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Kbeach Radio Flourishes Under Lemos

Published: October 3, 2016

He placed his headphones on and adjusted the microphone, bringing it a bit closer. With a short countdown, the entire radio station became quiet.

“This is Mornings on the Beach, a live radio learning lab on the air Monday-Friday 9-10 a.m.,” said Danny Lemos, Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) student media coordinator.

From very early on, Lemos was hooked on radio. His career began at KLXU, a college radio station for Loyola Marymount University (LMU). Lemos, however, didn’t plan on getting involved with radio during in his college career. He went to LMU to study to become a Jesuit but his advisers suggested he take a couple of classes outside the religious realm.

“I was walking around the campus when I came across the radio station and I thought to myself ‘That looks really cool,’” said Lemos. “They told me if I could find a couple of spare chairs for their office that I could come on as promotions assistant, so I used my connections as a Jesuit scholar and got those chairs.”

Ever since, Lemos has been in the radio media industry, dedicating more than 30 years of his life to it. He spent seven of those years as the executive producer for the Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 countdown before deciding to begin his own podcast studio business, helping big-name clients—such as CBS and New Line Cinema—with their own podcast efforts.

In 2006, he was asked to become the operational manager at KJazz, the popular radio station on the CSULB campus, giving him his first taste of non-commercial radio.

Later on that year, KJazz was moving off campus and Lemos was going to be out of a job. He always thought it was strange that some of the student interns helping with KJazz never had an opportunity to host any of their own shows. So, the last few days KJazz was on campus, he let the interns take over.

“They handled themselves perfectly and no one was any the wiser,” said Lemos. “I truly believe students with the right guidance can produce professional work and I truly enjoyed guiding them through that.”

On his last day at KJazz, Lemos decided to walk down to lower campus, a place he’d never been. That’s when he discovered Kbeach Radio and thought, “I could help here.”

He was so excited to find a student-run organization that reminded him of the one back at LMU, he decided to volunteer at Kbeach Radio.

“One of the first things I did was create ‘Mornings on the Beach’ to be used as a teaching tool for the students at Kbeach,” said Lemos.

It was around that time Kbeach Radio was cleared to get its own Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license and ASI was looking for a director with FCC experience to oversee this new transition. They decided to hire on Lemos as the ASI student media coordinator.

Danny Lemos in the KBeach studio
Danny Lemos in the KBeach studio.

Since he became coordinator, Kbeach Radio has flourished. In the academic year 2014-15, it had seven students receive national internships and five receive national awards. The station has also received one Radio and Television News Association of Southern California Golden Mike Award, three College Media Association Pinnacle Awards and three Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Radio Trophy Awards.

Lemos’ great ability to develop and guide students caused the school to add even more responsibility to his plate. He is no longer the student media coordinator for just Kbeach Radio but also for College Beat TV and the Union Weekly.

“Danny has been the greatest help and mentor during my journey in ASI media,” said Nicole Ilagan, chief executive producer at College Beat TV. “He’s helped me countless times solving problems and developing my leadership skills, I owe a lot of my experiences and career successes to College Beat and Danny.”

Lemos has some big plans for taking over as coordinator for all three groups. One of those is to create a cross platform for all three groups to collaborate on.

“I think you just help the students come off more professional and help remove the stigma of student radio and student newspaper,” said Lemos. “I just absolutely love being able to help guide and develop the students and their passion is wonderful.”

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