A recent story on the Gainesville Sun web page should have raised some eyebrows at WUFT management, but probably won’t . . . It seems the university owns two 100,000-watt radio stations — one a nonprofit, the other the commercial WRUF, a hard-rock outlet. This story makes the modest proposal of a compromise, since WUFT went all-talk and generated a wave of protest. And, as the article says:
In 1981, WRUF-FM adopted its current hard-rock format to compete with other commercial radio stations in the Gainesville/Ocala radio market — and create a cash cow for UF’s College of Journalism and Communications.
At the time, WRUF-FM was the only rock station. Now there are three or four rock stations in the market.
Rock 104 does not bring anything new to the Gainesville/Ocala radio market, and some say the station promotes UF’s party image.
Many universities own and operate non-commercial NPR stations such as WUFT-FM. But UF is the only public university in the nation that owns a 100,000-watt commercial radio station such as WRUF-FM (Rock 104). And what is UF doing with this valuable franchise?
UF wants improved public relations and greater outreach for the university, and WRUF-FM is a potentially valuable vehicle that could be used for this purpose.
The chances of the university changing the rock station to fine arts programming? Stay tuned . . . As the singer says, “. . . and the party never ends.”
A couple days later two posts appeared on the site from letter writers who aren’t taking this lying down. Somebody stirred up a hornet’s next down there.