I’ve covered a number of sad situations involving the shutdown of college radio stations and it’s been gratifying to see that sometimes there is a silver lining in these stories. In its column for Radio World, CBI shared stories about the triumphant return of two college radio stations in Texas: KTRU and KTXT.
KTRU and KTXT Return to FM
The Radio World piece outlines the loss of Rice University’s powerful signal for KTRU-FM and its eventual return to the airwaves over low power FM last month (see our coverage of every twist and turn at KTRU). Additionally, it recounts Texas Tech University station KTXT-FM’s shut down in 2008 and eventual return in 2011 stating that,
Several factors led to KTXT’s eventual return. The decision to shut the station down was made at the departmental level, not by the university administration. Texas Tech already had an NPR station, and there was no potential buyer waiting in the wings. The student newspaper ran the station and, while it was their decision alone to shut it down, the university administration then had to decide what to do with it.
Derrick Ginter, co-author of this article, was GM of KOHM at the time, and was asked if he would take it over. He agreed, but couldn’t keep it as a student FM since there was no studio space, no music library or budget for it. He knew that the university budgets were cyclical, and if he could just keep the station on-air and legal long enough, there would be resources for it to be a student FM again. So he automated the station with BBC and satellite jazz programming which was already on hand, and thus KOHM saved KTXT from disappearing.
But he didn’t have to wait very long. In 2010, the dean of the College of Mass Communications, Dr. Jerry Hudson, pitched the idea of moving KTXT back into the school where it started. Ginter happily agreed. Hudson offered him a job in 2011 to restore KTXT as a student FM, and to design new studios for it. Students returned to the airwaves that fall and, in late 2012, both the college and the station moved into a renovated campus space featuring state-of-the-art facilities.”
Kudos to KTRU and KTXT for hanging in there despite the challenges!
College Radio Sticker Art + Recapping the UC Radio Conference on the Radio Survivor Podcast
Speaking of KTRU, I talk about some fun sticker art that makes use of KTRU’s promotional stickers on this week’s Radio Survivor Podcast. Coincidentally, KTRU was also recently profiled on the Radio Sticker of the Day website.
In case you missed last week’s podcast (episode 25), it’s worth a listen to hear not only my recap of the UC Radio Network Conference, but to also learn more about Pomona College radio station KSPC‘s efforts to understand its role in the campus community. It brings up challenging questions about whether or not college radio is welcoming to all.
Nevada Public Radio May Take Over University of Nevada-Las Vegas Radio Station KUNV
The Rebel Yell reports that Nevada Public Radio may soon take over programming on University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ radio station, KUNV-FM The Source, through a Public Service Operating Agreement (PSOA) which is slated to go into effect this month. According to the article, the school will retain the station’s license as well as some program time:
Under this agreement, UNLV will retain programming time for student engagement and education, the broadcast of sports and lectures and public service announcements concerning the university, according to the official briefing paper. Frank Mueller, general manager of KUNV 91.5 The Source, KUNV HD-2 The Rebel and KUNV HD-3 Where Jazz Lives, said overall interest in the campus station by Nevada Public Radio goes back decades.”
Formerly a student-run radio station (with quite a strong reputation for its rock format in the 1980s), the 30+ year old KUNV had professional management and a mostly jazz format by the 1990s. For a time the station was moved off campus. Today, the daytime weekday programming is primarily jazz, but there are also talk shows and a wide variety of genres of music represented at night and on the weekends. As we wrote earlier this year, the station recently added more student programming to the KUNV schedule. There is also a student radio station, the Rebel, on KUNV’s HD-2 channel. According to the Rebel Yell,
…35 students currently broadcasting on the main station would be displaced onto the HD-2 student station and HD-3 community-serving station if the PSOA passes. In its place, Nevada Public Radio will offer approximately three to five paid internships.”
According to Vegas Seven, Nevada Public Radio hopes to air a “music discovery” format on KUNV beginning on March 1, 2016 if the proposal is accepted. Nevada Public Radio’s proposal was slated to be discussed at a Board of Regents meeting today (see the entire proposal). A website, Keep KUNV, has been set up to collect letters opposing the partnership with Nevada Public Radio.
KJZC to Be Transferred to Chadron State College
KNEB reports that the non-profit owner of KJZC 90.5 FM, Jazz Birds, plans to transfer the license to Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska. According to the piece,
Back in 2007, Chadron State College Professor Dr. Sandy Schaefer helped launch KJZC/90.5 , a 24 hour radio station that plays jazz, blues, western swing and other types of music. Now, Schaefer and Professor Kathleen Kirsh have filed paperwork with the FCC to transfer the KJZC license to the college. Dr. Schaefer, who helps manages the station, says he plans on retiring in the next few years and wants the radio station to be something that can continue to be utilized in years to come.”
According to paperwork filed with the FCC, the license will be donated to the college. The college will “integrate the station into the educational mission and objectives of the College. The College shall continue to utilize KJZC to broadcast a noncommercial educational program, including music…, public affairs programming (local news, events, and interviews), and College-related program material. In addition, the College will utilize the station to offer on-air and production opportunities for its students, and opportunities for faculty to provide programming content in areas of expertise including art, music and theater.”
More College Radio News
Profiles, Station News
WSOU Donates to Community Food Bank of New Jersey as Part of “Students Change Hunger” Program (Seton Hall University)
Profiling WWVU on the Heels of its Big Win at CMJ (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
WTUR Releases App (the Echo News)
KUGS Goes off the Air During Campus Threats (Northwest Broadcasters)
Special Programming: Radio Drama and Holiday Music
WCSF Kicks off its All-Holiday Format (The Herald-News)
College Radio History
Listen to Public Enemy’s 1988 WNYU Radio Concert (Ambrosia for Heads)
WUKY Radio History (Radio World)
New Station, Possible Shutdowns and Transfers
Coahoma Community College Launches Radio Station WCQC-FM in Clarksdale, Mississippi (Press Register)
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.