Radio Survivor

Subscribe to Radio Survivor feed
This is the sound of strong communities.
Updated: 43 min 49 sec ago

Podcast #236 – FCC and the Supremes

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 00:23

FCC policy has left media ownership diversity at “obnoxiously low levels,” especially considering that more minority and women ownership is one of the desired objectives. That’s what Prof. Chris Terry from the University of Minnesota tells us on this week’s show.

The Commission may be headed to the Supreme Court to defend its diversity policy, along with other attempts at ownership rules, after striking out at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals an astonishing four times in 2004, 2011, 2016 and 2019. We’ve been discussing these failures for quite some time on the podcast and Chris helps us understand what the Commission might expect from the Supreme Court.

The FCC’s repeal of Open Internet rules may also land at the Superme Court, as the group challenging that repeal, lead by the Mozilla Foundation, considers a high court appeal.

After the heavy FCC discussion, Jennifer, Eric and Paul lighten things up with a consideration of the first-ever International Minidisc Day, celebrated on March 7.

Show Notes:

The post Podcast #236 – FCC and the Supremes appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Podcast #236 – FCC and the Supremes

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 00:23

FCC policy has left media ownership diversity at “obnoxiously low levels,” especially considering that more minority and women ownership is one of the desired objectives. That’s what Prof. Chris Terry from the University of Minnesota tells us on this week’s show.

The Commission may be headed to the Supreme Court to defend its diversity policy, along with other attempts at ownership rules, after striking out at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals an astonishing four times in 2004, 2011, 2016 and 2019. We’ve been discussing these failures for quite some time on the podcast and Chris helps us understand what the Commission might expect from the Supreme Court.

The FCC’s repeal of Open Internet rules may also land at the Superme Court, as the group challenging that repeal, lead by the Mozilla Foundation, considers a high court appeal.

After the heavy FCC discussion, Jennifer, Eric and Paul lighten things up with a consideration of the first-ever International Minidisc Day, celebrated on March 7.

Show Notes:

The post Podcast #236 – FCC and the Supremes appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Happy International Minidisc Day – A Post-Modern Revival

Sat, 03/07/2020 - 22:22

As we enter our second decade of everything-digital-on-demand, the desire for tactile media only seems to grow new buds. By now the vinyl resurgence is old news, and while mainstream publications still gasp or tsk-tsk at the cassette revival, I think we can safely say the tape medium has retaken a beachhead, too.

Today is all about the minidisc. Quite literally, because it’s been declared International Minidisc Day.

Yet, even I, a longtime minidisc user and aficionado, find this new holiday a bit curious. Before I explain, a little history is in order.

Long a format of choice for grassroots and independent radio production, the humble minidisc bridged us from the end of tape days in the early 90s to the full maturation of solid-state digital audio recorders in the mid- to late-2000s. Sony, the format’s originator, imagined the little digital discs as an eventual replacement for the compact cassette. In 1992 this was a plausible proposition, because it offered near-CD quality digital recording in a smaller and more robust package. Sony – and a few other labels – even released several dozen pre-recorded minidiscs to provide an alternative to pre-recorded cassettes, already in steep decline.

But in the days before CD-Rs and iPods it was minidisc’s digital recording capability that was the real attraction. Due to that, MD did become a cassette replacement for millions of people around the world who recorded their own mix minidiscs or just dubbed over their CDs for more convenient listening on the go.

Even In its heyday of the 90s and 2000s minidisc never really took off as a medium for distributing music. I knew plenty of musicians and radio producers recording on the format, but the end products ended up on the radio, on CDs and eventually online.

This might seem odd, since independent musicians and labels distributed on cassettes from the 70s through to today, and once CD-Rs came down in price in the late 90s, they, too, spawned their own music underground. But not minidisc… at least not in the United States.

It’s true minidisc was never as popular in the U.S. as in Japan or the U.K., even though millions of recorders and players were sold here. It’s just that they never reached the kind of per capita penetration of cassettes, CDs or even 8-tracks. It seems to me that running a minidisc-only label even 2003 would have been just too limiting, though I don’t doubt that there must have been some limited or one-off releases.

Coming back to today, Minidisc Day, the funny thing is that the celebration is modeled after Record Store Day, in that record labels are releasing albums on minidisc today. However, unlike Record Store Day, there are no actual brick-and-mortar retail stores participating, as far as I can tell. Instead, small independent labels are selling tiny runs of discs from their Bandcamp or web stores. Quantities seem to run in the tens up to maybe 100 per.

