As I mentioned last week, I began my college radio station tours of 2015 a few weeks ago in Kentucky. My first stop was to University of Kentucky’s station WRFL-FM and you can see my report here. Also, in yesterday’s LPFM Watch I talked about a new college radio LPFM, UCENTRAL Student Radio at University of Central Oklahoma, as well as some uncertainty at an existing LPFM at soon-to-be-closed Sweet Briar College.
In the case of UCentral Student Radio, although student radio dates back to the 1960s on campus with the launch of KCSC-FM, students lost access to the station in the 1980s when public radio programming and staff took over. At the same time, a separate cable TV-based student radio station was built and campus-only (and eventually online) radio has continued at University of Central Oklahoma ever since.
In other college radio news this week:
Central Oregon Community College Station Hopes to Get LPFM On Air Soon
According to the Broadside, “Due to a paperwork delay plans for an on-campus radio station have been halted…Central Oregon Community College received a construction permit for the low power FM radio station March of last year. Since that time, [media adviser Jon] Bouknight and students of the Media Arts club have been looking for space to operate a radio station on the Bend campus. They have also been largely focused fundraising the nearly $20,000 required for start-up equipment, according to Bouknight.”
Canadian Station CITR Raising Funds for Archival Project
I’m always glad to hear about college radio stations that are actively working to preserve their history. The Province reports that “CITR, the radio station that broadcasts from the University of B.C., is in the middle of its Fundrive, which ends Friday. The object of Fundrive is to raise $40,000 to convert its many cassettes, reel-to-reel tapes and the like to digital format. The conversion would preserve interviews, broadcasts and other pieces of musical history.”
Old Timey Audio Hour Returns to Penn State’s The Lion 90.7 FM
Onward State reports on the return of a long-time radio show hosted by its editors on Penn State’s student radio station WKPS-FM (aka The Lion 90.7). The show will have a “rotating group of writer-hosts” from the independent Penn State news website and will feature interviews, listener calls, and discussion of news and some of the top stories of the week from Onward State. As a bonus, the Onward State piece has some tidbits about the history of college radio at Penn State (according to the article, the first Penn State station, WDFM, launched in 1953). Similar to University of Central Oklahoma, Penn State’s original student radio station shifted and became a public radio station in the 1980s, changing its call letters to WPSU. In 1995, students got their own FM station again (WKPS).
KXSC Fest at University of Southern California
Last weekend University of Southern California (USC)’s streaming student radio station KXSC (formerly KSCR) hosted its annual KXSC Fest featuring live entertainment. The Daily Trojan writes, “For the past seven years, KXSC Fest has been drawing crowds from the USC and greater L.A. community with the promise of great music, fine food and a collection of interactive art installations, and this year was no exception.” In addition to music performances, the festival featured a “‘Digital Detox Lounge’…where students were encouraged to engage one another without their phones” as well as “art installations and a small stage outside the auditorium for poetry readings and acoustic music.” Student radio began at USC in 1946, with the launch of KUSC. After that station became a classical station and moved off campus, students started KSCR (read more about the station’s history in my Spinning Indie interview with KSCR from 2009).
David Letterman Gives Shout-out to Ball State’s College Radio Station
In a monologue on his show, television personality David Letterman gave kudos to the student radio station at his alma mater, Ball State. According to Indianapolis Monthly, “Dave sends up Ball State itself and the WCRD radio station on campus, which recently won an award as Indiana College Radio Station of the Year.” Letterman did a stint at Ball State’s WBST, before it became a public radio outlet (it became a member of NPR in 1980). He also helped fund WCRD, which began as a carrier current station in 1988 and eventually began FM broadcasts in 1995 over WWHI-FM (whose license it ultimately acquired in 2004).
WVCU’s LPFM Dreams
Bluefield Daily Telegraph profiles Jessica Lilly, the faculty advisor for Concord University’s student radio station WVCU. According to the article, “She is also among the many people at the university that are working to establish a radio station on campus.” The low power FM (LPFM) station is expected to launch soon over 97.7 FM.
Wofford College Launches Streaming Student Radio Station
The Spartanburg Herald-Journal reports that Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina launched a new streaming student radio station WOCO Radio this week. According to the article, “Right now, WOCO Radio doesn’t have its own space. The campus’ former AM/FM radio station space is now being used as the dispatching office for campus police. But with Internet technology, the station can travel and operate anywhere, with a portable microphone and laptop.” Curious about the history of radio on campus, I did some sleuthing and found that the school applied for a FM radio license back in 1949! A carrier current radio station, WCRN (Wofford College Radio News) was launched in 1968, according to a 1968 article in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. In 2008, an earlier version of Internet radio station WOCO Radio initially launched and you can take a look at its former website here.
WIUX Announces Lineup of Bands for Culture Shock Festival
This week Indiana University’s college radio station WIUX began announcing the bands that will playing its Culture Shock Festival in Bloomington, Indiana on Saturday, April 11th. Headliners include Foxygen, Twin Peaks, and TOPS.
CBI Profiles Bearcast at University of Cincinnati
College Broadcasters Inc. periodically profiles student broadcast operations. Most recently it posted a video piece about Bearcast Media at University of Cincinnati. Take a look to see what its radio station looks like and keep your eyes peeled for that college radio station staple, a Leo sign!
KZSU and the Future of Radio
A piece for West looks at the culture of Stanford University’s long-time radio station KZSU. It portrays the station as a bit of an anachronism on a techy, future-focused campus, but also argues for the staying power of radio in general.
WKNC to Host Friday Evening Concert Series
North Carolina State University’s college radio station WKNC-FM has just announced that it will be hosting “Fridays on the Lawn” concerts beginning March 20th. The free shows begin at 5pm and will feature a variety of bands, including Jackson Scott, Astro Cowboy, Ancient Cities, and Coytah. The final show will be combined with a record swap on April 24th. More details are on the WKNC blog.
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.