This week I finally got caught up on my radio station tour reports from 2013 and posted a piece about my visit to San Francisco Art Institute’s streaming radio station The Tower. Although it’s in a tiny space, the station presents an inspiring array of programming that’s often linked to the adventurous artistic endeavors of its student and faculty DJs.
Touring College Radio Stations in Kentucky
I’m always excited to visit college radio stations and last week I had the opportunity to visit three in Kentucky. Despite inclement weather and snow closures, I was able to take in the sights and sounds of University of Kentucky’s WRFL in Lexington, Georgetown College’s WRVG, and Bellarmine Radio at Bellarmine College in Louisville. Each station had its own unique characteristics and I look forward to sharing more details in my field trip report series in the weeks to come.
Art x FM and the Film History of WXOX
In addition to visiting these college radio stations, I also visited Art x FM in Louisville. Currently a streaming community radio station, Art x FM holds a construction permit to build a new low power FM (LFPM) radio station with call letters WXOX-LP.
Art x FM has college radio roots, as its founder and General Manager Sharon Scott played a big role in the fight to save Vanderbilt College radio station WRVU-FM after students lost access to its terrestrial signal. Inspired by her time in college radio, she started Art x FM and applied for its LPFM license.
In a very strange coincidence, while touring WRFL with Scott (we’re friends and took a road trip to Lexington together), we spotted a WXOX sticker on the wall. It was not for Art x FM, however. Scott did some sleuthing and found out that the sticker was an old promotional item for the 1990 film A Matter of Degrees. A description attached to the film’s trailer on YouTube states, “A college student living in a commune decides that he doesn’t want to go on to law school. When a corporation takes over the campus radio station, he decides to disrupt the graduation ceremonies.” The cast is full of an interesting mix of characters, with the station’s founder played by musician John Doe (of X fame).
Considering that the GM of the new WXOX was also involved with a fight to save a campus radio station, this is an eerie coincidence, indeed! The movie was filmed in Providence, Rhode Island, with much of it shot at Brown University. The plot was apparently inspired by changes made at Brown station WBRU (read a bit about the station here and here). An article in the Brown Alumni Magazine about Brown alumnus and famed Hollywood music supervisor Randall Poster states, “Inspired by WBRU’s changeover from free-form to commercial formats, Poster and Jack Mason ’85 cowrote the movie A Matter of Degrees after graduation.”
I would LOVE to see this film!
mtvU Announces College Radio Woodie Finalists
After an online nomination period, mtvU announced a list of ten finalists for its College Radio Woodie award. Online voting is now open. The finalists include three stations that I’ve visited! Here are the ten stations in the running:
- Arizona State University (KASC)
- Boston University (WTBU)
- Eastern Illinois University (WEIU)
- Hofstra University (WRHU)
- James Madison University (WXJM)
- Loyola University Chicago (WLUW)
- Marywood University (WVMW)
- St. Edward’s University (Topper Radio)
- University of California, Berkeley (KALX)
- University of Pittsburg (WPTS)
Wolf Pack Radio Comes to FM
Belfast Station Allowed to Continue Broadcasting
Radio regulations are very different in the United Kingdom (UK), as evidenced by a recent turn of events at student radio station Blast 106 in Belfast. According to the Belfast Telegraph, “Blast first launched legal proceedings after it was found to be in breach of its community radio licence. According to Ofcom it had failed to meet key commitments on speech and music content.” Initially, “Failures were identified in key commitments to provide local student news and politics, promote debate and discussion, produce documentaries and include a varied music output.” After Blast’s lawyers appealed the Broadcasting Licensing Committee’s decision to not renew the station’s license, a judge ruled in favor of the station’s license renewal.
Also in the news…
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