It’s funny because it’s actually kind of a new thing to have a minidisc label, rather than a revival. The labels and releases appear to be dominated by the vaporwave genre, which is itself an extremely post-modern reinterpretation of 1980s and 1990s music, culture and cliches through contemporary musical technology. Clearly there’s a strong harmony between the medium and the message that would make McLuhan smile.

Those 1990s pre-recorded minidisc releases were actually pressed like CDs in factories. All evidence indicates those pressing plants have been offline for nearly two decades. That means today’s minidisc releases have to be recorded onto blank discs, more like cassettes than CDs. Also like cassettes, this is something that an artist or label can do entirely themselves, or can outsource to a few companies that mass produce minidiscs. The advantage of the duplicators is that most will silk-screen art on the disc housing and print up professional looking cases. Those preferring the DIY look can of course just fire up their recorder and inkjet printer.

The International Minidisc Day labels and artists come largely from the UK, where most of those duplication houses also are. As I mentioned before, on a per capita basis minidisc was more popular there than in the U.S. Thus I suspect it has more cultural pull and the nostalgia is more prevalent than across the pond.

Although my minidisc players don’t get much use these days, except to archive old recordings, the whole enterprise of Minidisc Day makes me smile. I’m guessing that a lot of the artists and participants may not even have been alive when minidisc was invented, or even when it was popular(ish). That matters not to me. The point is to have fun and make things. By that score, mission accomplished.

That said, I don’t anticipate Minidisc Day to become even as popular as Cassette Store Day. There were never as many minidisc players as cassette players, and because they haven’t been manufactured in nine years, the number of working units will be in constant decline. Even though decent cassette decks also haven’t been manufactured in at least as long, you can still go to a local discount store or Urban Outfitters and pick up a player.

But I don’t think scale matters for this project. It’s a marriage of early-internet, home to minidisc fan sites, and contemporary internet, which takes for granted the rapid emergence of international memes-turned-movements. Not everything has to, or should scale. God knows that’s the story of most of my hobbies and passions.

¡Viva la minidisc!

The post Happy International Minidisc Day – A Post-Modern Revival appeared first on Radio Survivor.

College Radio Watch: 80th IBS Convention and More News

Fri, 03/06/2020 - 05:00

It’s a testament to the staying power of college radio, that student media organization Intercollegiate Broadcasting System, aka IBS, is hosting its 80th annual national convention in New York City. Taking place on Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7, the conference is packed with sessions of interest to high school and college radio participants. On this week’s Radio Survivor show, I speak a bit about the history of IBS, which got its start as an organization for campus-only carrier current radio stations in the 1940s.

Also on the podcast, we discuss accolades for a recent episode about a college radio preservation project and dig deeper into several college radio stories that I shared in last week’s column.

Finally, a piece in University of Virginia’s alumni magazine, Virginia, eloquently captures how college radio culture at WTJU (see my tour) helped germinate a cluster of indie rock projects, including Pavement and Silver Jews:

While some music scenes develop around a certain club or, in more recent decades, message boards and social media, WTJU 91.1, UVA’s free-form radio station, was the soil from which Ectoslavia and its offshoots sprouted. Malkmus, Berman, Nastanovich and McNew were all DJs during their time at UVA, as was visual artist Steve Keene (whose paintings would go on to help define the style of Pavement and Silver Jews) and Thomas Frank (Col ’87), a future founding editor of The Baffler, where some of Berman’s earliest poems would be published. ‘We took it for granted at the time,’ Malkmus says, ‘but it’s funny to see now how all the tendrils of the station have reached all of these unexpected places.’

WTJU alumnus Steve Keene is of particular interest to me, as I’ve spotted his paintings at a handful of radio stations. While not as common a sight as a Leo Blais sign, I get a thrill whenever I run across one of his pieces.

More College Radio News Profiles of Stations, Programs, Staff Infrastructure Events College Radio and Music Culture
Alumni

The post College Radio Watch: 80th IBS Convention and More News appeared first on Radio Survivor.

