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College Radio Watch: 50 Best College Radio Stations?, Two New FM Stations, WSOU Metal Countdown, WMSE Adds Podcasts + More News

In this week’s Radio Survivor Podcast (our 4th!) I join Paul Riismandel and Eric Klein as the third co-host for the first half hour of the podcast. In addition to talking about radio in general, I also spent more time discussing some stories that I’ve written about here, including Nikki Marra’s college radio documentary, the WPRK documentary, and the impending assignment of the St. Michael’s College radio station license to Vermont Public Radio. I’ll be discussing college radio topics every week on the podcast, so please let me know if you have any suggestions or feedback.

Vancouver’s CITR Moves to New Studios after 46 Years

The Vancouver Sun reports on the impending move for University of British Columbia station CITR this Saturday, July 4. The Canadian college radio station has been in the same building for 46 years and “The brown brick walls and their patina of graffiti and glued-on comics have been replaced by an open plan that includes accordion glass doors that open to a concourse designed as a meeting and gathering space for students.” There will be a wake tonight for the old station and on Saturday there will be a parade of station staff and personnel as the programming transitions from CITR’s current headquarters to its future home in the new Student Union Building.

WSOU’s 4th of July Metal Countdown

I fondly remember taping college radio countdown shows decades ago and I even have a cassette of a KSJS (San Jose State University) New Year’s Eve broadcast of the best songs of the year from 1985. I haven’t heard too much about countdown shows lately, so I was intrigued by WSOU‘s “Top 50 Metal/Hardcore Bands” countdown scheduled for July 4th. WSOU’s current and alumni DJs voted on the bands and their selections will be heard beginning at 11am Eastern Time on Saturday, July 4th on the Seton Hall University station in South Orange, New Jersey.

According to a statement from WSOU, “The countdown features a diversity of the bands both old and new.  Listeners can expect to hear staple metal acts such as Metallica and Pantera, as well as more recent bands such as Mastodon and New Jersey’s Dillinger Escape Plan.”

University of Virginia’s Soon-to-Be Student LPFM: WXTJ

Charlottesville Tomorrow reports on the new low power FM station, WXTJ-LP 100.1 FM launching at University of Virginia in the next few months. As we’ve reported, the school also runs the mostly-community station WTJU-FM. We’ll have more on this story next week.

Columbus State University Launches FM Student Radio Station

According to WTVM, a brand new college radio station launched on Wednesday at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. WCUG-FM, Cougar Radio, is broadcasting at 88.5 FM and became possible thanks to some frequency changes in the area and a currently anonymous donation. 88.5 FM formerly aired programming from (and is still owned by) Christian radio station WBOJ “the Truth.” That programming has moved to 107.7 FM. The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports, “Although WCUG is playing almost exclusively jazz now, the programming is expected to eventually comprise a variety of music, including a CSU Top 40 selected by students, plus concerts from the Schwob School, athletic events, newscasts and talk shows.”

WMSE’s Trio of Podcasts

As part of this week’s Radio Survivor Podcast, Ernesto Aguilar of KPFT talks about podcasting’s role in public radio and gives some insight into what makes for a great podcast. In light of that, I was interested to see that college radio station WMSE at Milwaukee School of Engineering has a collection of podcasts available for listeners on iTunes.

WMSE’s most recent addition to its podcast roster is the music show Local/Live. According to a statement from WMSE,

With the recent addition of Local/Live to iTunes, we show Milwaukee once again our dedication to the very vibrant music scene.  Current Podcasts include: The Scarring Party, Kia Rap Princess, Estates, Sun//Decrease and most recently Testa Rosa.  ‘We’re incredibly excited about sharing the local Milwaukee music scene with the world via iTunes.  Each podcast is free and creates another opportunity for artists to increase their audience.  ‘Helping the local music scene is key to our mission as a station,’ stated GM Tom Crawford.  Local/Live teams up Music Director Erin Wolf with music writer Cal Roach who hosts a live interview and performance with different Milwaukee bands. This is live radio at its finest.”

Besides Local/Live, WMSE also has two other podcasts: The Disclaimer (a weekly talk show about Milwaukee music, art and events) and The Trap Set (in which the host interviews drummers every week).

The 50 Best College Radio Stations?

I was interested to see yet another “Best College Radio Stations” list this week. The website Best Colleges featured its picks for the top 50 college radio stations in the United States. Listed in alphabetical order, the collection of stations includes my home station KFJC (we’re excited, because we never seem to end up on these lists), as well as a bunch that I’ve visited, including Radio DePaul in Chicago, KCPR at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, WREK at Georgia Tech, WZRD at Northeastern Illinois University, KSCU at Santa Clara University, KALX at UC Berkeley, KCSB at UC Santa Barbara, and KEXP in Seattle (oops! It’s not a college radio station anymore. If they’d wanted to include University of Washington, there’s Rainy Dawg Radio still on campus). It’s unclear how the stations were chosen, although the website says that “the following factors were taken into consideration” and lists “online streaming capabilities,” “community involvement,” and “studio facilities” as part of the criteria.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie – Champion for College Radio?

After New Jersey Governor Chris Christie entered the Presidential race this week, word came out that while he was in college, he was a strong supporter of college radio. According to USA Today, while he was the Student Body President at University of Delaware in the 1980s, “…he also championed causes that were not always right-of-center, such as lower tuition, and a more powerful student radio station.” This is a reference to the power increase for WXDR (read some history here), which was able to increase from 10 watts (it was a class D station) to 1000 watts in the early 1980s. The station’s call letters are now WVUD.

Chapman Radio’s Surge in Popularity

According to the Orange County Register, Chapman University’s internet radio station, Chapman Radio, is the biggest club on the Orange, California campus. With its origins dating back to the 1960, the station has a fascinating history. The Orange County Register piece states:

Chapman Radio started in 1967 as ‘Radio Chapman,’ an over-the-air station with a signal broadcast from a converted coat closet on campus. At the time, the station shared the airwaves with the University of California, Irvine’s station. The station was reasonably popular, but was eventually forced to give up its spot on the air to UCI, which was a much-bigger organization. From then on, the station was forced to be a wire radio station, which meant it could only be heard by people in the Chapman dorms”

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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