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college radio station KDVS. photo: Jennifer Waits

College Radio Watch: Is KDVS a Community Radio Incubator?

I really enjoyed this week’s Radio Survivor Podcast, in which Eric Klein shares audio from the antenna raising for brand new low power FM (LPFM) radio station Freeform Portland. The station launched one week ago on April 1st and in the podcast we learn that many of the founders have college radio pasts. Eric points out that they were “inspired by their college radio days” and cites University of California, Davis station KDVS for being an “incubator” for several new LPFMs in Portland, including Freeform Portland. Paul Riismandel adds that this is a sign that college radio “plants the seeds” for so many radio projects.

In the podcast we hear the sounds of Freeform Portland’s antenna installation and the excitement is palpable. Two dozen volunteers showed up to build the antenna, carry it to the roof of a one-story building, and install it atop a tower. Eric chatted with them throughout the day and heard a whole lot of college radio memories. Freeform Portland’s Jeffory Simmons points out that Portland “never had a full power college radio station” and that it’s an “uphill battle” to show people that there’s more music out there than what is played on commercial radio. He expresses optimism about the LPFM opportunity, saying that it’s lower risk.

As far as the college radio connection, Jeffory opines that KDVS is “sort of the core…of a lot of people who are making…changes in their communities.” He gives a lot of credit to KDVS alum Todd Urick (also of Common Frequency), who was instrumental in the application process for Freeform Portland. Eric also talks to Freeform Portland’s Board President Jessica Ponaman, who also worked at KDVS. Jessica said that after moving to Portland she wanted to help bring more radio options to the community. The story of Freeform Portland is truly a testament to the influence of college radio on the broader radio landscape.

New Proposed Rules for FCC’s Ownership Reports

FCC-licensed college radio stations have many legal obligations, including the timely filing of various reports and renewals. On his Broadcast Law Blog, David Oxenford reports on some proposed changes to the procedures for radio station biennial ownership reports. He writes that some of the changes include, “…putting noncommercial stations on the same schedule as commercial stations (filing on December 1 of odd-numbered years) and requiring that all licensees obtain, for every person or entity with an attributable interest, an FCC Registration Number (an ‘FRN’). To get an FRN, the licensee must either submit the Social Security number (‘SSN’) of the person with an attributable interest (or the Taxpayer ID number if the interest holder is not an individual) or the last four digits of the SSN plus other identifying information (their full name, residence address and date of birth).”

Oxenford states that there are already signs that some have concerns about supplying this information, particularly college radio station license holders (typically university governing boards). He points out, “As we warned noncommercial licensees when these rules were first adopted, they should be familiarizing their board members with this requirement now so that they won’t have last-minute objections when these reports are to be prepared and filed next year. But don’t be surprised if, in the next month, we see some noncommercial licensees (and possibly some commercial ones as well) making one last run at the FCC through a request for reconsideration asking that the FCC amend these new reporting requirements.”

Interested parties can submit petitions or appeals to the FCC regarding these proposed changes. A 30-day window for these petitions began on April 4.

More College Radio News

WMTS to Hold Spring Benefit Vinyl Fair on April 9 (MTSU Sidelines)

KZUU Presents 2nd Annual Kazzufest (Daily Evergreen)

CBI Accepting Entries for 2016 Student Production Awards (Radio World)

WJPZ to Increase Presence at Syracuse University with Second Tower (Syracuse.com)

Cerritos College Radio Show Receives National Recognition (Talon Marks)

WMCO Celebrates Radio Weekend (WHIZ News)

Students Practice Broadcast Skills with Rutgers Radio (The Daily Targum)

New Inductees for WSOU Hall of Fame (Radio Ink)

Villanova Student Radio Station’s Buzzer-Beater Call (ABC 6 News)


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