College Radio Watch: 80th IBS Convention and More News

Fri, 03/06/2020 - 05:00

It’s a testament to the staying power of college radio, that student media organization Intercollegiate Broadcasting System, aka IBS, is hosting its 80th annual national convention in New York City. Taking place on Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7, the conference is packed with sessions of interest to high school and college radio participants. On this week’s Radio Survivor show, I speak a bit about the history of IBS, which got its start as an organization for campus-only carrier current radio stations in the 1940s.

Also on the podcast, we discuss accolades for a recent episode about a college radio preservation project and dig deeper into several college radio stories that I shared in last week’s column.

Finally, a piece in University of Virginia’s alumni magazine, Virginia, eloquently captures how college radio culture at WTJU (see my tour) helped germinate a cluster of indie rock projects, including Pavement and Silver Jews:

While some music scenes develop around a certain club or, in more recent decades, message boards and social media, WTJU 91.1, UVA’s free-form radio station, was the soil from which Ectoslavia and its offshoots sprouted. Malkmus, Berman, Nastanovich and McNew were all DJs during their time at UVA, as was visual artist Steve Keene (whose paintings would go on to help define the style of Pavement and Silver Jews) and Thomas Frank (Col ’87), a future founding editor of The Baffler, where some of Berman’s earliest poems would be published. ‘We took it for granted at the time,’ Malkmus says, ‘but it’s funny to see now how all the tendrils of the station have reached all of these unexpected places.’

WTJU alumnus Steve Keene is of particular interest to me, as I’ve spotted his paintings at a handful of radio stations. While not as common a sight as a Leo Blais sign, I get a thrill whenever I run across one of his pieces.

More College Radio News Profiles of Stations, Programs, Staff Infrastructure Events College Radio and Music Culture
Alumni

The post College Radio Watch: 80th IBS Convention and More News appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Podcast #235 – Pulling Back the Curtain

Tue, 03/03/2020 - 22:55

Jennifer, Eric and Paul have some college radio news to review, but first they pull back the curtain to survey the state of affairs in Radio Survivorland. They note some recent attention from The A.V. Club and Podnews along with a nice uptick in podcast audience as they reflect on the importance of sticking with and your niche, and how passion for that niche can build a like-minded community over time.

Sad news comes from the University of the South, which just turned in its license for WUTS-FM to the FCC, apparently prompted by outsized and unrealistic fears of a massive fine for public file violations. Jennifer puts these fears in stark perspective, as the reality is much less dire. The job of the FCC, Paul comments, is to keep stations on the air, and Jennifer observes that the Commission has worked with many college stations to bring them into compliance. Yet, there’s no indication WUTS got good advice or ever reached out to the FCC.

Happier news comes from the University of Illinois, where former cable radio station WBML – “Where Black Media Lives” – appears poised for a comeback.

Show Notes:

Photo by Rots Marie-Hélène on Unsplash

The post Podcast #235 – Pulling Back the Curtain appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Podcast #235 – Pulling Back the Curtain

Tue, 03/03/2020 - 22:55

Jennifer, Eric and Paul have some college radio news to review, but first they pull back the curtain to survey the state of affairs in Radio Survivorland. They note some recent attention from The A.V. Club and Podnews along with a nice uptick in podcast audience as they reflect on the importance of sticking with and your niche, and how passion for that niche can build a like-minded community over time.

Sad news comes from the University of the South, which just turned in its license for WUTS-FM to the FCC, apparently prompted by outsized and unrealistic fears of a massive fine for public file violations. Jennifer puts these fears in stark perspective, as the reality is much less dire. The job of the FCC, Paul comments, is to keep stations on the air, and Jennifer observes that the Commission has worked with many college stations to bring them into compliance. Yet, there’s no indication WUTS got good advice or ever reached out to the FCC.

Happier news comes from the University of Illinois, where former cable radio station WBML – “Where Black Media Lives” – appears poised for a comeback.

Show Notes:

Photo by Rots Marie-Hélène on Unsplash

The post Podcast #235 – Pulling Back the Curtain appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Podcast #235 – Pulling Back the Curtain

Tue, 03/03/2020 - 22:55

Jennifer, Eric and Paul have some college radio news to review, but first they pull back the curtain to survey the state of affairs in Radio Survivorland. They note some recent attention from The A.V. Club and Podnews along with a nice uptick in podcast audience as they reflect on the importance of sticking with and your niche, and how passion for that niche can build a like-minded community over time.

