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CDs at college radio station WKDU. Photo: J. Waits

College Radio Watch: FCC Grants Consent for WUMD License Assignment, WKDU Tour, College Radio History Tips and More News

Earlier this week, on May 1, the FCC granted consent for the license assignment for the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth college radio station WUMD to Rhode Island Public Radio (RIPR). As readers will recall, in January, UMass Dartmouth announced plans to sell the college radio station license. We dug into the $1.5 million deal, speaking with representatives from UMass Dartmouth and RIPR.

WUMD participants and listeners have expressed displeasure with this deal, filing oppositions with the FCC. One of the arguments against the transaction is that local, primarily music-focused content will be lost over the Massachusetts airwaves, as RIPR plans to air syndicated public radio programming.

This week, the FCC denied the Petition to Deny and Informal Objections, paving the way for the license assignment. Additionally, Rhode Island Public Radio filed paperwork with the FCC asking for special temporary authority “to operate the station from RIPR’s existing studios in Providence, Rhode Island, until modified facilities are constructed and licensed.” In its request to the FCC, Rhode Island Public Radio writes:

WUMD is licensed to University of Massachusetts, and is operated by students and faculty from studios and transmitter site located on the campus of the university in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. The studios and transmitter site must be relocated pursuant to the terms of the parties’ agreement for purchase and sale of the station. RIPR operates Rhode Island’s public radio service from studios located in Providence, Rhode Island. It will program WUMD from its Providence studios. RIPR proposes to relocate the WUMD transmitter site from the university campus to an existing structure in Tiverton, Rhode Island, and to change the community of license from North Dartmouth to Newport, Rhode Island.

RIPR’s Providence studios are 26.27 miles from the reference coordinates of the present community of license, North Dartmouth, and thus do not meet the 25-mile specification of Section 73.1125(a)(3) of the Commission’s rules. (The studios are, however, exactly 25.00 miles from the existing WUMD transmitter site). Accordingly, Special Temporary Authority (and as necessary, a waiver of Section 73.1125(a)) is requested, for the period commencing on the date the WUMD license is assigned to RIPR, until construction and licensing of modified WUMD facilities are completed, to permit WUMD programming to originate from the RIPR studios in Providence, Rhode Island.”

Is College Radio Welcoming to All? Recapping Recent College Radio Conferences

On this week’s Radio Survivor Podcast, I talked about some recent college radio conferences that I have attended, including the College Radio: Then, Now & Next symposium hosted by WTJU and the most recent University of California Radio Network (UCRN) conference hosted by KXLU. A striking thing for me were some conversations and panels at both events that touched on the importance of inclusiveness in both college radio and in music scenes. The “Intersectional Feminism in the DIY Scene” panel at UCRN was particularly illuminating, as the participants shared personal anecdotes and revealed troubling instances of harassment and discrimination. Similarly, a student who I met in Virginia, spoke powerfully about the work that she does to provide “safer spaces” training to college radio participants and venues. These reminders about the work that still needs to be done in college radio were a nice follow-up to discussions at a prior UCRN in which I learned about KSPC’s efforts to make the Pomona College radio station more inviting to all students.

Tips for Archiving College Radio History

Also on this week’s Radio Survivor Podcast, we include the full audio from Laura Schnitker’s presentation at WTJU’s College Radio: Then, Now & Next symposium. Laura is my colleague on the Radio Preservation Task Force, where we co-chair the College, Community & Educational Radio Caucus. For her presentation at the WTJU event, Laura focused on providing pragmatic tips about how college radio stations can work to preserve and archive their histories. She also shares some incredible stories from her work creating the WMUC archives at University of Maryland.

Touring Drexel University’s College Radio Station WKDU

I was so excited to finally get to visit WKDU in Philadelphia last fall and my tour fulfilled all expectations. My write-up from that visit, Tour #135, just got posted. As an added bonus, I traveled to WKDU with a delegation of College Broadcasters Inc. conference attendees; which lent a true “field trip” vibe to the visit. It was also really fun to see WKDU with several folks who had actually toured me around their respective college radio stations, including Millie De Chirico (SCAD Atlanta Radio), Sam Bulkley (KCSU, Colorado State), Mike Lupica (WPRB, Princeton) and Lucas Coberly (KXUA, University of Arkansas). It was great to chit chat with them, pointing out items that I’d seen at their radio stations, like the Leo Blais sign and the life size Ron Burgundy cardboard cut-out. It still amazes me that some of these items are at college radio stations all over the country.

More College Radio News

Talented Media Student Selected for National Radio Role (De Montfort University)

WSOU Staffers Mentor with CBS Radio (Radio World)

Student Broadcasters Win Four Awards at State Level (Indiana State University)

Hidden History of College Radio Station KPNI, KSMU at Southern Methodist University (Arcane Radio Trivia)

Campus Voice Encounter: 1980s Pre-packaged College Radio Show (Arcane Radio Trivia)

Dear White People Review: First Episode Begins with Student Activist Running Her Own College Radio Show (The Guardian)

UK Students Impress at AP Broadcast Awards (Kentucky Kernel)


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