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Student Media in the News

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College Media Matters interviews Reid Laurens, formerly of WRAS

During his time at the student-run radio station WRAS, Reid Laurens fell in love — with the news, broadcasting and his future wife. The Georgia State University alumnus worked in the WRAS news department from 1976 to 1978. So did his wife, Mary Ann.

As he recalls, “She had the 7 a.m. news shift and I had the 8 a.m. news shift, and I was asked to train her on how to use the equipment in the newsroom. After that she began staying after her news shift to see me when I came in to do my shift, and a few years later we got married, and we still are married, 32 years and three children later.”

Read the whole interview at College Media Matters.

Spotlight: SCAD Atlanta’s SCAD Atlanta Radio

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Special thanks to Matthew Rusak, General Manager, for answering the questions!

scadatl3Tell me a little history about your station and where your station is now?
The station was started in the fall of 2007 by a handful of ambitious SCAD Atlanta students. We are still a very young station but we have learned a great deal in seven years. Our reach continues to grow as does our diverse staff of DJs which includes students, alumni and faculty.

What sets your station apart from other college radio stations?
SCAD Atlanta Radio is Internet streaming only which we consider to be one of our strengths. Our voices can be heard anywhere and at anytime around the world! I think there is also something to be said about a college radio station run by art school students. I am constantly amazed by not only their individual artistic talent, but by the energy, the creativity and the innovation that they bring in support of the station and its success. Artists work from a desire to communicate and I think that benefits us well to have an entire staff who are eager to share themselves and engage the listener. I like to think that SCAD Atlanta Radio broadcasts will inspire our audience too giving clear context to our station’s tagline, “SCAD Atlanta Radio — music for the right side of your brain.”

Why did you choose to work at the radio station?
scadatl2When I was first looking to apply to the SCAD Atlanta campus, one of my priorities was to be sure that they had a radio station. I had wanted to be involved with college radio for a long time. The school I had transferred from did not have one. I loved music and I especially loved discovering new music and I felt I had to share that love. I was also hoping that it would give me a sense of belonging since I would be moving so far from friends and family. Still, I was very nervous about joining up once I got here. I felt I would be seen as too old or that my music tastes were uncool. I continued to listen to the station and go to radio events on campus but it was a whole year and a half before I even applied to be a DJ. It’s my only regret since starting at the station that I didn’t begin sooner. The DJs and managers were so friendly and supportive that I realized my fears were unfounded. I instantly felt that this was a place I belonged. I continue to work at SCAD Atlanta radio so I can in turn offer that same kind of welcoming.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for your station?
Time will tell.

What’s the best part of college radio? And the hardest part?
scadatl1From my perspective, the hardest part of college radio is that the students who run it still have to be students. They have to deal with the same challenges and responsibilities that any other college student must face; homework, research papers, examinations, project deadlines, financial aid, finding room for sleep and having a social life.  However, knowing that students have to face these obstacles and seeing how they continue to commit themselves to their duties at the station exhibits one of the greatest parts of college radio. The students involved with the station are not here because they’re being paid to be. They do not earn a higher GPA just for being a part of it. They are not guaranteed success and fame for being a college DJ. They are here because they want to be, because of the passion they have. That is what makes being a part of college radio such a genuine experience. We take chances on unknown bands and albums because we have faith that there is always something new to discover. We are allowed to experiment and make mistakes because we are willing to learn from them. We support the success of our fellow students, not just at our own station but for all those involved in the college radio community.

 

Want your station profiled for a CBI Spotlight? Email Jessica!

Streetsboro High School radio station upgrades in high gear

Four control boards at WSTB 88.9 FM, the Streetsboro High School radio station, will be replaced before the start of the new school year in August.

Alex Request Show

Alex, AKA The Doctor, hosts on the old console.

On June 25, the Streetsboro Board of Education unanimously accepted a bid from Broadcasters General Store for up to $42,925. The money would come from the district’s permanent improvement fund. It represents “the top end of the estimate,” Superintendent Michael Daulbaugh said.

Read more from Streetsboro Gateway News.

Spotlight: University of the Incarnate Word’s KUIW

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Special thanks to Christopher Reyes, Sports and Operations Director, for answering the questions.

KUIW4Tell me a little history about your station and where your station is now?
KUIW started in the spring of 2005. Since then KUIW has progressed and evolved into a division one radio station. KUIW members “DJ” majority of the campus events. Our station features a diverse background of personalities and ethnicities, which creates a culture and environment that all can strive in.