Sad news comes from the University of the South, which just turned in its license for WUTS-FM to the FCC, apparently prompted by outsized and unrealistic fears of a massive fine for public file violations. Jennifer puts these fears in stark perspective, as the reality is much less dire. The job of the FCC, Paul comments, is to keep stations on the air, and Jennifer observes that the Commission has worked with many college stations to bring them into compliance. Yet, there’s no indication WUTS got good advice or ever reached out to the FCC.

Happier news comes from the University of Illinois, where former cable radio station WBML – “Where Black Media Lives” – appears poised for a comeback.

Show Notes:

Photo by Rots Marie-Hélène on Unsplash

The post Podcast #235 – Pulling Back the Curtain appeared first on Radio Survivor.

College Radio Watch: WUTS-FM Turns Back License, the Return of WBML and More News

Fri, 02/28/2020 - 07:39

This week I learned about college radio station WUTS-FM relinquishing its license, likely out of fear of receiving large FCC fines for public file violations. A letter dated December 24, 2019 from University of the South to the FCC states, “On behalf of the University of the South, Licensee of Radio Station WUTS-FM at Sewanee, TN, we hereby surrender for cancellation by the Commission the original FCC license and associated FCC license renewal authority for WUTS-FM.” As of January 29, 2020, the license is listed as deleted by the FCC. This ends a nearly 50 year legacy for WUTS-FM, which was first licensed in May, 1972.

A February 20, 2020 piece in student publication, The Sewanee Purple, provides some back story. A statement provided to them by the university reads in part, “The decision to relinquish the broadcast license was made after seeking both technical and legal expertise. Managing compliance with FCC regulations requires ongoing time and expertise that few current student organizations would be able to achieve. Noncompliance brings the risk of both financial and reputational consequences.”

Student participants at WUTS told the Sewanee Purple that “compliance issues” with the station’s public file were brought to the attention of staff in the fall. WUTS Station Manager Emily Cate “emphasized that there was an atmosphere of confusion over the public file, and that WUTS staff were stunned when they heard the news that they were going off the air. The staff was informed of this decision through GroupMe.” They were told that potential FCC fines could be anywhere from $15,000 to $100,000.

It’s unfortunate that there was so much fear over a potentially large fine, particularly since student-run college radio stations run a much lower risk than other types of radio stations. As we’ve reported, ever since a ruling in 2013, the FCC has opted to give first-time violations at student-run radio stations a break as far as massive fines. Consent decrees between the FCC and student radio stations since 2013 have led to “fines” of around $1,000 to $2,500. So why do rumors still swirl about $100,000 fines? These scare tactics sadly have chilled administrators into relinquishing a valuable student resource (an FM radio license) that they will likely never get back. This was also likely the case at Denison University’s WDUB, which sold its license for a mere $5,000 in December, 2019 amid fears of FCC fines.

WBML to Return: “Where Black Music Lives”

A few weeks back on Podcast Episode #232, we spoke with Jocelyn Robinson about radio archives at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. While there still much to be learned, in light of that project, I was intrigued to hear about a student radio station at University of Illinois that was founded by black students. WBML, aka “Where Black Music Lives,” began in the early 1980s and continued into at least the early 2000s, with some of its last social media posts around 2015.

A 2004 piece in the Daily Illini charts its history:

Students founded the station in 1982 because black students at the University felt they needed a station to call their own. The local campus station at the time wanted to cancel the four hours of ‘soul music’ per week that was aired, so the black students protested. After picketing, meetings and compromise, WBML – Where Black Music Lives – was formed.

Digging into archived versions of the WBML website, one can view a snapshot of its programming circa 1999. Back then the station was a project of the African-American Cultural Program at University of Illinois. It broadcast over cable at 89.3 FM as well as on local cable TV, billing itself as “Urbana-Champaign, IL’s premiere source of Hip Hop, Reggae, Jazz, R&B and Gospel music!!” According to the history section of that early website:

Through the years, the radio station has grown from a telephone carrier station, only available to University of Illionis residence halls, to the first Black music radio station in Champaign-Urbana, via cable radio…The station transmits via Time Warner coaxial cable to all undergraduate and graduate residence halls.  Since March 1, 1998, WBML began broadcasting to the Champaign-Urbana community through Time Warner’s ‘Music Choice’ system (Channel 36).

