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poster-covered wall in college radio station 9th Floor Radio's studio

College Radio Watch: WXAC Celebrates 50th, WSOU’s Record Store Day Remote, and the 9 Lives of WKPS

This week I wrote up another college radio station visit as part of my ongoing Spinning Indie Radio Station Field trip series. Laney College’s streaming radio station, 9th Floor Radio, has been around for nearly a decade in Oakland and is preparing to add a low power FM (LPFM) broadcast to the mix this summer. Also this week, my colleague Matthew alerts us to WHUS‘ entertaining video about safe harbor content during late night hours on the University of Connecticut radio station. In other college radio news this week:

Radio Events and Anniversaries

WXAC Celebrates 50th Anniversary reports that WXAC 91.3 FM at Albright College is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Saturday. According to the article, “The nonprofit WXAC helps train students in broadcasting operations, preparing them for careers in the radio industry and related fields, and fostering communication on campus and off. WXAC presents an alternative to commercial radio by acting as a forum for music, poetry and the arts, with students serving as disc jockeys.”

WSOU-FM to do Live Remote for Record Store Day

I’m always amazed that there aren’t more collaborations between radio stations and record stores on Record Store Day. For that reason, I was pleased to hear that Seton Hall’s college radio station WSOU-FM will be doing a live broadcast at Vintage Vinyl Records in Fords, New Jersey on Record Store Day this Saturday, April 18.

KSPC to Host Alumni DJs on May 2nd

One of my alma mater radio stations, KSPC-FM at Pomona College, is inviting its alumni DJs to come back on the air on Saturday, May 2nd between 11am and 2pm. Interested former KSPC DJs are invited to contact the Station Manger for more details about both the broadcasts and the Alumni Reception that day.

35th Anniversary of CMJ’s Music Marathon

I had no idea that the CMJ Music Marathon was still in its childhood when I first attended the college radio-oriented convention in the 1980s. It turns out that the very first CMJ conference happened in 1981. According to an announcement on the CMJ website, “It began as a humble idea of bringing the music industry together. And humble it was: one venue, two bands. Yet 35 years later, CMJ has solidified its place as the premiere event for the discovery and development of new musical artists on the rise. CMJ has topped out with 1300 bands in over 70 venues across New York City, with countless new acts showcased to thousands of industry members and fans alike.” The next CMJ Music Marathon will take place in New York City from October 13 to October 17.

College Radio Station Profiles

WPPJ Mini Documentary Gives Glimpse of the Carrier-Current Station and of….that Leo Sign!

A Radio Survivor reader alerted us to the presence of a modern-day carrier current station at Point Park University in Pittsburgh. Learn more in this documentary about WPPJ 670 AM and keep an eye out for that college radio staple – the hand made Leo Blais call letter sign.

CMJ Chats with WPTS’ General Manager about Winning the mtvU Woodie & More

In an interview with CMJ, WPTS General Manager Rachel Mauer talks about University of Pittsburgh’s recent mtvU Woodie win and more. Mauer also outlines some of the more unusual programming, telling CMJ, “We also had a 24-hour marathon of specialty programming this past January, and it was the first time we’ve ever done anything like that. It was really successful too. We had student-written film scripts read on-air, we had our sports department call a game of Mario Kart, and we even had the Mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto, play an hour-long set. We also attend national radio conferences to improve our skills.”

Penn State’s “The Lion” and its Many “Brushes with Death”

Onward State featured a pretty extensive profile of Penn State’s college radio station WKPS 90.7 FM (aka “the Lion”). On the air since 1995, WKPS is the descendent of earlier student broadcasting efforts on campus. According to the article,

In 1951, the graduating class conceived the idea of having its own campus radio station and pitched the concept to the board of directors. Two years later, WDFM — Penn State’s original student station — was given to the university as a class gift and Penn State’s first radio station was born. The date of its on-air debut was December 6, 1953. In 1985, the station changed its call letters to WPSU-FM [and began airing public radio programming]. In the ’80s, funding of student programming began to cut back, and with less funding came less student radio.”

