Webcasting Rates & Recordkeeping for student “Radio” Stations

CBI has been working on behalf of student media outlets like yours to make sure pay a reasonable fee for webcasting music and to provide options concerning what you need to report to SoundExchange.  The current rates are the result of a negotiated settlement and are in effect through 12/31/2015.  CBI has negotiated a settlement for 1/1/2016 – 12/31/2020, but that has not yet been adopted by the judges which oversee the rate determination process.  Tangentially, the same judges determine what data must be reported by stations.  The CBI settlement includes a provision for a proxy fee in lieu of reporting which would cover MOST student stations.  Stations which are not covered under the proxy fee MAY need to include additional information.  CBI and many of its member stations have fought against the increased burden and we are waiting for the judges to make a determination.  Stay tuned to this space for updates.  If you have questions, ask!

By |January 11th, 2015|Broadcasting News|0 Comments

2015 CBI National Student Production Awards

With close to 1,000 entries in the awards program, CBI has become a recognized leader in showcasing the best in student media. The CBI call for entries will be posted in the coming months. Entries are currently free for all member student media outlets. To see and hear 2014 winners click here. Can you do better?

By |January 11th, 2015|Broadcasting News|0 Comments

The 2015 National Student Electronic Media Convention

CBI will hold its annual convention this year in Minneapolis, which is a great city to visit and has a great music scene.  The convention will be Oct. 22-24 at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis.  We will be adding details as they become available at the convention website.

By |January 11th, 2015|Broadcasting News|0 Comments

Board Blog: Work hard, be patient


My dream when I entered the world of college broadcasting and part of my professional background is in the sports area of our field, so I found the latest edition of Radio Ink’s ranking of the Top 30 sports talk shows in the nation (at least of those nominated) to be insightful reading.

Warren Kozireski, CBI Immediate Past President

Warren Kozireski, CBI Immediate Past President

Each was asked to give advice to aspiring sports broadcasters and, even if you not pursuing or interested in sports, their thoughts are applicable to just about any area of the media field.

Mike Flegler of the Flegler and Mazz show in Boston said, “Most anyone who has a job a young broadcaster would want had to work for years and years to reach that level. Our current show started in 2009, when I was 40 years old. Finally, the job I always wanted to have. It took me 18 years. And it could end at any moment. Work your ass off and be patient.”

Mike Mulligan of the Mully and Hanley show in Chicago says, “Know your subject. Know the background of it. Know as much as you can about the people you are covering or talking about. Differentiate yourself by learning as much as you can about a subject in order to speak knowledgeably about it. Content is king.”

And Dan Berstein of the Boers and Bernstein show in Chicago offers, “Nothing replaces the years actually on various beats (as a reporter or columnist). Traveling on the road, establishing relationships with players and coaches, and understanding the truths in sports that can only be learned over time as a part of everyday life. The idea of breaking into the business is misguided. I think, since quality broadcasting most often comes from someone who knows how to write and report, and form well-considered opinions.”

And finally Michael Kay from New York City says that, if sports is your passion, you’ll need to build your reputation everywhere you can, “no matter what the platform. Don’t shy away from podcasts or blogs—just get your name out there and work 10 times harder and longer than the next person.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

By |January 21st, 2015|Board Blogs|0 Comments

Student Media in the News


Spinning Indie visits two more college radio stations

Read about Rainy Dawg Radio and KEXP on Spinning Indie.

College Radio Watch: LPFM Launches, Student Radio History in the U.S. and New Zealand, and More College Radio News

Read more from Radio Survivor.

By |January 20th, 2015|Broadcasting News, Member News|0 Comments

Board Blog: Strategic Planning Made Simple


Strategic planning is a must for any student media organization. The nature of most student organizations – frequent leadership changes, lack of full-time employees, etc. – makes long-range planning extremely difficult. Even sticking to short- or medium-range plans can be a challenge when student leaders get bogged down in their day-to-day work.