By 2004, WBML was also broadcasting online, but it’s unclear when those transmissions ceased. With all of this history, I’m happy to see that WBML is relaunching. A few weeks back an informational meeting was held. The announcement states, “WBML: Where Black Media Lives!! Have you ever wanted to host your own radio show, podcast, or DJ your favorite playlists? Well, this is your chance! We are celebrating black media and music by relaunching our radio station. Join us on Monday, February 17th to learn more about how YOU can get involved!”

More College Radio News New Stations Stations Giving Up Licenses Infrastructure Podcasting Stations Under Threat
Music Culture Events History Awards and Accolades Alumni

The post College Radio Watch: WUTS-FM Turns Back License, the Return of WBML and More News appeared first on Radio Survivor.

College Radio Watch: WUTS-FM Turns Back License, the Return of WBML and More News

Fri, 02/28/2020 - 07:39

This week I learned about college radio station WUTS-FM relinquishing its license, likely out of fear of receiving large FCC fines for public file violations. A letter dated December 24, 2019 from University of the South to the FCC states, “On behalf of the University of the South, Licensee of Radio Station WUTS-FM at Sewanee, TN, we hereby surrender for cancellation by the Commission the original FCC license and associated FCC license renewal authority for WUTS-FM.” As of January 29, 2020, the license is listed as deleted by the FCC. This ends a nearly 50 year legacy for WUTS-FM, which was first licensed in May, 1972.

A February 20, 2020 piece in student publication, The Sewanee Purple, provides some back story. A statement provided to them by the university reads in part, “The decision to relinquish the broadcast license was made after seeking both technical and legal expertise. Managing compliance with FCC regulations requires ongoing time and expertise that few current student organizations would be able to achieve. Noncompliance brings the risk of both financial and reputational consequences.”

Student participants at WUTS told the Sewanee Purple that “compliance issues” with the station’s public file were brought to the attention of staff in the fall. WUTS Station Manager Emily Cate “emphasized that there was an atmosphere of confusion over the public file, and that WUTS staff were stunned when they heard the news that they were going off the air. The staff was informed of this decision through GroupMe.” They were told that potential FCC fines could be anywhere from $15,000 to $100,000.

It’s unfortunate that there was so much fear over a potentially large fine, particularly since student-run college radio stations run a much lower risk than other types of radio stations. As we’ve reported, ever since a ruling in 2013, the FCC has opted to give first-time violations at student-run radio stations a break as far as massive fines. Consent decrees between the FCC and student radio stations since 2013 have led to “fines” of around $1,000 to $2,500. So why do rumors still swirl about $100,000 fines? These scare tactics sadly have chilled administrators into relinquishing a valuable student resource (an FM radio license) that they will likely never get back. This was also likely the case at Denison University’s WDUB, which sold its license for a mere $5,000 in December, 2019 amid fears of FCC fines.

WBML to Return: “Where Black Music Lives”

A few weeks back on Podcast Episode #232, we spoke with Jocelyn Robinson about radio archives at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. While there still much to be learned, in light of that project, I was intrigued to hear about a student radio station at University of Illinois that was founded by black students. WBML, aka “Where Black Music Lives,” began in the early 1980s and continued into at least the early 2000s, with some of its last social media posts around 2015.

A 2004 piece in the Daily Illini charts its history:

Students founded the station in 1982 because black students at the University felt they needed a station to call their own. The local campus station at the time wanted to cancel the four hours of ‘soul music’ per week that was aired, so the black students protested. After picketing, meetings and compromise, WBML – Where Black Music Lives – was formed.

Digging into archived versions of the WBML website, one can view a snapshot of its programming circa 1999. Back then the station was a project of the African-American Cultural Program at University of Illinois. It broadcast over cable at 89.3 FM as well as on local cable TV, billing itself as “Urbana-Champaign, IL’s premiere source of Hip Hop, Reggae, Jazz, R&B and Gospel music!!” According to the history section of that early website:

Through the years, the radio station has grown from a telephone carrier station, only available to University of Illionis residence halls, to the first Black music radio station in Champaign-Urbana, via cable radio…The station transmits via Time Warner coaxial cable to all undergraduate and graduate residence halls.  Since March 1, 1998, WBML began broadcasting to the Champaign-Urbana community through Time Warner’s ‘Music Choice’ system (Channel 36).

