featured Image: The three hope to add a segment to “In the Red” which focuses on a specific band, sometime in the future. Photo by Sumner Shorey. 

Behind the Mic: Talia Raoufpur

Talia standing on the bridge at the Turtle Pond with foliage in the background.

The telling of stories and uncovering of truths are key principles of news. Morning news shows can update listeners with local, national and global stories, while providing proper entertainment through featured guests and interviews. KCR’s Talia Raoufpur hosts a show that does just that every Wednesday from 8-9 a.m. “Hit The News, Not The Snooze,” was way too catchy a title for me to pass on an interview. So, I sat down with Talia for another edition of Behind the Mic.

Talia first explained that the purpose of her show is to share people’s stories, while being news oriented. These stories often come from people who couldn’t have shared their perspective without the on-air opportunity. Talia gave me examples of people who have been featured on her show, including a Holocaust survivor and various Associated Students election candidates. “It’s an opportunity for people to share their story,” said Talia.

The invited guests are brought on to discuss subjects pertaining to San Diego State students, according to Talia. Within those conversations, guests share their stories that connect to the featured discussion topic.

Every episode of “Hit The News, Not The Snooze,” starts with Talia addressing the news headlines from Tuesday. She discusses local, national and any other important stories. Talia told me that she began a segment this semester, called “On This Day,” in which she describes a significant event, not necessarily historically-significant, but one that “[puts] our current times in perspective.” Talia said this segment allows her listeners to see how far we’ve come as a society.

With such an already well-produced show, I asked Talia if she plans on adding anything new to her routine. She told me she’s got a switch in style in-mind for next semester – specifically a shift towards a variety show. A more “spontaneous and relaxed” show seems to be what Talia hopes to move towards in the future. However, she indicated that she would still keep the name “Hit The News, Not The Snooze.”

What makes Talia’s show special? Talia expressed that the ways her personality shines through make for a unique morning hour. For one, the music breaks include a range of artists, from Adele to Biggie Smalls. Additionally, Talia adds diversity to the airwaves with her Jewish voice, and gives the Jewish students at San Diego State a voice, when necessary.

When she isn’t preparing for her show, Talia is a staff columnist at The Daily Aztec, where she writes opinion columns. Her writing focuses on any subject that she values, such as antisemitism or being a Republican on a college campus. Talia currently works as a project assistant and receptionist at a law firm in downtown San Diego. She is also an active member of Hillel, a global Jewish organization that brings students together.

Despite being a Psychology major, Talia told me she may want to pursue a future career in journalism, with the hope of making media “true” again.

If you would rather “Hit the News, Not the Snooze,” tune in to KCR College Radio every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

In addition, you can find your favorite DJs on our KCR schedule.

Featured Image by Sumner Shorey. Talia Raoufpur, a junior at SDSU, brings pressing matters from campus and society for discussion onto the airwaves.