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College Radio Watch: Will College Radio Make You Cool?, LPFM Action, and More News

I was amused reading The Noisey Guide to Being Cool in College, as college radio gets a mention. Although the piece warns against revealing experimental music taste too soon (you might be seen as a hipster) in order to create a better first impression on campus, it does recommend getting a college radio show. While simultaneously praising and mocking college radio, the Noisey piece states,

Sure, this one isn’t quite as foolproof as it was back when people actually listened to radio and being part of the station was the only way to get free music. On the other hand, now that those things are history, there’s not as much room for college radio to be hopelessly pretentious. It may still be. There will almost definitely be some douchey senior who has an annoying drone show right before you and makes snide remarks whenever you come to take over for him. But you also have the benefit of access to your station’s record library, which is a bigger physical repository of recorded music than you will probably ever again find in your life. Plus, you’ll find a pre-existing community of other people who like music, possibly develop an in for meeting artists when they visit campus, and maybe impress your normal friends who listen to your show. Just tell them it’s a drinking game, and they’ll all be on board.”

So true…

Lots of College Radio Stations Still Vying for New LPFM Licenses

There are still quite a few college radio stations in the running for new low power FM licenses. Nearly 50 have been granted to college and universities in the most recent licensing window, and dozens more are awaiting word about their applications. Yesterday I wrote about the nearly 20 college-related groups who are in the latest crop of competing applicants in the Midwest and on the East coast. After I posted my updates, I heard some good news from Michelle Bradley at REC. She said that due to various moves and amendments being filed, several of the college radio applicants have moved out of competitive groups and may be awarded licenses soon. You can monitor amendments for the East Coast applicants here.

Additionally, there are still applicants on the West Coast who are amending applications (watch all that action on the REC Networks site), appealing FCC decisions, and trying to come to time-share agreements with fellow applicants.

KRRC at Reed College

KRRC at Reed College

In Portland, Oregon, groups from Reed College radio station KRRC (the Reed Institute) and Portland State University station KPSU have filed Petitions to Deny against competing applicant Portland Russian Media Center. The FCC initially placed the Reed Institute and Portland Russian Media Center in a tie after finding that Portland State was ineligible for a “diversity of ownership point” in the FCC’s parlance. Portland State is asking for the FCC to reconsider this decision, since its campus does not have any other broadcast interests. When Portland State filed its application, the organizational structure of Portland State was undergoing changes which have resulted in the institution separating from the Oregon University System and its State Board of Higher Education (which do own other broadcast licenses).

KPSU at Portland State

KPSU at Portland State

The Reed Institute filed a Petition to Deny against the Portland Russian Media Center as well, claiming that the group did not have reasonable site assurance for its proposed transmitter. Subsequently, the Reed Institute withdrew its Petition to Deny against the Portland Russian Media Center. It will be interesting to see how this group shakes out. With my college radio leanings, I feel for both Reed and Portland State, as each school has operated terrestrial college radio stations in the past.  According to its application, the Portland Russian Media Center “operates a Russian-language audio Internet service.” See my radio station field trip reports from 2013, to learn more about KPSU at Portland State and KRRC at Reed College.

John Curley to Keynote CBI Convention + Convention Preview

College Broadcasters Inc. just announced that Seattle television and radio personality John Curley will be the keynote speaker for the National Student Electronic Media Convention in Seattle. The broadcaster is expected to “share his personal formula for succeeding through difficulty and achieving career goals” during his October 25 presentation. On the CBI Blog, Will Robedee also shares a preview of some highlights of the convention, as well as his insights about the status of various student radio stations in the current LPFM licensing window. As the convention approaches, stations who are competing for student radio awards are also touting their achievements, including WMUL-FM at Marshall University, which is up for several awards. And, I’m  happy to report that I’ll be presenting on two different panels at the CBI convention, including one about archiving college radio history and another about touring college radio stations.

WGRE Profiled on CBI Blog

It’s amazing to see that DePauw University station WGRE 91.5 FM has been around since 1941 in Greencastle, Indiana! The student-run station has programming 24/7 and is the largest student organization on campus, with around 200 DJs. See CBI’s profile here.

Stations Anticipate College Radio Day on October 3

Some college radio stations are planning special events or programming in honor of College Radio Day. KUCR at University of California Riverside charmed me by posting a vintage photo of its founding engineer preparing for the station’s first broadcast in 1966!

Does Your College Radio Station Get Broadcast into Campus Buildings?

In an opinion piece published in the Arizona Daily Wildcat, senior Casey Hovak asks why the University of Arizona radio station KAMP isn’t played in the Student Union. As he critiques the mainstream pop music that is now played in the Union, he argues that, “KAMP should be shared with all those who work, eat, shop, study and walk through the student union…Perhaps it will inspire some students to listen to different kinds of music, or, if not, it will at least give us a chance to catch our breath and listen to something different while guzzling our Starbucks or eating our Sabor. Sorry, Kelly Clarkson.”

WRKC Radio Show for the Visually Impaired Marks 40th Anniversary

I often wonder about the longest running college radio shows and King’s College’s “Radio Home Visitor” show on WRKC-FM may be one of the oldest at 40 years old. Geared towards visually impaired and home-bound listeners, the program features, “King’s students and volunteers read[ing] community news items from local newspapers…at 10 a.m. each morning, seven days a week.” According to the Citizens’ Voice, “Radio Home Visitor focuses on hyper-local and community news — including quirky stories and even local obituaries.”

CMJ Awards Nominations Close Today, Plus CMJ’s New Radio Round-Up Column

It’s your last chance to nominate your favorite college radio station, college radio DJ, or college radio industry professional for CMJ’s annual College Radio Awards. Nominations close today at 1pm Pacific Time and can only be made by those with subscriptions to the CMJ New Music Report. Additionally, as I’ve been mentioning, CMJ has a new college radio round-up column on Fridays, where it reports on the week’s college radio news. See last week’s column here.

To keep up to date on college radio news, read College Radio Watch every Friday.


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