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college radio swag at UCRN Fall 2015. Photo: J. Waits

College Radio Watch: Canadian Campus Radio History, WAIC Gets a Break on Fines, and more News

It’s been a flurry of college radio conferences for me lately and my third and final event for the fall was the UCRN conference held at Pomona College’s radio station KSPC last Saturday. You can read all about it in my recap from earlier this week. Also, on this week’s Radio Survivor Podcast, I talk a bit more about the CMJ College Radio Day on Tour and then I depart a bit from my normal College Radio Watch feature as I talk about my tour of high school radio station KBPS-AM in Portland, Oregon, possibly the oldest high school radio station in the country. In an extended segment on the podcast, Paul Riismandel and I interview KBPS’ long-time Operations Manager Kevin Flink, who talks about the lengthy history of the high school radio station.

New Book Explores the History of Canadian Campus Radio

I was very excited to see that Radio Survivor contributor Brian Fauteux has a new book out: Music in Range: The Culture of Canadian Campus Radio. The first time that I met Brian I was intrigued by his work related to the history of college radio in Canada and it’s nice to see that project resulting in this book. According to the description on the publisher’s site,

Music in Range explores the history of Canadian campus radio, highlighting the factors that have shaped its close relationship with local music and culture. The book traces how campus radio practitioners have expanded stations from campus borders to surrounding musical and cultural communities by acquiring FM licenses and establishing community-based mandates. The culture of a campus station extends beyond its studio and into the wider community where it is connected to the local music scene within its broadcast range. The book examines campus stations and local music in Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Sackville, NB, and highlights the ways that campus stations—through music-based programming, their operational practices, and the culture under which they operate—produce alternative methods and values for circulating local and independent Canadian artists at a time when ubiquitous commercial media outlets do exactly the opposite.”

Hopefully in the weeks to come Brian will share more about this book with Radio Survivor readers. In the meantime, I know what’s now first on my Christmas list…

WAIC to Pay $6,700 Civil Penalty for Late Renewal and Public File Violations

American International College’s radio station WAIC-FM in Springfield, Massachusetts was just chastised by the FCC for missing public file documents and for submitting a late license renewal application. Although the station was initially fined $13,500 back in October, 2014, the station asked for mercy since it was a student-run station during a portion of the time when the violations occurred. WAIC has been airing public radio content from WNPR since October, 2011, but was a student-run station before that.

The FCC subsequently agreed to enter into a Consent Decree, which allowed for a lower civil penalty of $6,700. According to the Consent Decree, in its license renewal application,

AIC further disclosed that during the license term it failed to timely prepare and place in the Station’s public file any of the 32 required issues and programs lists. In addition, an application for renewal of the Station license was due on December 1, 2013, but AIC did not file the Renewal Application until March 28, 2014, three days before the Station’s expiration date, in violation of Section 73.3539 of the Rules. On October 24, 2014, the Bureau issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order and Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (“NAL”) of $13,500: $1,500 for the late application filing and $12,000 for the public file violations. On November 17, 2014, AIC filed a reply to the NAL seeking a reduction in the proposed forfeiture, based on the years the Station operated as a student-run station.”

Since the public file violations occurred during the time when the station was student-run, the FCC offered to reduce that fine (as it has generally been doing following its decision in the William Penn case to offer reduced fines for first-time document violations from student-run radio stations). However, the late filing violation did not occur under the watch of students, so the fine stands. As part of the Consent Decree, American International College must also institute a compliance plan, which will include staff training and annual audits, to ensure that no further violations occur.

