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College Radio Watch: Recapping the CBI Conference, New LPFM in Mississippi, and KUCR’s Radio History

In late October I had an amazing time at the College Broadcasters Inc. (CBI) conference in Seattle. In addition to attending lots of informative sessions about student broadcasting, I was also on a few panels devoted to college radio history and to the diversity of college radio.

I also made time to tour a bunch of radio stations, including those at Seattle University (KSUB), University of Washington (Rainy Dawg Radio) and University of Washington-Bothell (UWave). I also toured some other local stations, including public radio station KEXP and community radio station Hollow Earth (stay tuned for field trip posts soon). A surprising number of the stations that I visited have been awarded construction permits for new LPFM stations and it was exciting to see all of the energy surrounding low power FM in Seattle.

You can read more about my trip to Seattle for the CBI conference on Radio World.

Speaking of LPFM, this week another college was granted a construction permit for a new LPFM station. Congratulations to East Mississippi Community College in Mayhew, Mississippi.

I’m so thrilled when university’s acknowledge and archive college radio history. In an Inside UCR feature, University of California Riverside archivist Bergis Jules writes about the early days of student radio station KUCR. Jules writes,

Students at UCR began discussing the possibility for a campus radio station in 1964, but it wasn’t until they lobbied the UC Regents in 1965 for funding to start a radio station on campus that the idea became a reality. The UC Regents awarded students a $10,000 grant, but they also had wide student support, as both ASUCR and the Residence Hall Association offered financial support for initial costs, licensing and the purchase of a record collection. The funding from the Regents went to equipment, renovation of the Crest House and cables to the dorms, because in the early years of KUCR, broadcasting was restricted to student housing. In a 1965 Highlander article, Dan Menkin, the first KUCR station manager described the three main purposes for the new station: To train students in radio skills; to be a medium of communications for the student body and the Riverside community; and to offer publicity for ASUCR.”

San Diego State University also gave some nice promotion for its student radio station KCR. Now online-only the station launched in 1969 and used to be broadcast over cable and AM.

As always, let me know if  you are aware of college history projects. We’re working with the Library of Congress’ Radio Preservation Task Force and are still trying to identify the wide array of college radio archives in the United States.

College Radio Watch appears every Friday on Radio Survivor.

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2 Responses to College Radio Watch: Recapping the CBI Conference, New LPFM in Mississippi, and KUCR’s Radio History

  1. Andrew Johnstone January 9, 2015 at 10:04 am #

    Have you looked at WMUC FM 88.1 out of University of Maryland? Massive record collection, huge history presentation was done in the Hornbake library last year, the station has been broadcasting over the air since the 1930s or so.

    • Jennifer Waits January 9, 2015 at 11:28 am #

      Thanks so much for the suggestion. I actually spoke at the College Radio Symposium at Hornbake last year and then visited WMUC later that night. It was incredible. Here’s my recap of the Symposium and my tour of WMUC

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