Greg Weston, CBI President

Greg Weston, CBI President

One tool that I’ve found effective in overcoming these challenges is the SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is a structured strategic planning method that involves focus on an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The strengths and weaknesses are generally present and internal, while the opportunities and threats are usually – but not always – in the future and external.

Here’s how we do our SWOT analysis at WPTS-FM:

Before the start of the fall semester, we hold a retreat with our 12-member director staff. I split them randomly into 4 groups. Each group gets a piece of easel paper marked with an S, W, O or T and a different colored sharpie. They spend about 10 minutes making a list of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats. Then they pass the papers to another group, which adds to the list and comments on whatever is already there (ü for “agree,” X for “disagree,” ? for “what the heck did they mean”). This continues until every group has worked on every page. Then, we put the papers on the wall and discuss each entry as a group until we have a finished document, which is typed up and sent to all of the directors. We review and update before the spring semester begins.

The SWOT analysis lays out questions that help our directors define the priorities for the upcoming term. How can we use our strengths to take advantage of our opportunities? How can we eliminate our weaknesses? How do we defend against our threats? Breaking big-picture issues into targeted questions is invaluable in figuring out how to tackle them.

The best endorsement of the SWOT analysis: We spend multiple hours on it each year, and I’ve never once had a student tell me it wasn’t worth the time.


By |January 14th, 2015|Broadcasting News|0 Comments

Student Media in the News


Focal Press Updates ‘Keith’s Radio Station’

Thirty years ago, Michael C. Keith entered a small New England college to start a new career. Keith had spent the past 10 years as a professional broadcaster and was now transitioning into the world of teaching.

The first thing that he would learn was that the textbooks available on the subject at that time were woefully out of date. Radio was now format-driven and there were no textbooks available in 1986 teaching the kind of radio Keith had just left.

So he decided to write his own. He called it simply “The Radio Station” and he pitched his manuscript to Focal Press.

Read more from Radio World.

Framingham State’s College Radio Station WDJM Makes Deal with FCC to Address Public File Violations

In another instance of the FCC giving student-run college radio stations a break, Framingham State University radio station WDJM-FM in Framingham, Massachusetts agreed to pay a lesser penalty of $1,200 for public file violations. According to a Consent Decree adopted on December 31, 2014, the university agreed to pay the penalty and set up a compliance plan to prevent future violations.

Read more from Radio Survivor.

By |January 13th, 2015|Broadcasting News, Member News|0 Comments

Board Blog: Raising Expectations and Meeting Goals


The New Year’s parties are a memory. The top x lists of 2014 are old news. You have just returned to life as normal at your school and your media outlet. It is easy to put all of the new years thoughts behind you and just continue on the same road you have been on, but there is also an opportunity for you to do more, to raise the bar for what is expected and more importantly to help create a vision for the future of your student media outlet.


Will Robedee, CBI Executive Director

Leaders do not lead by tasking people to obtain unspoken goals. Leaders lead by creating large organizational goals which every part of the leadership team buys into and believes in. If every member of the leadership team strives to obtain a better level of existence and the end goal is a common goal, you will have a strong combined group effort to reach that goal. The individual tasks assigned to the leadership team will take on new meaning and provide the individuals with a motivation to achieve and complete those tasks.

In order for this to work, the common goal must be something that the vast majority of the leadership team can agree upon. One thing must be clear is that mediocrity and doing the same thing you have done for years will not continue to work. Audio and video based communication via outlets like yours has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Consumption of what you produce and what others produce has changed a lot in the last 5-10 years and it will continue to evolve. Likewise, what is expected of your organization is evolving. Whether those expectations are set by the schools administration, the student government, or the academic department, expectations are evolving. Student media outlets in most schools no longer exists because the participants want them to exist, but because they are seen as (dare I say it) an asset. If your organization is not serving the needs of those who fund it, those who are liable for its operations and those cannot find you in their current media consumption habits, you become irrelevant. If you are irrelevant to your sources of support, you will likely cease to exist.