College Radio Day Creates Special to Show Support for France

Following the attacks on Paris last week, College Radio Day encouraged college radio stations to send messages of support to their colleagues in France, particularly in light of the fact that some college radio participants were victims. College Radio Day Founder Rob Quicke writes,

The many people at the Bataclan concert had no idea that their passion for music would put them in harm’s way. The radio students at OnAir MS Radio (La Radio de Neoma Business School, Campus de Reims) are devastated by the news of what has happened, as one of their founding staff was inside the venue when the attack occurred. OnAir MS Radio is part of a national French organization called the Confederation des Radios de Grandes Ecoles, which is a partner with World College Radio Day. The founder of CGRE, Pierre Lacombe, also narrowly avoided being in the attacks as he was outside the Bataclan venue on Friday night.”
In the days following the attack, Quicke reported that,
Claire Taprest, a former student who was instrumental in running the student radio station, OnAir MS – La Radio de Neoma Business School, Campus de Reims, was inside the Bataclan theatre venue when the attacks occurred. We have just learned that she did not make it and succumbed to her wounds in the hospital…Another student, also from Neoma Business School, has already been confirmed as one of those killed in the Bataclan theatre attack. Very sad to report this.”
As a show of support, a special program will air today (listen to a promo clip here), featuring messages of support from college radio stations from all over the world. According to a piece on Radio Campus France, “The organization decided to do a special show to mark…support for France and Parisians. It will be broadcast on Radio Campus of Friday, November 20, 2015, one week after the tragic event.”

Other College Radio News

Brown Student Radio Coming to LPFM Soon

RI Future reports that a new LPFM could be coming to Providence, Rhode Island next summer, featuring programming from Brown University’s student radio station Brown Student Radio (BSR), along with two other non-profits. As we’ve reported, BSR used to have access to a terrestrial signal, but has been online-only since August, 2011. It was granted a construction permit for a new LPFM station back in January and is currently in a time-share with arts organization/space AS220 and Providence Community Radio. The groups are already collaborating and have hosted events recently for interested volunteers.

Josh Rosenthal’s College Radio Past

Record exec Josh Rosenthal has a new book out, The Record Store of the Mind, in which he shares the pivotal role that college radio played in his career. According to a review on KQED Arts, “In 1989, Josh Rosenthal was the music director of a college radio station in Albany, NY, determined to lure Elvis Costello onto his show. But Rosenthal’s contact at Costello’s label, Warner Bros., stonewalled him. Unfazed, Rosenthal went direct, entreating the songwriter with a note and a cache of cassettes delivered to his hotel. Costello personally accepted. Rosenthal sent a limo. The Warner rep, impressed by Rosenthal’s audacity, planted him in a publicity position at Columbia Records straight out of college, effectively poaching the young record man from A&M Records — where he had another job offer.”

WMSR Radio on the Upswing

The Miami Student profiles Miami University’s college radio station WMSR, which has grand plans. The article quotes show host Marisa Vesel,, who says, “‘I think college radio in particular is a really great way to get people listening to a lot of different types of music.'”

KZUC to Play All Holiday Music Starting November 23

University of Central Oklahoma’s LPFM college radio station KZUC-LP 99.3 FM (aka UCentral Radio) has announced that it will be changing its format to all-holiday music beginning on November 23. According to the Edmond Sun, the station launched this fall and “normally features contemporary music along with local news and sports content from Central’s mass communication students.”

Awards for Goshen Radio and WRST

It’s awards season and Goshen News reports that Goshen College radio station WGCS “the Globe” won first place in the “Local Community Involvement” category for a public service announcement at the Indiana Broadcasters Association’s annual awards. Additionally, UW Oskosh Today enumerates recent honors received by its college radio station WRST, including a 2nd place award from the College Media Association (CMA) for “radio station of the year” for stations at 4-year universities and a finalist award for a radio interview from CBI’s National Student Production Awards.

WMCO Field Trip to WPTS

The CBI Blog reports on a college radio field trip. This warms my heart! Students from Muskingum University’s college radio station WMCO traveled two hours from New Concord, Ohio to tour WPTS at University of Pittsburg. WMCO’s Lisa Marshall writes, “The excitement the students brought back far exceeded my expectations. A short day trip was not only a fun way to spend a Saturday, but allowed us to brainstorm ways WMCO could better improve our programming by seeing firsthand how another CBI station operates.”

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