Late to the Dance

College Broadcasters Inc. has announced on its website a minute of silence for those stations that have fallen to the non-com consolidators:

On April 28, 2011 at 6:00a, Rice University’s KTRU’s signal will transfer to the University of Houston. KTRU has a long history of providing alternative programming to the Houston metro. The new owner intends to program classical music and arts information on KTRU’s frequency.

United States college radio stations have been sold as fundraisers for their parent colleges and universities. Examples of stations include KTXT at Texas Tech, KAUR at Augustana College in South Dakota, and pending sales of KUSF at the University of San Francisco and WRVU at Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt students would beg to differ, since the sale of WRVU is not yet a fait accompli, and they continue to rally the troops to oppose the move. Jennifer Waits, writing on Radio Survivor, notes that the organization is perhaps a tad late to the prom:

 I’d been wondering why CBI, Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS), and Broadcast Education Association (BEA) hadn’t officially voiced their organizations’ displeasure about stations getting sold off.

Well, today was a very good Friday (couldn’t resist), as Candace Walton, the President of the Board of Directors of CBI sent word that CBI is organizing a national Minute of Silence in order to bring attention to the impact of college radio station sales. The Minute of Silence will take place this Thursday, April 28th at 12noon Central (10am Pacific/1pm Eastern) at college radio stations all over the United States.

April 28th was chosen for this protest, as it is the day that the license for Rice University’s college radio station KTRU is expected to transfer to University of Houston for use as a public radio station. According to Candace,

“The goal of the moment of silence is to bring awareness of the deep impact that the sale of a student radio station has on a college and its community. While it is too late to save KTRU (Rice), KTXT (Texas Tech), and KAUR (Augustana in Sioux Falls, SD), people who have benefited from college radio must step up and call on the Federal Communications Commission to reassess what it means by localism in content.”

As mentioned the battle in Music City at Vanderbilt continues, with WRVU stalwarts amassing an impressive amount of support from all quarters — including, as noted here, from the vice president of technology at Facebook. A better look at the wave of support can be found here, with the following note describing:

Below is a small sampling of the letters that students, community members, and alumni have sent on behalf of WRVU. These are letters that have been directed to the Vanderbilt Chancellor and to the VSC. It is staggering how many points of view can converge on one goal — SAVE WRVU! Everyone — and we mean everybody — understands the the immense value WRVU provides to the university, its student body, and to the larger Middle Tennessee community, except, alas, the super geniuses at the VSC — the self anointed arbiters of WRVU’s fate. Keep it up kind spirits!

As noted, this is just a small sampling, with more to come !


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