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College Radio News Round-Up – WBZC’s Electronic Music, West Virginia’s thriving stations, and KBGA’s Freeform Mantra

College Radio's Many Genres (Photo of KUCI by J. Waits)

College Radio's Many Genres (Photo of KUCI by J. Waits)

Summer is a slow time for college radio news, but a few recent stories caught my interest:

College Radio Thriving in West Virginia

According to an article in the Charleston Gazette, several West Virginia-based college radio stations are thriving, despite national buzz about recent station shut-downs and sales. Western Virginia University station WWVU 91.7 FM (known as U92) and Marshall University station WMUL 88.1 FM (The Cutting Edge) have been on the air for decades. WMUL turned 50 last year and WWVU is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The article states that WWVU has more than 200 volunteers and WMUL garnered more than 100 radio awards this year.

WBZC Profiled for its Electronic Music Focus

An article profiles Burlington County College’s radio station WBZC (aka Z889) as an example of a college radio station airing an unexpected type of music. According to the article, Z889 is the “only college radio station with a full-time dance/electronic music format.” The Pemberton, New Jersey station has both student and non-student DJs and despite its electronic music slant, it also airs sports and a range of specialty music shows (including programs that play jazz, bluegrass, R&B, blues, roots rock, reggae, progressive rock, and metal).

University of Montana’s KBGA’s Devotion to Freeform

The Missoulian profiles University of Montana’s student radio station KBGA 89.9 FM. The Missoula-based freeform radio station has been on the air since 1996. In the article (which also includes some stellar station photos), DJs talk about the pluses (“new ideas”) and minuses (loss of institutional “memory”) of having a station with an always rotating staff of students. Describing his love for the station, one DJ quoted in the article said, “I’d probably pay to do this.”

College Radio Coverage in Radio World

Last week I also wrote a commentary for Radio World about the state of college radio, describing the wide range of stations that exist on and off the dial in 2012. The article was largely based on my travels to radio stations all over the country.

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