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College Radio Watch: Touring Villanova University Station WXVU and More College Radio News

Over the past few weeks I’ve resumed my field trips to radio stations and college radio stations have made up the bulk of those tours. During my stay in the Philadelphia area a few weeks ago, I visited five college radio stations, starting off with WXVU 89.1 FM at Villanova University.

The station shares its frequency with nearby Cabrini College radio station WYBF, with both stations alternating FM broadcasts during the week. Although WXVU has only had its FM license since 1991, Villanova University has a long radio history. There are rumors of an early station from the 1920s/1930s, but I have yet to track down information about it. WXVU’s predecessor campus-only carrier current stations debuted in 1947, with the launch of WVIL from an “unventilated linen closet” (according to a 1949 article in the Villanovan). The station’s name changed to WWVU in 1960 and changed again to WKVU around 1970. WXVU began its FM broadcasts in 1991.


WXVU at Villanova University (photo: J. Waits)

Student-run WXVU has more than 80 DJs and mostly airs music shows across a wide range of genres. To read more about my field trip, see my post on Spinning Indie. In the weeks to come, I will report on my visits to Swarthmore College radio station WSRN (profiled in the Swarthmore  student newspaper The Phoenix this week, coincidentally), St. Joseph’s University station Radio 1851, University of Pennsylvania’s student radio station WQHS, and Haverford College radio station WHRC.

Speaking of college radio history, a friend of mine passed along some 1980s photos of KRJC, the student radio station at Modesto Junior College. Intrigued by its history, I did some searching and learned that the school had a very early radio department in the 1940s. According to Modesto Radio Museum, radio classes began “at least as far back as 1945,” with coursework focused on many aspects of radio. Weekly broadcasts aired over Modesto AM station KTRB. Student radio station KMJC (later KRJC) was built in 1950.

In another historical note, recently I’ve become interested in the role that college radio played on campus in the 1960s. StarNews Online reported on a recent fundraising event featuring Robert Siegel of NPR. According to the piece, Siegel said that “one of his most exciting moments…was working for the student radio station at his alma mater, Columbia University, and covering the 1968 student protests that closed down the campus.”

In other college radio news:

Touring Urban Knights Radio

Ben Fong-Torres dropped by San Francisco’s Academy of Art University station Urban Knights Radio and gave his take on the online-only station (which I visited last year as well!) in the San Francisco Chronicle this week.

Pizza FM Broadcasts out of Dorm at University of Illinois

A relatively new online radio station at University of Illinois, Pizza FM, held a spring benefit concert on Wednesday.  According to the Daily Illini, “Pizza FM prides itself on being the quintessential college radio station…Established in 2011, Pizza FM is a free-form, noncommercial college radio station steaming online at out of Allen Hall at the University.” The station allows its student DJs to program their own shows, in contrast to the student-run commercial radio station WPGU (which I visited in 2012), which is licensed to the non-profit Illini Media. At the time of my visit, WPGU had a tightly controlled playlist for much of its music programming.

WKRB Named Best Community College Radio Station, WUTM Wins Platinum Award from IBS

A profile of Kingsborough Community College radio station WKRB by Sheepshead Bites references the station’s recent “Best Community College Radio Station” award at the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System conference. The class D FM station also broadcasts four hours daily on Brooklyn Community Access Television. University of Tennessee at Martin station WUTM was also a big winner at the IBS conference, taking home a Platinum award for broadcast excellence and making it to the finalist round in 11 award categories, according to a piece in the Jackson Sun.

New Leaders at South Dakota State University Station KSDJ Hope to Forge Deeper Connection with Campus

KSDJ 90.7 FM at South Dakota State University is looking ahead to next year, as its new leaders strive to expand the station’s reach around campus and in Brookings, South Dakota. The Collegian reports that, “…KSDJ looks to get more involved in student life” and will begin to air Students’ Association meetings.

KRFH Launches at Humboldt State University

Last week I reported on the impending launch of KRFH at Humboldt State University. The Times-Standard published an opinion piece by KRFH student management, which states, “The Humboldt media landscape is rich in variety and KRFH will add the unique color only college students can provide.”

University of Buckingham to Launch Internet Radio Station over You Tube

An instructor at University of Buckingham is launching a student-oriented Internet radio station called Bucks 101. According to Buckingham Advertiser and Review, “… journalism lecturer Roger Perkins… had the idea of giving his students the experience of presenting or putting together a show in the university’s sound studio. It is a spin-off from the university’s weekly news broadcast, giving news about the university and the town, which is put together by media degree students and streamed live from YouTube every Friday. Mr Perkins said: ‘We’ve set up the web radio station to be the voice of the university around the world.'”

Radio Returns at Lanesboro Community College over School Intercom

Broadcasting from its deputy principal’s office (!) via an intercom system, LCC Radio resumed broadcasts at Lanesboro Community College in Ireland, according to the Longford Leader. The article states, “…Mr Lyons explains that the school did have a radio station for a number of years, but it was mostly music-based. This time around, the station hopes to engage students in the issues that matter to them, and get them to think about what’s going on at school – much like the school’s student magazine…”


We cover the culture of college radio every Friday in our College Radio Survivor feature. If you have college radio news to share, please drop us a note at EDITORS at RADIOSURVIVOR dot COM.


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