For the past few weeks I’ve been focused on college radio history and college radio touring. As I mentioned last week, I had a great time at the Radio Preservation Task Force conference. Be sure to listen to this week’s Radio Survivor Podcast to hear a more extensive recap of the event. While I was away, there was a flurry of college radio news. Here’s an overview from the past month:
2016 IBS Awards Winners and Finalists
Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) held its annual student media conference in New York City last week and as part of the event, it announced winners for its 2016 IBS Awards. See the college radio winners here, high school radio winners here, and winners in the faculty adviser and student manager categories here. Congratulations to KCR Radio at San Diego State University for being awarded the best online-streaming college radio station and the best overall college radio station in the country. See the Daily Aztec’s piece about KCR’s success at IBS here. WEEM at Pendleton Heights High School (Pendleton Indiana) was named the best high school radio station.
Does Size Matter in College Radio?
Ken Mills wrote a couple of pieces that have generated much conversation in college radio communities. In his piece, Inside College Radio, he writes that, “College radio’s self-imposed smallness is a threat to its future. The key to long-term success in noncommercial media is independent financial sustainability. If there is no margin it is tough to fulfill the mission. As a group, College stations are the smallest players in noncom radio. There are fewer and fewer stations each year. Station licensees are increasingly focused on tangible results, not just feel-goods.”
I’ve never been focused too much on the size of a college radio station. In fact, when given the choice, I usually opt to visit college radio stations with some of the smallest budgets. Regardless, there’s a tremendously diverse crop of stations out there in 2016, not all of which are small. To that point, Mills compiled a list of the 20 stations that he found had some of the largest budgets.
I believe that regardless of size or budget, college radio stations serve many different purposes, audiences, and niches depending upon the location and station. I would disagree that there are fewer and fewer stations each year, particularly in light of new low power FM stations (nearly 80 construction permits have been issued to colleges and universities from the 2013 LPFM application window) and the ongoing growth in online-only college radio stations. Not every college radio station needs to have a large budget or a large audience and many smaller stations are providing a much-needed resource to their campus communities.
WPRB Video Highlights Station’s Rich Heritage
I’m a big fan of college radio documentaries. Enjoy this short video about Princeton University radio station WPRB, which is in the midst of celebrating its 75th anniversary.
College Radio News Round-Up
Radio Station Profiles
Chicago State’s WCSU Radio Station is School’s Hidden Treasure (Medill Reports Chicago)
WJHU Radio Provides Outlet for Expression (The Johns Hopkins News-Letter)
What’s the Buzz: A Look Inside GSU’s Radio Station (The George-Anne)
Partners in Progress: Making a Scene (Goshen News)
Celebrating 16 Years of UIC Radio (University of Illinois at Chicago)
WLVR Expands its Reach, Involvement (The Brown and White)
Students Bring WCUA Back on the Air (The Tower)
Ford Clark Creating Enthusiasm for UNK Campus Radio (104.9 Max Country)
Student Radio Moves to New Building (BG News, Bowling Green State University)
Ryerson’s New Radio Institute Connects and Mentors (Toronto Star)
The Globe Wins Big Awards in the Big Apple (Goshen News)
Comm Programs at Goshen College Win Multiple Awards (The Record)
UW-River Falls Campus Media Win Newspaper, Broadcast Awards (River Falls Journal)
ASU Journalism Student Takes 1st Place in Hearst Radio Regional Competition (Arizona State University)
WUTM Named Best College Radio Station in the South (The Jackson Sun)
College Radio Station Hosting Enlightenment Festival (Press and Guide)
WZND Organizes Leap Year Day Event (Pantagraph)
Rider University Station Broadcasts from Philadelphia Flower Show (Rider University)
WXOU Brings Old-School Dating Back (Oakland Post)
A Look Inside Radio Free Charlotte with Katy B (Niner Times)
Launches, New Stations
Broadcasting Company Gives Radio Station to UW-EC (Eau Claire Leader-Telegram)
The donation of a commercial radio station will allow the school to expand public radio coverage, athletics programming, and more.
New LPFM at West Virginia University Now Online (WVU Parkersburg)
Rocky Beats Radio Plays Everything – Except Top 40 and Country (Billings Gazette)
Extensive article about the history and present-day activities of the Binghamton University college radio station
Radio History at the U of M (Continuum – University of Minnesota Libraries)
College Radio and Sports
Hofstra Athletics and WRHU Partnership (Hofstra)
College Radio Funding
Western University Student Council Rejects Campus-Wide Vote on CHRW Funding (The London Free Press)
Campus Radio Levy Debated (The London Free Press)
Aggie Radio to Fund FM (The Utah Statesman)
Gorilla Radio Seeks $30,000 (PSU Collegio)