What sets your station apart from other college radio stations?
“We are a student-ran station. Whatever ideas we have are implemented. Our manager just oversees us and keeps everything in line. We have the freedom and privileges to create the rules. We have the opportunity to pick and choose from a variety of music to play that caters to our diverse set of students on campus.”KUIW3

Why did you choose to work at the radio station?
I wanted to pursue a career into sports broadcasting beforehand, and I felt that working with KUIW would give me an opportunity to build my abilities to do so.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for your station?
Funny story: I was asked to carry a speaker across campus because our dolly was misplaced. The entire day I received funny looks from everyone on campus.

KUIW2

What’s the best part of college radio? And the hardest part?
The best part I would say is the mistakes you learn from. While finding out the hard way that “good idea” wasn’t so great. While on that journey you end up making a good friend or two.
The hardest part I would say are encountering the “less productive” people that join up. Every person has experienced that one person that joins up and simply doesn’t want to be there. I would say that is the hardest part because it makes the job more difficult to complete.

 

Want your group profiled for a CBI spotlight? Email Jessica.

CBI Update: Student Media in the News

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College Radio Stations protest WRAS Deal, GSU considers alternative options

From Radio Ink: After a unique radio protest last week, where college stations across the country showed their support for WRAS in Atlanta, Georgia State University now says it is pursuing daytime broadcast options for WRAS Album 88. A release posted by the University Friday states, “Responding to concerns expressed by students at Album 88 and alumni, Georgia State University is pursuing options to secure daytime broadcast time for Album 88 after the Georgia State and Georgia Public Broadcasting partnership is initiated on June 29.”

 

CBI Update: Student media news

Students, alumni and fans continue to support Save WRAS movement

More than 11,000 people have signed a petition in support of WRAS, the student radio station of Georgia State University. The college inked a deal with Georgia Public Broadcasting, a state public broadcasting network of 17 public radio and nine television stations in Georgia, to turn over daytime programming to GPB. The shift was initially slated for June 1, and was announced on May 6, but was postponed until June 30 after discussions with alumni groups, students and locals.

Numerous people have spoken out about the change, including Frank LoMonte of the Student Press Law Center, and CBI itself issued a statement. Students and alumni of WRAS have come together at SaveWRAS.org to organize their efforts and inform people how they can help.

Susanna Capelouto, an Atlanta news reporter, WRAS alumna and current GPB news director, wrote candidly about the shift in a statement on Current.org last week. Capelouto was a guest speaker at the 2012 CBI National Student Electronic Media Convention in Atlanta.

College Radio Day is organizing a simulcast for stations to show their support of WRAS, to air on Thursday, June 26. A preview is available, and stations may sign up here.

Also, long-time listener and local TV personality Doug Richards (also a guest at the 2012 CBI convention) delivered a comment on Atlanta’s local NBC affiliate, WXIA last week.

GAB Radio Talent Institute concludes this week

The ten-day Georgia Association of Broadcasters Radio Talent Institute concludes tomorrow at Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia. College juniors, seniors, graduate students and recent graduates participated in the 10-day series of workshops with professional broadcasters covering everything from on-air talent to sales and marketing.

Dan Vallie, Founder and President of the National Radio Talent System, started the system in 2013, and there are now four institutes: UGA, Appalachian State University in N.C., Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and Western Kentucky University.

Arizona college radio stations ask FCC for underwriting leeway

The Maricopa Community College is asking the Federal Communications Commission again for a waiver to broadcast more direct underwriting on its two stations, jazz station KJZZ-FM and classical station KBAQ-FM. Specifically, they’re requesting a three-year experimental window to include interest rates in underwriting announcements from banks, credit unions and car dealerships.

 

Wiley College reopens airwaves

Wiley College radio station KBWC 91.1 FM is back on the air after a three-month hiatus for renovations to the student union building where the station is housed. The station serves Marshall, Texas.

Spotlight: Central Washington University’s KCWU

Tell me a little history about your station and where your station is now?

KCWU_EXTERIORTravis Box, General Manager: I can give you some history, but I’ll let the students judge where we are now… While Central Washington University has had a radio station, in one form or another, since 1958. Our current station began as KCAT in the early ’70s as an AM station, it became a cable radio station in the ’80s and in the early 90s, due to budget issues, was officially separated from the Communications Department and became its own department under Campus Life. In the late 90s, they hired a full-time General Manager, applied for and were granted an FCC license under the new call letters KCWU-FM (88.1 The ‘Burg), and began broadcasting live, over the air, on April 30th 1999.

