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College Radio Watch: Indiana State’s NPR Plans, WDBK Still for Sale, Fines for Two Stations and a New LPFM

I’m now back from my summer hiatus and although I wasn’t glued to my computer penning College Radio Watch for the past couple of weeks, it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t still living and breathing college radio. While vacationing on the East Coast, I visited five college radio stations in the Boston area. I’ll write lengthy stories about each station soon, but in the meantime, you can get a sneak preview in the photo essay that I did in honor of National Radio Day on Wednesday. In case you missed it, I also reported on the annual Princeton Review “most popular college radio station” survey results during my summer break. As always, take it with a grain of salt.

This week, I was happy to read a piece in Creative Loafing Charlotte about the important role that college radio can play in a town. The piece looks at the lack of college radio in Charlotte, North Carolina, arguing that the music scene suffers as a result. According to the article, “Without college radio, Charlotte lacks both a stepping stone for the city’s musicians and a prosperous, music-industry working class. Sure, Bandcamp and Soundcloud can get music out to fans, but a college radio station lends legitimacy that self-promotion can’t. Call it the tastemaker effect.” Charlotte has a few online-only college radio stations (Radio Free Charlotte and WINR-FM), but they have struggled to find an audience online.

The ongoing importance of college radio is something that Reason writer (and former college radio DJ at WCBN) Jesse Walker addresses during an interview with Michigan Radio. According to Michigan Radio, “Walker said college radio is a place for students to get the education, experience, and freedom to take risks and explore the world of radio, an experience he says you can’t get in commercial radio. College radio is also a venue for underground artists and bands to get their music out. But some college radio stations are being sold off to public radio stations, which takes away opportunities of exploration from the students.” Walker also recommends that stations “make yourself known in the community,” both on and off-campus. He also points out that while in college, his experience at the college radio station and student newspaper was perhaps even more important to his future career than what he did in the classroom.

I was also excited to see that a new Images of America book focused on radio, Ithaca Radio, features a great deal of local college radio history. Radio World writes that much of the book focuses on the college radio stations at Cornell and Ithaca Colleges. Vassar College station WVKR-FM was also profiled this week. writes about the varied programming on the station and gives a plug for WVKR’s upcoming fundraiser.

It doesn’t have many stations, indeed the book focuses on only four, but it has two college radio stations (a third began as a college station) with strong radio programs.
– See more at:
It doesn’t have many stations, indeed the book focuses on only four, but it has two college radio stations (a third began as a college station) with strong radio programs.
– See more at:
It doesn’t have many stations, indeed the book focuses on only four, but it has two college radio stations (a third began as a college station) with strong radio programs.
– See more at:

In other college radio news this week, there are a few updates about some college radio license sales, news about some FCC enforcement actions, word on a newly granted LPFM, and some announcements about the finalists for College Broadcasters’ Inc.’s student production awards. Read on for details…

Indiana State University Reveals Plans for Newly Acquired FM License: Deal with NPR Station Moves Students to Former WMHD Signal

In June we wrote about the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s plans to sell the license for student radio station WMHD 90.7 FM to Indiana State University. At the time, it was unclear what the school’s plans for the station were, especially since it already had a license for student radio station, WISU 89.7 FM. According to an Indiana State University news release from earlier this week, by late September student programming will move to the former Rose-Hulman frequency of 90.7 FM, with the call letters changing to WZIS. The plan is for Indiana State’s WISU 89.7 FM in Terre Haute, Indiana to air a simulcast of Indianapolis public radio station WFYI‘s programming, which is largely drawn from NPR.

The release states that, “Upgrades are also planned to improve the signal and reach of WZIS.” Additionally, “Rose-Hulman students will…be given the opportunity to work with the new WZIS station…Rose-Hulman moved to an online radio station last fall which cleared the way for its FM station’s license to be transferred to Indiana State.” A press release from WFYI states that changes will take effect on September 15th and that listeners will hear local programming as well as NPR syndicated shows.

Camden County College Still Working to Sell WDBK-FM License

As recently as this spring, we reported on the attempts by Camden County College to sell the license for student radio station WDBK-FM. This week the Courier-Post wrote an update about this story, stating that the license was posted for sale on an auction website for $150,000. According to the article, “College Vice President William Thompson called the sale an ‘exploratory process.'” Back in December, 2013 we first wrote about the license being listed on an auction website for $290,000. In April, the faculty association at Camden County College passed a resolution calling for the station sale to be halted. Based on this week’s news, it would seem that the faculty’s concerns haven’t led to a cancellation of the pending sale. There’s no word yet on if there have been any bidders on the latest auction announcement.

Consent Decrees for KWCW and WITC-FM Due to Public File and Ownership Report Violations

The FCC issued Consent Decrees to two college radio stations this week. Whitman College’s student radio station KWCW-FM agreed to pay $1200 (see its Consent Decree here) to the United States Treasury as penance for public file and ownership report violations that it reported during its license renewal last year. Cazenovia College’s student radio station WITC-FM entered into a similar Consent Decree and will be paying $1000 due to public file violations. Both stations have also agreed to abide by Compliance Plans in order to hopefully avoid future violations. In the past, we used to see much larger fines for these types of violations, but the FCC has eased up in the past year on the heels of its precedent-setting decision regarding violations at William Penn University station KIGC-FM. Now, student-run stations with first-time violations are being given an opportunity for smaller fines.

One More College-Affiliated LPFM License Granted

Although nearly 50 LPFM licenses have been granted to colleges and universities during the recent application window, we haven’t seen a new construction permit issued in over a month. This week, Western Dakota Technical Institute breaks that dry spell. It plans to use its new LPFM in Rapid City, South Dakota as a teaching tool for students.

College Broadcasters Inc. (CBI) Announces Finalists in its Student Production Awards + Shares Initial Schedule for its Fall Conference in Seattle

CBI is gradually releasing lists of the finalists for its annual Student Production Awards, with announcements continuing daily through August 29th. Additionally, CBI has posted a preliminary list of speakers, events, and sessions for its October conference in Seattle.

We report on college radio news every Friday in our College Radio Watch column.

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