As I write this post, I’m glued to the live stream of Foothill College radio station KFJC-FM, awaiting the beginning of its broadcast from the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia. As I wrote earlier this morning and also explained to College Media Matters, KFJC (the station where I’ve been a long-time DJ and volunteer) is doing a 2-day live broadcast and live videostream from from the UK event. Undertakings like this are EXACTLY why I love not only KFJC, but also college radio in general. It’s incredible to me that volunteers and students can come up with unique ideas for events and specials and then often have the freedom to realize those grand visions.
College Radio History at Ripon College’s WRPN and University of Delaware’s WXDR
This week we covered a few college radio stories, including the news that Wisconsin-based Ripon College had turned back its FM license for WRPN to the FCC. In the process of researching that story, I uncovered some interesting history about the station, which launched as a campus-only carrier current station and then moved to FM in 1961. Speaking of college radio history, new Radio Survivor contributor Pete Simon shared with us a fascinating look at the beginnings of student radio at University of Delaware. He was there when WXDR first got on the air over FM (like Ripon College, also after its beginnings on AM carrier current).
Spotify’s Take on the Most Musical Colleges
I was intrigued by Spotify’s glimpse at the listening data from some of its college student subscribers. It crafted a list of the “top 40 Musical Universities in America,” based on heaviest usage of the Spotify music streaming service. Spotify also dug into the data, pointing out listening trends based on music genre and other factors. As I looked at the list of schools, I wondered if the presence of a college radio station on these campuses could also impart some sort of influence on not only the amount of listening, but also the genres consumed. Are students who listen to lots of college radio also heavy users of Spotify? Chances are also high that student college radio DJs might be playing music from Spotify over their radio shows too (even though that’s technically verboten).
Many (perhaps even the majority) of the schools listed as having top Spotify listenership have college radio stations, including the school in the #1 position – California Polytechnic University (the San Luis Obispo campus is home to KCPR-FM). Some of the schools on the list have multiple radio stations (for example, #30 USC has public radio classical stations as well as an online-only student station and University of Pennsylvania has both a public FM station and an online-only student station) and in an interesting coincidence, I’ve visited stations at 7 of the top 40 schools.
Public Radio Station WUTC to Air Student Programming on Weeknights
University of Tennessee, Chattanooga’s NPR affiliate station WUTC-FM will begin airing a selection of pre-recorded student programming at 10pm on weeknights starting September 29. According to Nooga.com,
Each night will host a different student-produced program, featuring a variety of music and themes. The shows will be prerecorded at the station throughout the week and fully produced before a broadcast. Chuck Cantrell, associate vice chancellor of marketing and communications for UTC, said that since the radio station began reporting to him several years ago, he’s sought to make significant changes. ‘The one thing I wanted to do right away was to increase the relationship between the communication department and radio station,’ he said. ‘I felt it was important for students to have this opportunity to use this station as a learning laboratory.'”
Currently WUTC airs jazz music during the late night hours, starting at 10pm.
REV 89 at Colorado State University, Pueblo Wins Big Student Radio Award from BEA
Another college radio station can claim bragging rights as one of the “best,” thanks to an award from the Broadcast Education Association (BEA). Colorado State University, Pueblo’s student-run station REV 89 was deemed the winner of the National Signature Station Award. According to BEA, this award recognizes, “superior protocol and practices at student-run, faculty-advised college radio and television stations.”
Police Officers on the Air at Virginia Tech’s WUVT
Virginia Tech’s radio station WUVT-FM has an unusual show on the air in Blacksburg, Virginia. The program, RLRO Nation, features Residence Life Resource Officers on the air “in hopes of better connecting with Tech students,” according to an article in Collegiate Times. The officers not only share safety tips on the air, but also play music.
Hip Hop at University of Buffalo’s WRUB and Sports Broadcasting at University of Memphis Station WUMR
In other college radio news this week, I ran across a few stories about students who are either getting a particular career-building experience at their college radio stations or who have crafted programs that reflect their specialized interests. A program at WRUB at University of Buffalo is one example. Its hosts focus on the Buffalo music scene, with an emphasis on hip-hop artists. At University of Memphis, future sports broadcasters have an opportunity to hone their craft at the school’s jazz station WUMR, which also airs sports under the branding U92 Sportsdesk.
Navigating the CMJ Music Marathon when you are under 21
Oh, I fondly remember the days of acquiring an ID for my first trip to New York City to attend the CMJ Music Marathon when I was probably 19 or 20. That was back in the crazy 1980s when super sketchy fake IDs could get you in to all of the 21+ music venues. In a Q&A for the CMJ blog, the KTSW (Texas State University) Music Director shares her tips for navigating the conference while under 21. Luckily in 2014, there are plenty of CMJ activities that are open to all ages.
College Radio Day is Next Week!
College Radio Day happens next Friday, October 3. Some stations, including KTAI at Texas A&M Kingsville, are revealing plans for special programming. Does your station plan to celebrate either on or off-air?
To keep up to date on college radio news, read College Radio Watch every Friday.