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College Radio Watch: Southeast Missouri State Gives Up LPFM, Letterman’s College Radio Past, WMUC Film, and More News

In April 2014 we wrote about Southeast Missouri State University’s plans to discontinue broadcasts from its low power FM (LPFM) student radio station KDMC-LP (aka The Rage FM) in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. At the time, the school planned to keep the LPFM license. However, earlier this month, Southeast Missouri State’s Board of Regents turned the KDMC-LP license back to the FCC. In a letter, the Regents officially surrendered and requested that the license be canceled.

KDMC has been off the air since June, 2014 and as it approached the end of its “Silent Special Temporary Authority” request back in February, 2015, it asked for permission to stay off the air until June 1, 2015, while the school evaluated the station’s future. According to the April, 2015 request,

Station KDMC-LP is a student-run campus radio station staffed by student volunteers under the supervision of the University’s Department of Mass Media. The University was required to cease broadcasting as of June 1, 2014 due to limited student and University staff and limited resources, and due in part to other increased media commitments undertaken by the department. As noted in the original silent status notification and STA filing, the University planned, in connection with an on-going review of its programming and curriculum needs, to reevaluate the resumption of service over KDMC-LP during the 2014-15 school year. As of this date, the University’s evaluation of the situation and its options continues, as it attempts to determine how it can best allocate limited public university resources and restore operation of the station.”

The FCC granted KDMC-LP’s request to stay silent until June 1, 2015 and reminded the station that the license would “automatically expire as a matter of law if broadcast operations do not resume by 12:01 a.m., June 2,2015.” After taking time to evaluate its options, the university opted to cancel the license rather than resuming broadcasts. The station received its initial construction permit back in 2002.

Dave Letterman’s College Radio Past Revealed

As Dave Letterman bid farewell on his late night television show this week, fans and former colleagues have unearthed some recordings from Letterman’s early days in college radio. Ball State Daily posted a recording from a campus-only radio broadcast (on carrier current station WAGO-AM) of “Uncle Gimpy” from 1968. According to Ball State Daily,

Ball State Director of Relationship Marketing and Community Relations, Al Rent, was a student with Letterman and they worked together at WBST, which was an old-school, classical music radio station at the time (now Indiana Public Radio). Letterman left WBST, understandably so, and created WAGO out of a campus residence hall.

‘They [at WAGO] had total freedom,’ Rent said. ‘They broadcasted just to the internal campus.'”

To hear more material from Letterman’s college radio days at WAGO, take a listen to his April Fool’s Day broadcast from 1969.

WMUC is Star of “12 Angry DJs”

A short film called “12 Angry DJs” is set at University of Maryland’s college radio station WMUC. It’s a fun movie, featuring some classic college radio characters as well as some great radio nerd moments (“Hard core Swedish rap” and “Cold War PSAs” anyone?) as well as discussion about the competition to get on FM at a station that also has a digital-only station. Having visited WMUC just last year, I loved catching glimpses of the studios and lobby in the film. Unlike WMUC-FM’s terrestrial broadcasts, the movie is peppered with saucy language, so if that matters to you, be forewarned.

Western Carolina University One Step Closer to Getting New Non-Commercial Radio Station

The FCC just announced the tentative selectees for new FM non-commercial radio station construction permits from a February, 2010 application window. Among the tentative winners is Western Carolina University, which plans to build a station in Dillsboro, North Carolina. The university is already the licensee for college radio station WWCU-FM. According to its 2010 application for the new station, WWCU serves as “‘professional learning laboratory’ for broadcast students enrolled in WCU’s Communication Department.” At least at the time of the application (remember, this was back in 2010), it was planned that the university would “…divest its current facilities (Class A WWCU and Class D WWCU-FM1) by transferring the current facilities to a qualified entity.” The application states,

Recently, WCU orally agreed with Western North Carolina Public Radio, Inc. to enter into negotiates [sic] for assignment of the licenses for WCU’s current facilities upon grant and construction of the proposed Dillsboro facility. In other words, if awarded the Dillsboro allotment, WCU’s plan calls for divestiture of its current facilities—ideally to Western North Carolina Public Radio, Inc. following successful negotiations with that organization.”

Canadian Campus Radio Station to go FM in Nova Scotia

The Chronicle Herald reports that Cape Breton University’s online station, Caper Radio, will soon be licensed to broadcast over FM in Sydney, Nova Scotia. As we wrote last year, plans for the station have been in the works for awhile. According to the article,

Caper Radio has received approval from the CRTC to operate a low- power, English-language developmental campus FM radio station in the Sydney area. Based in the CBU student union building, Caper Radio currently broadcasts at the campus and online from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, repeating around the clock. Music director Dale Fahey said the independent broadcaster will soon begin a countdown to its 107.3-FM launch date.”

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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