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College Radio Survivor: Touring College Radio Stations in 2013

College Radio SurvivorIt’s no secret that I’m passionate about college radio. It’s more interesting to me than commercial radio and I love that it’s for the most part programmed by individual DJs.

Because of that, I was tickled to spot some kind words for college radio in an article in Radio Ink about the tired state of commercial radio. Eric Rhoads writes, “The only refreshing content I’m hearing is on college radio, which sounds unproduced, unprofessional, and authentic.


KRRC studio at Reed College (photo: J. Waits)

That’s part of the reason why I enjoy visiting college radio stations. There’s always something interesting and surprising not only on the air, but in the stations themselves. In an era when many commercial radio stations don’t really have much of a physical presence (since they often don’t even have live DJs broadcasting from a home station), it’s refreshing to stop and chat with college radio volunteers who are hanging out at their home stations. And, college radio stations do often feel like homes that are full of not only music, but also history.

Lou Reed file card at WZRD

Music catalog card at WZRD (photo: J. Waits)

This year I had the opportunity to visit numerous college radio stations in Chicago (WZRD), Portland (Oregon), and in California. Every radio station field trip is a source of inspiration for me and for my final College Radio Survivor column of the year, I wanted to share some of my favorite images from my 2013 field trips.

KUCI Bad Material Bin

“Bad Material” bin at KUCI (photo: J. Waits)

As always, I’d also like to encourage anyone involved with college radio to plan a trip to another radio station in order to not only meet some fellow college radio folks, but also to gain some perspective on what it’s like doing radio somewhere else.

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CDs at at University of San Francisco (photo: J. Waits)

Stay tuned next week, as I’ll do a recap of recent college radio news and will also do a year-end review of the state of college radio.

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