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WGTB-FM Art Radio sticker on wall of the station. Photo: J. Waits

College Radio Watch: WGTB’s 1976 Shutdown, KXSF-LP Launch and More News

On this week’s Radio Survivor show and podcast we delve into some recently digitized recordings, including some focused on college radio, that are part of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters Archive. Of note for college radio historians, our guest Laura Schnitker points out a recording focused on the story behind a temporary shutdown of Georgetown University’s college radio station WGTB-FM in 1976.

Featuring numerous interviews, it’s an interesting glimpse at tensions between Georgetown University (the license holder) and radio station participants. Some of the controversies covered include the airing of a Washington Free Clinic public service announcement in 1975, the station’s airing of progressive news, and the firing of the Station Manager by the university. A “series of misunderstandings” also included the airing of a William S. Burroughs reading with “sensitive language” at an inappropriate time. The back story and aftermath of the 1976 shutdown is chronicled on a WGTB Tribute site. I also share a bit of WGTB history in my report from my 2016 visit to the station.

Trademark Auction is Final Nail in the Coffin for CMJ

Although we never heard an official announcement, it’s been clear for awhile that CMJ is no more. The former music organization was a constant presence in college radio for decades, producing the annual CMJ Music Marathon in New York and publishing weekly music charts. This past week, the CMJ Music trademarks went up for auction. It’s hard to predict the future of these assets. Will an existing music charting service grab the legacy brand names? Will the original CMJ owners buy them back to use for their current project MondoNYC? And does the CMJ name have any lasting power after the slow demise of the formerly influential organization? Despite lawsuits, some former employees still haven’t been paid back wages.

San Francisco Community Radio’s KXSF-LP Launches over FM

When University of San Francisco’s college radio station KUSF was abruptly yanked from its 90.3 FM home back in 2011, many of its longtime participants fought back and kept the hope alive that some of their programs would grace the FM airwaves once again. I tracked every twist and turn of the fight over the eventual license sale and was heartened that a non-profit, San Francisco Community Radio, was formed in order to apply for a new low power FM (LPFM) license. On Monday, community radio station KXSF-LP launched over 102.5 FM in San Francisco, after operating as a streaming radio station for a handful of years (see my 2015 visit). It shares the frequency with San Francisco Public Press, which has yet to launch over FM.

While there are some former KUSFers on the air and working behind the scenes; San Francisco Community Radio is an entirely new organization, with no ties to University of San Francisco or its current college radio station. After University of San Francisco gave up the KUSF FM license, the campus station was revived as the student-programmed streaming radio station (see my 2016 visit), which is alive and well today. It’s great news that seven years after KUSF left 90.3 FM, two descendants of the radio station are operating in San Francisco.

More College Radio News

Fighting a License Sale

University of Evansville Alumni Fight for Radio Station WUEV’s Future (Evansville Courier and Press)

Station Profiles

Pulse of Naperville Music Scene: The Radio Station at North Central College (Positively Naperville)

Spotlight on WHCL: Tuning in with Senior DJs Jared McMickle and Molly Geisinger (The Spectator)

Seton Hall’s WSOU: Catholic University’s Radio Station Cranks up Heavy Metal (News 12 New Jersey)

Programming: Shows and Controversies

Tune in to ‘Two Hours of Pure Randomness’ on KRUA (The Northern Light)

CIUT Radio Sued for Defamation by Former Labour Union President (the Varsity)

Student-led “Science and Ethics” Radio Show Gains New Leadership (Hillsdale Collegian)


College Radio Gets Totally Wired for Record Room Live Show (Limerick Post)

Bringing Radio Back to Campus

Radio Revival at Wiley College (Marshall News Messenger)


Being a College Radio DJ Can Set You Up for Success after Graduation (CNBC)

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