Working in college radio can influence one’s life in profound ways, even helping to shape one’s future career. Earlier this week I posted my Q&A with author Eric Weisbard. Although his new book, Top 40 Democracy: The Rival Mainstreams of American Music, focuses on mainstream radio formats, Weisbard also has a college radio past (at WPRB in Princeton, NJ). In our chat he talked a bit about how his time in college radio ended up influencing his future careers as both a music critic and an academic.
It seems obvious now that my writing can be directly linked to my time in college radio, but earlier in my career the connections weren’t as obvious on the surface. I remember interviewing for my first “real” job after college and my future boss was impressed by my college radio past. We spent much of the interview talking about college radio and music, even though the job (a research assistant at an advertising agency) was seemingly unrelated. Something about having a common passion for music connected us and I think that definitely played a part in me getting the job.
Speaking of college radio pasts…Last night I became intrigued about Stephen Colbert’s college radio days after seeing a tweet from Jezebel’s Managing Editor Erin Gloria Ryan. She wrote, “Final moments of Colbert Report are Neutral Milk Hotel. Twist: he was a college radio DJ from 1999 all along.” Curious about whether or not this could be true, I did some research and found out that Colbert was indeed a college radio DJ at Northwestern University’s student radio station WNUR-FM.
Researching Educational Radio
Also this week, Brian Fauteux writes about Brian Gregory’s work researching educational radio. It’s interesting to think about how radio has been used as an “instructional tool” across a wide variety of stations, including college radio stations.
Radio Drama for the Holidays
It’s the time of year when radio dramas are plentiful and folks from Richmond Civic Theatre and college radio station WECI are doing their rendition of A Christmas Carol over the Earlham College student/community radio station WECI-FM.
University of Maine’s Student Radio Station WUMM-FM Makes Deal with FCC after Violations Revealed
This week the FCC released an order detailing its Consent Decree with University of Maine. In the course of renewing its license, WUMM-FM admitted that the station’s public file was missing Issues and Programs lists from January 2009 to March 2013. Since the station was student-run at the time of the violations, it was given a break and only fined $1000. In addition to the penalty, the station also agreed to a compliance plan in an effort to prevent future violations.
R.I.P. L.J. Palardy
WRUV DJ L.J. Palardy died earlier this week. According to an article posted on Seven Day, he was a “longtime jazz DJ at University of Vermont radio station WRUV 90.1 FM and a fixture in the local jazz community” who “was known and admired in equal measures for his prickly exterior and his love for and knowledge of jazz.”
WRBB’s Oasis Loop
It’s nice to know that the local media are listening to college radio. Vanyaland, a Boston-based music magazine, made note of some strangeness over the Northeastern University radio station WRBB (which I visited this summer). Vanyaland wrote, “We’re not really sure WTF is going on here, but apparently Northeastern University’s radio station, Radio Back Bay WRBB 104.9 FM in Boston, has been playing Oasis’ ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ on a loop for the past few hours…Is this a protest? A glitch in the system? Or just some good old fashioned love for Oasis? We may never know, so let’s just enjoy the ride.”
Ryerson University Station to Return to Terrestrial Radio
After losing its FM license for CKLN-FM back in 2011 (in a pretty serious move, the CRTC revoked it) Ryerson University went online-only with its new campus-community station the Scope. Now it’s expected to return to terrestrial radio in Toronto, Canada after being granted a new AM radio license. It plans to begin broadcasts over 1280 AM in January 2016.
WMUA’s Music Director Talks to CMJ about How the Station Engages with the Campus
University of Massachusetts, Amherst station WMUA-FM has been undertaking some interesting projects this year in order to engage more with its campus. Music Director Chloe Doyle gave CMJ the scoop about two recent events, including a vinyl sale and a mix tape giveaway. She told CMJ, “Spearheaded by myself and WMUA’s general manager, we put together two versions of a physical mixtape with individual hand-drawn album art and personalized messages. After tabling in the Campus Center for a couple of days, we were able to distribute stacks upon stacks of these custom mixtapes to the student body!”
College Radio Watch appears every Friday on Radio Survivor.