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College Radio News Roundup: Budget Woes, Anniversaries, Festivals, Awards, Radio Reunion and Rebranding

Ephemera at WBAR in March 2009 (Photo J. Waits)

In addition to the lengthier stories that we’ve been running about saving college radio lately, I also wanted to share a few other recent college radio-related articles, many of which provide a more optimistic perspective on the state of student radio. Here are a few reports from the scene:

Budget Woes at WMUC

The past few days have seen a flurry of activity at University of Maryland, College Park’s student radio station WMUC. The long-time station is facing a budget crisis after learning that they were not going to be receiving the full $24,000 that they requested from their Student Government organization. After hearing that their allotment would be slashed to $7000, WMUC launched a publicity campaign to both draw attention to their budget issues and to encourage donations to the station.

I Love Student Radio Campaign in the UK

The Student Radio Association in the UK recently launched a campaign and website called “I Love Student Radio,” which aims to “promote the activities of Student Radio across the UK, highlighting the variety, diversity and quality of what is surely one of the most vibrant and interesting sectors of the UK media landscape.” As part of this project to spread the word about campus radio, last week the Student Radio Association awarded the 2011 I Love Student Radio Awards to a number of stations and students including Crush Radio, Radio Sonar, The Cat, 107 Spark FM, RaW and 1251am.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ College Radio Station KUNV Celebrates 30th Anniversary

An article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal recounts the 30 year history of University of Nevada, Las Vegas station KUNV. The FM station officially launched in 1981, but had its beginnings a few years earlier when members of the radio club launched a campus-only station out of a bathroom. According to the article, “amid a history that includes being ranked as one of the nation’s top college stations, boasting such celebrity alumni as comedian/talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and enduring the controversial cancellation of the popular alternative music forum ‘Rock Avenue,’ it’s the restroom story that comes up whenever alumni meet.” Currently KUNV airs a mix of programming, including jazz, some specialty music shows, talk and public radio content. A student-operated station, “The Rebel,” airs on KUNV HD2.

Jackson State station Wins Local College Radio Awards in Mississippi

The Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters’ Awards ceremony took place over the weekend, honoring both commercial and non-commercial broadcasters in Mississippi. In the college radio category, Jackson State’s radio station won several awards, including best newcast, best sportscast, best news story, and best feature story. Jackson State University runs a public radio station WJSU that airs mostly jazz programming. It’s unclear from their schedule if the winning student radio segments aired on that station.

Music Fests during Radio Week at Mt. Holyoke’s College Radio Station WMHC & at WBAR-B-Q

The nearly 60-year-old student radio station WMHC at Mt. Holyoke College just finished up its annual Radio Week with a concert on Saturday. In similar news, Barnard College student radio station WBAR recently hosted their 18th annual WBAR-B-Q festival featuring live bands.

WGCC Radio Reunion on May 6 and 7

Former DJs at Genesee Community College’s radio station WGCC are invited back to the Batavia, New York campus for a radio reunion on May 6 and 7 for a Radio Reunion. More details on how alumni can sign up for these reunion spots can be found in this recent article.

WUGR Reworks Branding and Format to Attract More College Listeners

WUGR, the online-only student radio station at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington just embarked on a campaign to re-brand its station in order to attract more student listeners. In addition to changing the station’s slogan to Cougar College Radio, WUGR is also altering the mix of music that it plays when the station is running automated programming to more accessible genres like Top 40. Live shows will still incorporate a range of genres and styles of music depending upon the DJ.

M.I.T. station WMBR Celebrates 50th Anniversay

The Boston Globe has a nice article about the history of M.I.T.’s radio station WMBR as it celebrates 50 years on the air. The station aired special anniversary programming in early April, including clips of old programs and visits from alumni DJs to honor the station’s launch on April 10, 1961 (with call letters WTBS at the time). According to the article, it’s estimated that the station’s record library contains more than 300,000 pieces of music (vinyl and CDs).


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