By 2004, WBML was also broadcasting online, but it’s unclear when those transmissions ceased. With all of this history, I’m happy to see that WBML is relaunching. A few weeks back an informational meeting was held. The announcement states, “WBML: Where Black Media Lives!! Have you ever wanted to host your own radio show, podcast, or DJ your favorite playlists? Well, this is your chance! We are celebrating black media and music by relaunching our radio station. Join us on Monday, February 17th to learn more about how YOU can get involved!”

More College Radio News New Stations Stations Giving Up Licenses Infrastructure Podcasting Stations Under Threat
Music Culture Events History Awards and Accolades Alumni

The post College Radio Watch: WUTS-FM Turns Back License, the Return of WBML and More News appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Podcast #234 – Community Access Radio in New Zealand

Wed, 02/26/2020 - 00:09

In New Zealand a dozen partially government-funded radio stations are charged with providing access to under-represented groups and communities. Wellington Access Radio, situated in New Zealand’s capital city, was the first station of its kind in that country, and station manager Kristen Paterson tells us more about its history and mission.

Kristen explains the funding model for community access radio, which differs significantly from community radio in the United States. In fact, there is no history or tradition of listener-funded radio in New Zealand. We touch on how Wellington Access Radio assesses the needs of its community, determining which groups would benefit from airtime.

Also, Kristen got their start in college radio, co-founding a legal unlicensed low-power FM station at Victoria University, and we hear that story and learn more about this very unique radio sector.

Show Notes:

The post Podcast #234 – Community Access Radio in New Zealand appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Podcast #234 – Community Access Radio in New Zealand

Wed, 02/26/2020 - 00:09

In New Zealand a dozen partially government-funded radio stations are charged with providing access to under-represented groups and communities. Wellington Access Radio, situated in New Zealand’s capital city, was the first station of its kind in that country, and station manager Kristen Paterson tells us more about its history and mission.

Kristen explains the funding model for community access radio, which differs significantly from community radio in the United States. In fact, there is no history or tradition of listener-funded radio in New Zealand. We touch on how Wellington Access Radio assesses the needs of its community, determining which groups would benefit from airtime.

Also, Kristen got their start in college radio, co-founding a legal unlicensed low-power FM station at Victoria University, and we hear that story and learn more about this very unique radio sector.

Show Notes:

The post Podcast #234 – Community Access Radio in New Zealand appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Podcast #234 – Community Access Radio in New Zealand

Wed, 02/26/2020 - 00:09

In New Zealand a dozen partially government-funded radio stations are charged with providing access to under-represented groups and communities. Wellington Access Radio, situated in New Zealand’s capital city, was the first station of its kind in that country, and station manager Kristen Paterson tells us more about its history and mission.

Kristen explains the funding model for community access radio, which differs significantly from community radio in the United States. In fact, there is no history or tradition of listener-funded radio in New Zealand. We touch on how Wellington Access Radio assesses the needs of its community, determining which groups would benefit from airtime.

Also, Kristen got their start in college radio, co-founding a legal unlicensed low-power FM station at Victoria University, and we hear that story and learn more about this very unique radio sector.

Show Notes:

The post Podcast #234 – Community Access Radio in New Zealand appeared first on Radio Survivor.

College Radio Watch: College Radio Night in L.A., KUMD Sale and More News

Fri, 02/21/2020 - 17:00

It’s super inspiring to hear about college radio stations collaborating on projects and events. The latest example is an upcoming College Radio Night in Los Angeles, featuring participation by eight college radio stations. The February 27th event will also include guest panels as well as live music. Radio stations taking part include KCSN, UCLA Radio, KXLU, KXSC, KSDT, KUCI, KUCR, and KOXY. There will also be some panelists from public radio station KCRW.

University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Public/Community Station KUMD License Sale

At University of Minnesota-Duluth, it has been announced that there is a pending sale of the license for its independent public radio station KUMD-FM to the owner of public television station WDSE. While not a student-run college radio station, KUMD does have student DJs during its night-time indie rock/hip-hop programming block “The Basement.”

TV station WDIO reported early word of the proposed sale, stating, “Documents do not mention the future of student-produced programming on KUMD, which airs in the late evening and overnight hours. When asked by Regent Mike Kenyanya about the future role of students at the station, [UMD Chancellor Lendley] Black acknowledged that the new owners could make a change.” MPR News pointed out that “Black said the partnership would provide internship and other opportunities in both TV and radio for UMD students.”

The deal still requires approval from University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents as well as the FCC.