Tayler Shaindlin (Crazy Catt Tayler): Our station has come leaps and bounds in a very short amount of time from where it was even just a few years ago. The right people came to this station, all with a passion and a desire to combine our talents to make our station what it was (and is) capable of being. We are constantly working hard to make every last detail the best it can be and I know we will never stop striving for excellence.

Nick Oliver (DJ DIRTY SNOWBALL): The halls are constantly buzzing with activity and it has become an environment that encourages creativity on all levels, be it developing new bits and promos or even if you are doing homework in the station it is such a creative workplace. With this culture and the group of people that we have the future of 88.1 the ‘Burg looks brighter than ever.

What sets your station apart from other college radio stations?

KCWU_MAIN-STUDIOChris Davis (The Sparrow): I am impressed by the wide variety of new music we discover every week. Those new songs get played on a regular rotation throughout the week, giving the CWU campus access to brand new music discoveries as soon as they are available to purchase at physical or online retailers. We have an excellent team of collaborators who select only the best songs released in previous years for rotation in our classic alt/rock playlists. We care a lot about our listeners, and so our engagement with them during regular events is crucial. It keeps us from being a group of people in a back room playing music, and lets us get in touch with what people actually want to hear on-campus!

Sawyer Schilperoort (The Sawman): Besides the obvious physical aspects of the station, I feel the atmosphere is what really sets us apart. Functioning almost like a crazy dys”fun”ctional family. We are completely open to all who approach us. Our campus radio station is a home away from home for many and it provides a great atmosphere.

Why did you choose to work at the radio station?

KCWU_MUSIC LIBRARYTayler Shaindlin (Crazy Catt Tayler): I found the Burg at a Freshmen presentation event and immediately fell in love with the idea of radio. Being from a Theatre background, a two hour time slot to create my own character and story excited me, and combining it with music made it even better. Now I’m here with a prime time morning show slot and working in the news department, and I couldn’t ask for anything more!

Nick Oliver (DJ DIRTY SNOWBALL): Honestly working in radio has been a dream of mine for quite some time, as a little kid I always loved listening to the radio. The music, the voices, and the personalities always intrigued me, it all just seemed magical. So in high school I got the chance to job shadow at KISW in Seattle WA. And I have been addicted ever since.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for your station?

KCWU_B4LTatsNick Oliver (DJ DIRTY SNOWBALL): Recently, a group of us at the station (Tayler Shaindlin, Russell Widner, Rachel Cizek and myself) all got tattoos of a radio with the letters “B4L” which means “Burg 4 Life”. The ‘Burg will literally be a part of my life forever!

Chris Davis (The Sparrow): I can’t think of anything I’ve done personally that is very crazy! But I thrive on making lame jokes on air and hoping that people will laugh at my awkwardness. It’s part of my on-air personality that people have come to enjoy.

What’s the best part of college radio? And the hardest part?

Sawyer Schilperoort (The Sawman): The fun and experience gained from working among friends and peers is the best thing about college radio. Nothing is quite like doing what you love with people who you call your friends.

KCWU_ENTRYChris Davis (The Sparrow): The best part of college radio is exposing busy students to the fascinating world of popular music by staying on the cutting edge of what is hot in the music world, and not just what is selling on iTunes. We here at the ‘Burg put our love for music above all else, and we let that fuel our desire to provide quality entertainment. The hardest part is ensuring that everyone can hear what they like at certain times of the week. We do our best to please everyone, so naturally most people will find entire days where the Burg plays nothing that they enjoy. It’s part of the sacrifice we make in appealing to the students of Central.

Tayler Shaindlin (Crazy Catt Tayler): The best part and the hardest part are the same for me. I never knew how many valuable life skills and talents could be learned through an experience like this, from working with technology to writing to organization and so much more. The people aren’t so bad either.

Spotlight: North Carolina State University’s WKNC

Special thanks to General Manager John Kovalchik for answering the questions!

WKNC's 1968-1969 executive staff ran two radio stations. After moving from 580 AM to its current home at 88.1 FM in 1966, N.C. state launched WPAK-AM in 1968-1969 as a carrier current AM station to serve those students still without FM radios. Photo from 1969 Agromeck.

