Creating Commercial-Free Success From Scratch

Creating Commercial-Free Success From Scratch

ROSEBURG, Oregon – When Patrick Schneider started his studies at Umpqua Community College (UCC) in 2012, the idea of creating a new radio station in Roseburg was hardly a blip on the radar. Today, the UCC alum is steadily working to build a low-power FM station located in the heart of downtown, and he is doing it using everything he learned through his studies at UCC.

Known by many as Trick, Schneider was no stranger to the world of broadcasting when he arrived at UCC. With a 15-year background in radio, Trick worked in the industry in Southern California from the late 90s to 2010. He studied radio in college and was interested in recording music. After signing up for an internship, he dropped out of school.

“I ended up working in radio for more than a decade, but there’s no money in it,” he said. “Being from Southern Oregon, I decided to move home. When I got back here, my family talked me into going back to school.”

After deciding to pursue business marketing, Trick certainly took his time in earning a degree. He spent a lot of time in UCC’s communication studies area. He was also very active with The Mainstream, UCC’s student media publication. Five years later, he graduated with an associate degree… and seven additional certifications.

“I explored a lot of things in five years and I learned a lot,” he said. “I’m a man of all trades now—marketing, fundraising, station development, social media, public relations, media relations. I use everything I learned.”

Trick’s education and his numerous skills appealed to Kasey Hovik. As the executive director of the Umpqua Watersheds, Hovik’s organization wanted to create a radio station to help support their mission of educating, training, and advocating for ecologically sound stewardship. As a result, KQUA 99.7—a commercial-free, nonprofit radio station—was created as a community service.

“We went through the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) four years ago asking for a frequency,” Hovik said. “As the deadline approached for us to receive the designation, we got serious about it and made a $5,000 investment in equipment. We were so fortunate to find Patrick.”

As the program director for KQUA, Trick is a volunteer. Broadcasting from a building donated to Umpqua Watersheds, Trick produces four hosted shows a week on the alternative music format station. With a laptop computer and portable microphones, he can travel anywhere to gather the interviews he uses on-air.

“Trick certainly puts a lot of love and care into it,” Hovik said. “This [station] wouldn’t have happened without him.”

KQUA 99.7 has evolved since hitting the airwaves in 2017. Trick’s goal locally is to partner with a variety of organizations in the community to help raise awareness and share information with the public. Right now, the station can be heard within a 10-mile radius of Downtown Roseburg. By this summer’s end, the station’s website should be finished. Once that happens, KQUA’s content will be available worldwide. Along with achieving global reach, Hovik has one more milestone to achieve.

“The goal is to get Patrick paid,” Hovik said. “We’re working on a number of things to make that happen—writing grants, working on sponsorships, things like that.”

Until that happens, Trick says he is a dedicated volunteer. Umpqua Watersheds hosts fundraising events throughout the year. A number of these events raise money that specifically go toward improving the radio station. Learn more here:

About Umpqua Community College

Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.