More College Radio News Profiles of Stations, Students, Staff License Sales History and Preservation Events College Radio and Music Industry Alumni

The post College Radio Watch: College Radio Night in L.A., KUMD Sale and More News appeared first on Radio Survivor.

College Radio Watch: College Radio Night in L.A., KUMD Sale and More News

Fri, 02/21/2020 - 17:00

It’s super inspiring to hear about college radio stations collaborating on projects and events. The latest example is an upcoming College Radio Night in Los Angeles, featuring participation by eight college radio stations. The February 27th event will also include guest panels as well as live music. Radio stations taking part include KCSN, UCLA Radio, KXLU, KXSC, KSDT, KUCI, KUCR, and KOXY. There will also be some panelists from public radio station KCRW.

University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Public/Community Station KUMD License Sale

At University of Minnesota-Duluth, it has been announced that there is a pending sale of the license for its independent public radio station KUMD-FM to the owner of public television station WDSE. While not a student-run college radio station, KUMD does have student DJs during its night-time indie rock/hip-hop programming block “The Basement.”

TV station WDIO reported early word of the proposed sale, stating, “Documents do not mention the future of student-produced programming on KUMD, which airs in the late evening and overnight hours. When asked by Regent Mike Kenyanya about the future role of students at the station, [UMD Chancellor Lendley] Black acknowledged that the new owners could make a change.” MPR News pointed out that “Black said the partnership would provide internship and other opportunities in both TV and radio for UMD students.”

The deal still requires approval from University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents as well as the FCC.

More College Radio News Profiles of Stations, Students, Staff License Sales History and Preservation Events College Radio and Music Industry Alumni

The post College Radio Watch: College Radio Night in L.A., KUMD Sale and More News appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Podcast #233 – Border Radio in North America (rebroadcast)

Tue, 02/18/2020 - 19:08

Radio waves don’t obey borders, and stations have been taking advantage of this fact since the dawn of the medium – often despite the rules of government regulators where the signals go.

Dr. Kevin Curran of Arizona State University has been studying border radio stations extensively, making it the subject of his doctoral dissertation. Everyone has a ton of radio nerd fun as he takes us back to the 1920s, when Canadian and U.S. regulators struck a treaty to split up the AM dial and limit maximum broadcast power, but left out Mexico. That opened up an opportunity for stations in that country to cover the continent with hundreds of kilowatts, attracting broadcasters from north of the border wanting to take advantage.

Many infamous and colorful personalities were amongst this group, from Dr. John Brinkley, who promoted goat glands to cure male potency problems, all the way to man named Bob Smith – later known as Wolfman Jack – who blasted rock and roll that most American stations wouldn’t touch.

Dr. Curran explains why stations along the Mexican border remained popular with U.S. broadcasters even after that country lowered maximum power levels, in treaty with its northern neighbor. He also explores the relationship of U.S. stations to Canadian markets, where stations are more highly regulated. If you’ve ever wondered why radio is different along the border, you’re curiosity will be satisfied.

This episode was originally recorded and aired in September of 2019 as episode #212

Show Notes:

The post Podcast #233 – Border Radio in North America (rebroadcast) appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Podcast #233 – Border Radio in North America (rebroadcast)

Tue, 02/18/2020 - 19:08

Radio waves don’t obey borders, and stations have been taking advantage of this fact since the dawn of the medium – often despite the rules of government regulators where the signals go.

Dr. Kevin Curran of Arizona State University has been studying border radio stations extensively, making it the subject of his doctoral dissertation. Everyone has a ton of radio nerd fun as he takes us back to the 1920s, when Canadian and U.S. regulators struck a treaty to split up the AM dial and limit maximum broadcast power, but left out Mexico. That opened up an opportunity for stations in that country to cover the continent with hundreds of kilowatts, attracting broadcasters from north of the border wanting to take advantage.

Many infamous and colorful personalities were amongst this group, from Dr. John Brinkley, who promoted goat glands to cure male potency problems, all the way to man named Bob Smith – later known as Wolfman Jack – who blasted rock and roll that most American stations wouldn’t touch.

Dr. Curran explains why stations along the Mexican border remained popular with U.S. broadcasters even after that country lowered maximum power levels, in treaty with its northern neighbor. He also explores the relationship of U.S. stations to Canadian markets, where stations are more highly regulated. If you’ve ever wondered why radio is different along the border, you’re curiosity will be satisfied.