WKNC’s 1968-1969 executive staff ran two radio stations. After moving from 580 AM to its current home at 88.1 FM in 1966, N.C. state launched WPAK-AM in 1968-1969 as a carrier current AM station to serve those students still without FM radios. Photo from 1969 Agromeck.

Tell me a little history about your station and where your station is now?
N.C. State student radio dates back to Aug. 31, 1922, when WLAC at North Carolina State College became the first radio station in eastern North Carolina and the second to be licensed in the entire state. The 2,000 watt AM station was founded by students and faculty of the communications department with a studio in Winston Hall. Since then much has changed, including call letters. In October 2003, WKNC began broadcasting at 25,000 watts. We currently entirely student run, with one full-time adviser and are actively involved in the triangle community (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) and music scene broadcasting in block formatting including indie rock (the largest), hip-hop, electronic, and metal.

What sets your station apart from other college radio stations?
Our emphasis on local music. Every weekday from noon ’til 1 p.m. we have a program called “The Local Lunch” where we play exclusively North Carolina artists. Each Thursday we sponsor and help organize a concert series in downtown Raleigh showcasing local music and local breweries called “Local Band, Local Beer.” Our semi-regular outdoor on campus concert series “Fridays on the Lawn” features mainly local musicians. On Friday afternoons we have a two-hour local music talk show called “Carolina Grown.”

Why did you choose to work at the radio station?
We didn’t choose to work in radio, it chose us.

WKNC_GhosttBllondeconcert

Raleigh band Ghostt Bllonde performs for WKNC’s Fridays on the Lawn on-campus concert series on Nov. 8, 2013. Started in 2009, the series is a partnership between the student radio station, Union Activities Board and Inter-Residence Council.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for your station?
Facing a tight budget, our annual fundraising two-night concert had to be beefed up to a much grander scale than ever before. We had to make the jump from the safety of a humble 250-capacity rock club to 750-capacity venues, filling out a bill with big names like The Love Language and Mount Moriah to match. The community supported us and came out in full force, making our extreme gamble pay off.

What’s the best part of college radio? And the hardest part?
The best part about college radio (the way we do it) is how integrated it is with the local music community.  You have the opportunity to meet and befriend all kinds of really interesting and influential people that are doing really cool things, and you might even get to be in a few music videos!  The local music scene in the Triangle has a lot of talent and passion to share whether you’re talking to a guitarist for an indie rock band or an underground hip-hop DJ, and it’s a really neat community to contribute to.

WKNC's Double Barrel Benefit 11 fell on Valentine's Day, so the group celebrated the occasion with a photo booth.

WKNC’s Double Barrel Benefit 11 fell on Valentine’s Day, so the group celebrated the occasion with a photo booth.

The hardest part?  Money.  As colleges across the country tighten their budgets, student radio seems to be quick to the chopping block.  While WKNC receives a very low portion of student fees every year, we have to work hard for the rest of our budget, earning it through things like donor announcements and our annual benefit concert.  Unfortunately, other college stations aren’t so lucky, and more and more are being sold, partitioned, or just plain shut down. College radio has played a big role in music history, and we must continue to show our support and our strength if we want to show our universities that we’re worth keeping on the airwaves.

Spotlight: University of California Berkeley’s KALX

KALXboard-1  Tell me a little history about your station and where your station is now?
Sandra Wasson, General Manager: In 1962 a group of students in one of the residence halls started an AM carrier current station — Radio KAL — that reached several UC Berkeley campus housing units. The first broadcast board was a modified Cuban cigar box. In 1967 KALX hit the airwaves on 90.7 FM at 10 watts. We could only be heard on and near the campus. In 1982 we finally increased power to 500 watts and drastically increased our audience.

Our long and storied history includes covering the free speech movement, broadcasting Oakland A’s baseball games for part of the 1978 season, and interviewing John Lennon and the Dalai Lama.

KALXboardWe currently broadcast alternative and diverse music programming including live bands and interviews; news a couple of times a day; live sports play by play of football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball, both home and away games; and a variety of public affairs programs. All of this from a basement in a building on campus.

What sets your station apart from other college radio stations?
Lorraine Petel,  Publicity Director: I think KALX’s diversity really sets us apart.  When listening to KALX music programs, no one knows what is going to come on next, creating this serendipitous effect.  Our format makes listeners, and the DJ listen to music differently.  Instead of playing one genre for two hours, the DJ has to figure out how to weave at least three different genres into their show cohesively.  It really teaches the DJ and the listener about what genres influenced others.

