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College Radio Watch: LPFM Launches, Student Radio History in the U.S. and New Zealand, and More College Radio News

Welcome to 2015! Hopefully you caught my recap of the year in college radio last week and my field trip reports about my visit to University of Washington’s college radio station Rainy Dawg Radio and former student radio station KEXP this week. I also reported on a student-run radio station WDJM’s deal with the FCC following the discovery of public file violations.

Finally, I recently wrote up a report for Radio World about the behind the scenes work involved with KFJC’s live remote broadcast from the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia. As readers probably know, I’m a long-time KFJC volunteer and DJ.

Looking back over 2014, I’m definitely optimistic about what this year has in store. One big theme for me was low power FM (LFPM) and many colleges and universities embraced the recent chance to score a new license.

Four LPFM Construction Permits Granted to Colleges in 2015 so Far

We’re already seeing more LPFM grants in the new year, including South Carolina State University (Orangeburg, SC), Brown Student Radio (Providence, RI), Holy Cross College, Inc. (South Bend, IN), and Atlantic Cape Community College (Mays Landing, NJ).

Student-Run LPFM College Radio Station 97.5 Radio X FM Launches at St. Cloud State University

A new LPFM college radio station debuted this week. Student-run 97.5 Radio X FM (aka KVEX-LP) will air alternative rock from the St. Cloud State campus and will serve as a training ground for students interested in commercial radio. Although the new LPFM is non-commercial, students will use commercial radio tools like music software and voice tracking. The university is also home to public radio station KVSC FM.

WTJU Expanding into Richmond in Deal with WHAN-AM

University of Virginia is working on a deal with WHAN-AM in Richmond, Virginia in order to broadcast WTJU-FM‘s programming over the Richmond airwaves. According to Style Weekly,

“While the paperwork must be finalized, sources at WTJU say the station’s looking to start broadcasting its original programming locally on Feb. 1. WTJU, which is owned by U.Va., is leasing with an option to buy, general manager Nathan Moore says…Also the station is in talks with Virginia Commonwealth University’s student radio station, WVCW, to broadcast its programming weeknights from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The VCU station hasn’t had access to a full broadcast signal since it began in 1968, Director of Student Media Greg Weatherford says, calling the partnership an intriguing idea: ‘We’re evaluating the possibility.'”

It’s exciting that one college may be helping another college radio station gain access to the terrestrial airwaves and it will be an interesting deal to follow. In addition to WTJU-FM (see my profile of the station from 2012), University of Virginia has been awarded a construction permit for new student-run LPFM station WTJX.

Student Radio Anniversaries in Canada + Brock Radio Working on Relationship with Student Organization

Happy 35th anniversary to CFRU at University of Guelph. According to Inside Halton, “Campus radio in Guelph began almost two decades before CFRU, when Radio Gryphon was established by university students in 1963, broadcasting a weekly show on CJOY.”

Additionally, CJSW at University of Calgary is marking its 30th anniversary this week. See the Calgary Herald for a nice story and companion video about the station’s history.

In other Canadian student radio news, the Brock Press is reporting that Brock Radio (CFBU) hopes to build a closer relationship with the Brock University Students’ Union this year, after the station was defunded in 2013.

Digging into Even More U.S. College Radio History

Radio Survivor Bulletin Exclusive

It saddens me that we don’t know more the early days of college radio. This week, in an exclusive for our Radio Survivor Bulletin readers (sign up for the Bulletin here), I examine the often-overlooked beginnings of college radio in the 1920s. I continue to discover the hidden histories of more stations and have added a few more tidbits to our expanding About College Radio page. Some pioneering stations that you might not be aware of include early efforts at Grove City College, Clark University (which housed the predecessors to community radio station WCUW, which was profiled in Worcester magazine last week) and Rensselear Polytechnic Institute.

Goodbye to WIP in Philly

Another early college radio station, WABQ at Haverford College, came to mind this week, as I learned that one of Philadelphia’s oldest AM stations, WIP, has changed its call letters. WABQ got sold to Keystone Broadcasting Group (WFAN) in 1927. By 1928 WFAN was sharing its frequency with WIP and ultimately the shared dial position became known as WIP. Now that WIP has been renamed WTEL AM, a little piece of WABQ’s history has been erased even further.

Series Celebrates 45 Years of Student Radio History in New Zealand

Kudos to Radio New Zealand and to producer Yadana Saw for airing a series about the history of college radio. According to the Wireless, “Radio New Zealand’s Music 101 take a four-part journey through 45 years of student radio in New Zealand – the stars and bands who got their breaks, the politics, the music, the piracy and the No. 8 wire mentality. From the humble home-made AM transmitters, illegally manned by tech-nerds on islands around Auckland for limited weeks of the university term, campus radio stations rapidly evolved into a beacon for music-lovers, on-air talkers and people who never finished their degrees…” You can listen to all four episodes here.

IBS Announces Finalists for its Student Radio Awards

In anticipation of its 75th annual convention (March 6-8th in New York City), the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) has announced the finalists for the 2015 IBS Awards. Winners will be announced at the convention. IBS is offering some early bird registration deals through today, Friday, January 16.

KSPC Invites Alumni DJs Back to Campus

On Saturday, May 2, 2015 from 11am to 2pm, Pomona College radio station KSPC is inviting its alumni DJs back to the airwaves during Pomona College’s Alumni Weekend festivities. Interested KSPC alums (I’m one of them!) should contact KSPC’s General Manager.

Recent KVRX Reunion Celebrates 20 Years of FM

University of Texas, Austin’s college radio station KVRX recently held a reunion and following that, Slackerwood profiled some KVRX alumni to talk about the role that college radio has played in their careers.

Revisiting College Radio – Circa 1984

While I was researching a story about WDJM this week, I ran across this amazing promotional video from 1984. It so perfectly captures that era of college radio!

We cover the culture of college radio every Friday in our College Radio Watch feature. If you have college radio news to share, please drop us a note at EDITORS at RADIOSURVIVOR dot COM.

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