This episode was originally recorded and aired in September of 2019 as episode #212

Show Notes:

The post Podcast #233 – Border Radio in North America (rebroadcast) appeared first on Radio Survivor.

College Radio Watch: Saving HBCU Radio History and More News

Fri, 02/14/2020 - 18:56

On last week’s Radio Survivor show, my colleague Eric Klein did a fascinating interview with Eric Nuzum about the podcasting landscape. In the wide-ranging conversation, Nuzum talks about his college radio past at Kent State University in the mid-to-late 1980s.

I love a college radio origin story, so it was fun to hear about his time at WKSR (which has subsequently morphed into an online station). He recounted the freedom they had at the station and some of the “dumb, goofy” stuff that he did, adding, “I was allowed to just play around,” explaining that it really helped him to learn about audio equipment and radio. Through that, he said, “I was building a pretty amazing arsenal of production technique.” That experimentation quickly led to work for Nuzum as an intern at the public radio station WKSU on campus, babysitting tapes late at night. Years later he became the Programming Director there at age 29, forging a path for later jobs at NPR and beyond.

Saving Black College Radio History

This week’s Radio Survivor podcast was equally inspiring for college radio fans. Radio producer and archivist Jocelyn Robinson spoke with us about her HBCU Radio Station Archival Survey Project. As she travels around the country visiting college radio stations at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Robinson is developing an understanding of the archival landscape. Most importantly, she’s learning a lot about the inherent challenges of college radio and is helping to forge connections between stations and archivists in order to preserve radio history.

More College Radio News Events Profiles of Stations and Programming Student Radio Organizations College Radio History College Radio Alumni
Influence of College Radio & Music Culture Awards and Accolades

The post College Radio Watch: Saving HBCU Radio History and More News appeared first on Radio Survivor.

College Radio Watch: Saving HBCU Radio History and More News

Fri, 02/14/2020 - 18:56

On last week’s Radio Survivor show, my colleague Eric Klein did a fascinating interview with Eric Nuzum about the podcasting landscape. In the wide-ranging conversation, Nuzum talks about his college radio past at Kent State University in the mid-to-late 1980s.

I love a college radio origin story, so it was fun to hear about his time at WKSR (which has subsequently morphed into an online station). He recounted the freedom they had at the station and some of the “dumb, goofy” stuff that he did, adding, “I was allowed to just play around,” explaining that it really helped him to learn about audio equipment and radio. Through that, he said, “I was building a pretty amazing arsenal of production technique.” That experimentation quickly led to work for Nuzum as an intern at the public radio station WKSU on campus, babysitting tapes late at night. Years later he became the Programming Director there at age 29, forging a path for later jobs at NPR and beyond.

Saving Black College Radio History

This week’s Radio Survivor podcast was equally inspiring for college radio fans. Radio producer and archivist Jocelyn Robinson spoke with us about her HBCU Radio Station Archival Survey Project. As she travels around the country visiting college radio stations at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Robinson is developing an understanding of the archival landscape. Most importantly, she’s learning a lot about the inherent challenges of college radio and is helping to forge connections between stations and archivists in order to preserve radio history.

More College Radio News Events Profiles of Stations and Programming Student Radio Organizations College Radio History College Radio Alumni
Influence of College Radio & Music Culture Awards and Accolades

The post College Radio Watch: Saving HBCU Radio History and More News appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Podcast #232 – Documenting & Preserving Radio at HBCUs

Tue, 02/11/2020 - 19:24

Scholar Jocelyn Robinson says about one-third of Historically Black Colleges and Universities have radio stations. Her mission is to survey them and help preserve their histories and recorded legacies through the HBCU Radio Station Archival Survey Project, which she directs.

On this episode Robinson tells us about this project, and explains why it’s important to preserve this heritage. Her interest in radio was sparked at WYSO-FM in Yellow Springs, Ohio, a station founded by college students which won a grant to digitize and protect its archives which were maintained for decades almost by benign neglect. Robinson created a radio show for WYSO, pulling from this rich store of historical recordings, called “Rediscovered Radio.” The experience prompted her to widen the search to HBCUs.

In this we explore the reasons why relatively few college and university stations have active archival and preservation programs, how station licenses are “an institutional asset” and the cultural shift that has turned us all into documentarians.

Show Notes:

The post Podcast #232 – Documenting & Preserving Radio at HBCUs appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Pages