Take stock of your media consumption habits and those of your peers. Take stock of those who you HOPE you are reaching with your operations. How do they consume media? How will they consume media in the next couple of years? Are you reaching them? Are you available to them? Are you delivering the experience they expect? More importantly, are you trying to reach the right audience which will provide you with the support you need?

For many student media outlets, the goal has not been to be the number one rated station, rather to provide education, insights into underexposed artists/genres, to educate students in the art of communication. This post is not meant to disrupt those goals but rather to help elevate the thought process of sustainability, at a minimum, while helping you to focus on what is essential to survive in your environment. This is not the same at all schools, but those running the station need to know and react accordingly. Despite altruistic goals, if the support is not there, you need to either develop the support for your current programming or change.

By |January 7th, 2015|Board Blogs|0 Comments

Student Media in the News


WKNC announces headliners for Double Barrel Benefit 12

WKNC 88.1 FM will hold its twelfth annual Double Barrel Benefit concert Saturday, Feb. 7 at Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh and Saturday, Feb. 14 at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro. Lincoln Theatre will host Spider Bags to kick off the festival and Cat’s Cradle will feature Eternal Summers for the final night. The full lineup will be announced in early January.

Read more on the WKNC website.

Flagler College Radio DJ with post-polio syndrome signs off

Sandra Rodrigues may not see much of the world these days, but that hasn’t kept her from listening to it.

For 21 years, Rodrigues volunteered at Flagler College’s WFCF 88.5 FM, where she hosted the world music program. Saturday was her final show.

Read more from the Daily Journal.

10 Fascinating Things Spotted at College Radio Stations in 2014

Next week I’ll write up a comprehensive “2014 year in review” post about the state of college radio, but as I reflect back on the year, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite moments from my radio station tours.

Read more from Radio Survivor.

They Might Be Giants Resurrect Dial-A-Song in 2015

On top of all that, for the stations in the ever-growing Dial-A-Song Radio Network, each week They Might Be Giants will create custom materials for the Dial-A-Song segment, complete with interviews and other “programming notes.” So far, the band have already recruited 100 terrestrial stations to join the Dial-A-Song Radio Network, spanning college radio stations and underground networks from Germany, Ireland and Fairbanks, Alaska to Los Angeles’ A Fistful of Vinyl on KXLU to WHER 100.3 FM Seattle’s Under the Influence.
Read more from Rolling Stone.

2014 – A Pivotal Year for LPFM

While some applicants have already gotten their new LPFM radio stations up and running (including college radio station KRFH at Humboldt State), others are still working to build their stations.

Read more from Radio World.

By |January 6th, 2015|Broadcasting News, Member News|0 Comments

Board Blog: A Muskie Christmas


Although the holiday season is coming to a close, I’d like share how our Orbit Media students at Muskingum University spread Christmas cheer through a student-produced special program titled “A Muskingum Christmas.”

Lisa Marshall, CBI Treasurer

Lisa Marshall, CBI Treasurer

The story goes something like this … I was at #CBISeattle and my audio production class was feeling extra creative to get into the holiday spirit. When I returned from the convention, the pitch for the variety show style program was sketched on a napkin and students were anxiously awaiting approval from the department to move forward. The shared excitement to get the show off the ground was very contagious.

Within six weeks, students wrote the script, recruited the cast, singers, and broadcast crew to produce “A Muskingum Christmas!” The show was performed in our campus theatre in front of a live audience the day before finals week began. Cast members and singers collaborated from the theatre and music departments, with a special ukulele performance by a history department colleague. Fellow students, faculty, staff, community members, and families filled our theatre. The program additionally aired live on our TV cable channel and radio station, with re-airings through Christmas.

Behind the scenes, the program was an innovative way to bring together a theatre performance with our broadcast capabilities, as the program could be seen or heard live three ways. I recommend collaborating across disciplines for a broadcast production like this if you have the available resources. Our students are planning on making “A Muskingum Christmas” an annual tradition.

Check out the performance on our Orbit TV YouTube Channel:

By |December 31st, 2014|Board Blogs|0 Comments