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Music office at college radio station WPRB. Photo: J. Waits

College Radio Watch: Celebrating National Radio Day

While I was enjoying my summer vacation last week, I also spent a lot of time listening to college radio. As I drove from San Francisco to Los Angeles, I was pleased to have so many college radio choices, starting with Foothill College station KFJC (where I DJ), then shifting to UC Santa Cruz station KZSC, followed by KCPR at Cal Poly, KCSB at UC Santa Barbara and then KXLU at Loyola Marymount. And that’s not even the full list of college radio stations than span that drive.

It was fun hearing the wide range of sounds, including indie rock, jazz, blues and even Brazilian music on KXLU in celebration of the Olympics in Rio. Even though their campuses might be quieter over the summer, each station was still producing radio for listeners like me.

I’m a curious radio listener who actively seeks out new stations, particularly when I’m traveling. It’s always an adventure, especially when manually scanning the AM and FM dials and I’m sure it drives my family and friends crazy that I will listen through static in order to hear a back announce or a station ID of some hard-to-get radio station. While in Los Angeles we happened upon an emergency-focused AM station out of UCLA while trying to find the weak signal for community radio station KCHUNG and it was strange and wonderful at the same time.

Similarly, just this week, I dialed on over to a mysterious signal in San Francisco that I’d heard was broadcasting the sounds of some sort of eatery or cafe. It was full of static and hard to decipher, but I found that odd station on 100.9 FM and couldn’t have been happier, although I’m still full of questions.

Weirder still, last month I was listening to KFJC when it suddenly morphed into a Spanish language broadcast in which the announcer was reading a series of numbers. It turns out that I was experiencing the amazing E-skip phenomenon in which a faraway radio station bounces hundreds of miles away. This summer was pretty active and I happened to be in the right place at the right time. It turned out that the station that I was hearing on July 21 was XHDP out of Ciudad Cuauhtémoc in Chihuahua, Mexico, more than 1,300 miles away. I would have never known the station name, but my car’s radio helpfully displayed “XHDP” on its screen.

Clearly radio has such great potential to delight listeners and National Radio Day tomorrow is the perfect time to tune in and remind the world around you that college radio, in particular, is alive and well. What will you be listening to?

Recent College Radio News


Submit Your Sonic ID by TODAY for National Radio Day (National Radio Day)

WRUW Announces Headliners for Studio-A-Rama Music Festival (

History and Anniversaries

More than 500 of UBC Radio Station’s Historic Audio Tapes Find New Audience Online (Vancouver Sun)

Chuck D’s College Radio Past at Adelphi University (Complex)

Brenau Radio Station WBCX Celebrates 40th Anniversary (Gainsville Times)

Awards and Accolades

Four Ennes Scholarship Recipients Named, Including PD at Kansas State Station (Radio World)

IBS College Media Awards (Intercollegiate Broadcasting System)

KXLU on List of Best Music Radio Stations in L.A. (L.A. Weekly)


WRHU’s Fall Sports Preview Show (Hofstra Pride/Hofstra University Athletics)

Good Times Continue for KTCU Radio Hosts (The Star-Telegram)

More News

WIIT Chicago Seeks Faculty and Staff DJs (Illinois Institute of Technology)

Is College Radio Relevant? (OUP Blog)

College Radio as “Unconventional” Way to Meet New Friends at College (Bustle)

College Radio as “Essential Pit Stop” for Touring Acts (Pollstar Pro)

William Paterson’s “Brave New Radio” Excels in Digital Age (

DemonFM Student Radio Participant Hosts Show on BBC Radio 1 (Bromsgrove Standard)

College Radio Sports Director from WMUA Doing Baseball Play-by-Play this Summer (South Coast Today)


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