I think our format really creates this community within the station as well, because all of us are trying to figure out different ways on how to expand our horizons, ultimately making all of us take advice on what is awesome from each other.  It really brings people together.  Our format fosters a musical community within KALX, and allows the listener to teach the DJs something as well.  I’ve gotten multiple calls from listeners, telling me about a really great band they know in a genre that I’m not completely educated in, allowing me to explore that genre.  Our diversity requirement challenges all of us to really dig deep into multiple genres to create an educational space on the radio.

Why did you choose to work at the radio station?
Petel: I actually knew about KALX growing up.  I lived in Miami Beach before coming to UC Berkeley but grew up on a lot of East Bay punk.  When I started to really get into the East Bay punk scene, I realized that a lot of the bands had history at KALX.  Many of them were actually DJs at KALX. When I got into UC Berkeley, I knew joining KALX was on the top of my list.  Not only was it the second home for many of the bands that I grew up on, but it was a place that I knew I could come to learn about music and develop a really strong community with the people at the station.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for your station?
Arielle Parnes-Katz, co-Music Director: This isn’t really a crazy thing I’ve done for the station, but more so a kind of crazy experience I had at the station. One time I was DJing a 3:30-6am shift and I got a call from someone who told me they were locked in a phone booth and wanted me to leave them on hold so they could listen to our music. I left them on hold, and when I finished my show and the next DJ started they were still there.

KALXLibraryWhat’s the best part of college radio? And the hardest part?
Parnes-Katz: For me the best part of college radio has been the opportunities it has provided me to discover new music and share my discoveries with others.  We have over 100,000 albums in our library and DJs with such diverse tastes and knowledge that KALX really is a hub of musical knowledge unlike anything I’ve ever encountered before.  I’ve heard my show improve so much over the past few years as my own tastes and knowledge have expanded and it’s great to know that the knowledge I have gained while at KALX can be translated to our listeners through my show. The hardest part of working at KALX was probably making it through DJ training shows.  To ‘graduate’ from DJ training everyone has to complete seven shows from 3:30-6am.

Out in Radioland

News from WRAS about their impending agreement with Georgia Public Broadcasting

This morning (May 30) Georgia State University Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Douglass Covey, met with the leadership of Georgia State University’s student-programmed radio station, WRAS, to inform them that the university and Georgia Public Broadcasting are postponing to June 29 the implementation of broadcasting by GPB on the university’s 88.5 frequency. The implementation was originally scheduled for June 2, and the date is being moved back to allow the university to continue to work on resolving issues raised by the WRAS leadership in a May 16 meeting with President Mark P. Becker and university leaders, and for GPB to finalize production plans for new local programming.

From their Facebook page, facebook.com/wrasalbum88.

 

College stations in N.C. unite for ‘Play it SAFE’

The Pinhook will host “Play it SAFE,” a benefit concert to raise money for the Durham Crisis Response Center, Friday beginning at 8 p.m. Local bands Gross Ghost, See Gulls, and T0W3RS will perform.

College radio stations WKNC 88.1 FM (N.C. State University), WXDU 88.7 FM (Duke University), WUAG 103.1 FM (UNC Greensboro), and WXYC 89.3 FM (UNC Chapel Hill) are sponsoring the event, with help from The Pinhook. Organizers want to promote a safe community for women and to raise awareness of the problem of sexual assault.

Read more from the Herald Sun.

 

Radio Survivor’s Jennifer Waits heads to Haverford College for the 90th anniversary of student radio on campus

This weekend I’ll be immersing myself in college radio history during some special events honoring the 90th anniversary of student radio at Haverford College (see the full alumni weekend schedule here). I’m hopeful that many alumni will attend, as I’m looking forward to learning even more about the storied past of the many stations at Haverford.

Read more from Radio Survivor.

 

And, in one of the weirder things I’ve read lately:

College radio hosts offer pictures of their genitals for fundraiser

I’ll spare you the details, but here’s a link for more information from Opposing Viewpoints about what allegedly happened.

College Radio Hosts Offer Pictures of Their Genitals for Fundraiser – See more at: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/education/college-radio-hosts-offer-pictures-their-genitals-fundraiser#sthash.WaSnh2MJ.dpuf
College Radio Hosts Offer Pictures of Their Genitals for Fundraiser – See more at: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/education/college-radio-hosts-offer-pictures-their-genitals-fundraiser#sthash.WaSnh2MJ.dpuf