He has made listeners laugh. He has made them sing. He can determine the mood with the push of a button. He tells news, entertains and even gives gifts to his audience. His familiar voice greets them almost everyday, but most wouldn't even recognize his face.
He is Baker Machado , newly picked station manager and the voice of KCSU's drive home.
The Collegiate Broadcaster Inc. and the Broadcast Education Association named Machado the National DJ of the Year.
Machado, a sharp-dressing, fast-talking junior speech communications major, worked at KCSU since his freshman year and aspired to be a DJ long before that. Recently, he received the position of next year's station manger, picked from a pool of three other "outstanding" candidates.
"Baker has got talent. He's quick, and he's got a good sense of timing on air," said Mario Caballero , broadcast operations manager.
The Board of Student Communications selected Machado as manager after an evaluation by the KCSU staff and an interview in front of the board. Machado, who seems to have no social restraints or shyness issues, appears to have just what KCSU was looking for.
"Baker is charismatic. He has that magic sense of humor that allows him to connect with a lot of people," said current Station Manager Stefanie Berganini, senior graphic design and psychology double major. "He's hilarious."
Berganini, leaving KCSU because the station generally gets new management each year, said she feels ready to move on.
"I could have re-applied, but it's a huge time and emotional investment. I'll be ready to let it go in May," she said. "It's been a great experience."
Machado, who describes his new job as "putting the right pieces in place" at the radio, plans to keep KCSU headed in the same direction, with more focus on the advertising side.
"My number one goal is to promote KCSU," Machado said. "I really want to target incoming freshmen, so we can get people listening all four years."
Although Machado said 60 percent of the student population already listens to KCSU, his goal is to reel in the other 40 percent.
"I like radio. It's very personable. It's just you and the DJ one-on-one," he said. "You get to use your imagination."
Cabellero said he believes Machado will keep the station headed in the right direction.
"The last couple years have been really strong, and I think Baker will continue that momentum," he said.
Machado doesn't see the station going through any major changes under his management.
"Me and Stephanie are both very lax and low key. We're open, but I'm bad at discipline," he said.
Describing himself as "ADD," Machado said his radio personality is much like his off-air one.
"I'm crazy and it can be entertaining, but I'm also organized and anal about my show," he said. "Everything should be fun, but well-managed."
The mix of these management and fun-loving qualities have most convinced of his future success in radio.
"I would not be surprised if in the next 10 years Baker is working in media in a major market," Cabellero said.
Berganini said she feels the same.
"He's approachable, he's easy to talk to and he's a people person," she said. " If he wants to he'll be doing something big."