Don’t Stop the Music

In Nashville, the struggle goes on for student station WRVU, with the latest an open letter from the faculty and students of the Vanderbilt music department:

We at the Blair School of Music have a special interest in keeping WRVU on the air. We understand the vital role that music plays in serving the public and creating strong ties between the university and the greater Nashville community, which is why nearly all of the concerts we present at Ingram and Turner Halls are free and open to the public.

The traditional role of terrestrial radio is certainly changing in the modern digital world, but as Music City’s only major college radio station, as a centrally important home for non-mainstream music programming, and as one of the oldest FM stations in the area, WRVU is a cultural treasure with deep roots in Nashville’s music and business sectors, and a passionate listenership that extends far beyond the university.

Music is one of the most effective and powerful ways that Vanderbilt serves its community. Please keep WRVU’s broadcasting license intact.

This is signed by a long list of lecturers, professors, and students of the music school. Also included is this note from senior lecturer Michael Hime:

As a native Nashvillian I would lament the loss of WRVU as an audible presence on the radio bandwidth voicing the uniquely Vanderbilt student pulse-reading to the community. Certain rare traditions give us our identity and a link to the past that once severed can never be regained. Economic or political pressures aside it would be one less chromosome in our cultural DNA. I remember a few Nashville genetic traits with deep regrets for their loss:

  • Harvey’s Nativity scene at Centennial Park
  • The old Governor’s Mansion on West End across from Vanderbilt
  • Walter Stokes school on Belmont (my grammar school)
  • A state fair at the Nashville fairgrounds
  • A bookstore called Davis Kidd

Please don’t silence another indigenous voice or break another living link to our past. You will only rob your grandchildren of the chance to hear Vanderbilt . . . the real, honest Vanderbilt.

Where is the wisdom in this?”

More than 6,000 friends have joined the Facebook page for Save WRVU (link on right). An odd recent incident is recounted here involving Sharon Vegas Shelby, who was “officially” called on the carpet for hosting a two-hour show on WRVU by the head suit at VSC, Chris Carroll, aka the station-slayer:

In a letter sent by certified mail, Former WRVU General Manager and Save WRVU Alumni leader was accused of “violating station policy” and banned from the station after hosting a 91 Rock show with a SAVE WRVU theme.

Sharon “Vegas” Selby, however, was in full compliance with the station manual. She was fully trained and met all FCC license requirements. In fact, Selby had served as WRVU Co-Training Director from 1993-1994. Surprisingly, the equipment is by in large the same since Selby implemented an equipment upgrade for WRVU 1996 when she was General Manager. Likewise, very little FCC regulation has changed since she had a regular program on WRVU. As an industry professional, Selby was certain to refresh and update her broadcasting knowledge before airing her scheduled show.

It is important to note here that Ms. Selby properly applied for and legitimately received the 1-3 pm Thursday time slot for the Spring 2011 Semester. During scheduling, the General Manager and Program Director were both aware that the Alumni DJ had not hosted a regular show on 91 Rock since 1996. Many Alumni host radio programs on WRVU. There are not now nor have there ever been any requirements that the Alumni “retrain” before returning to the air. Ms. Scott meets all the FCC qualifications to spin records On the Air and during her program, she followed all FCC and WRVU regulations.

A copy of the Carroll letter can be seen on the Save WRVU Facebook page (link on right) under the miscreant Sharon Vegas Shelby’s name.

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One Response

  1. […] FACULTY & STAFF… See http://www.wrvu.org for More… Also See Keeping The Public In Public Radio for Additional Reporting and Analysis … […]

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