In the 1990s, students launched a new station, WKPS, in order to have a truly student-oriented college radio station (WPSU is now a NPR-affiliated public radio station). Take a look at the Onward State article to learn about various station controversies and “brushes with death” during the station’s history.

Who Says Radio is Dead for Teenagers? North Central College DJ Looks Forward to Radio Career

Recently I visited WONC-FM at North Central College near Chicago. The award-winning station has been getting some press recently, including a recent interview with one of its DJs. WONC-FM DJ Cora Georgiou is profiled in the Chicago Tribune this week and it was great to see a 19-year-old talking about the merits of radio. According to the piece,

While some people want to believe that conventional mediums such as radio are a thing of the past, Georgiou does not share that attitude. ‘I believe radio has been around for so long that it will continue to last,’ she said. ‘There will always be some die-hards who will find it easier to listen to the radio.’ Georgiou also said she is happy to attend a college that has an actual radio station with a transmitter (89.1 FM, with a signal that carries for about a 30-mile radius from downtown Naperville).”

Radio Programming and Policy

Audio Documentaries from Stanford’s Storytelling Project Airing on KZSU

Stanford University’s student radio station KZSU 90.1 FM is airing audio documentaries that were created through a storytelling project at the school. According to the Stanford Report, “To date, 18 students have produced 16 documentaries that have aired on Stanford radio station 90.1 KZSU. Braden documentaries can be found on the Stanford Storytelling Project website.

College Radio Stations to Get Break in Proposed Music Royalty Bill

According to the Hill, “Lawmakers on Monday unveiled legislation aimed at forcing broadcasters, satellite radio companies and Internet streaming services to pay the same royalties to musicians…The Fair Play Fair Pay Act would create a new performance rights for AM and FM stations, which can currently play music without having to pay royalties to musicians and labels.” Within this proposed legislation, college radio stations would be given a break as “The bill has a carve-out for college radio stations and other stations making revenues of less than $1 million a year. Those stations would pay a flat $500 in royalties a year, while college radio stations would pay $100.”

FCC Tips for College Radio

I was just alerted to a seminar by broadcast law guru David Oxenford. His College Media Association 2015 presentation on “College Radio and the FCC” is a must-read for anyone on the air at (or overseeing) a FCC-licensed college radio station. Read Oxenford’s overview of the presentation on his Broadcast Law Blog.

Positive Changes on Campus Following Racist Talk over Bucknell’s Radio Station

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the recent incident at Bucknell’s radio station, WVBU, in which remarks that were considered racist led to the expulsion of three students. While it’s important for schools to take hate speech seriously, I’ve also wondered about whether asking a student to leave the campus community was the right move. PennLive is reporting that the incident may have actually helped to spark some positive changes on campus. According to the article,

The president of Bucknell University believes a racial slur uttered on a Bucknell campus radio program last month has served as a catalyst for change to make the school more inclusive. ‘The suffering many of our fellow Bucknellians have been experiencing for far too long is sharply in focus,’ John Bravman told the university community in an email Sunday. Student Government President Alexandra Rosen applauds the steps taken by Bravman since the racist remarks on a March 20 WVBU program that resulted in the expulsion of three students. But it is time for students to step forward and take responsibility for what is happening at Bucknell, she said Monday.

Additionally, the Daily Item reports on Bucknell’s Tuesday night “Solidarity Ceremony,” in which students shared stories of discrimination on campus. Daily Item writes,

Although the occasion grew out of the recent WVBU campus radio incident of D.Js making racist remarks on air, the student speakers at the ceremony noted that issues of discrimination already existed on campus among some individuals — and certainly in society in general. One by one the speakers took the stand, telling often gut-wrenching stories of their personal fears when confronted by others because of who they are or what they look like.”

WVBU broadcast the ceremony live and you can listen to archived recordings of the event on the college radio station’s website.

More College Radio Stations Coming to the Airwaves

Coahoma Community College Radio Station Fundraises in Hopes of Getting On Air Soon

According to KSL, “A fundraising campaign to support a new radio station on the Clarksdale campus of Coahoma Community College has brought in $175,000.” It’s hoped that the 50,000 watt (!) station will be on the air by November in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

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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