College Update

Supporters of student station WRVU  in Nashville, shorn of any input on the stacked VSC governing board, have continued the battle, releasing the following information:


This time of year is meant to celebrate perhaps the single most important event in world history — the founding of America in its epoch making declaration of independence. One lesson to learn is that it is vital to rise-up against injustice and tyranny, particularly when the affected parties have been given no say in the outcome, or put another way, let’s call the proposed sale of WRVU by the VSC as ‘poaching without representation.’ You are undoubtedly aware by now, the VSC Board, the entity responsible for the horrid decision of establishing the sale agreement with WPLN, has absolutely no members with real WRVU experience. It continues to be shocking that a small cadre of callous fools (or Benedict Arnolds ?!?) can attempt to pawn off an esteemed student-founded and student-operated 60 year institution like WRVU.

As you all have likely heard by now, WRVU has many reasons to celebrate!

First of all, it appears that the sale of WRVU to Nashville Public Radio has a LONG way to go until it becomes final. We know, of course, that WPLN must raise $3.35 million dollars in the next 18 months to purchase the station. Attached is a letter (below) from Joe Helm J.D., former WRVU General Manager, that proves Vanderbilt University is the sole “member” of the VSC. Because the 91.1 FM frequency is “substantially all” of the VSC assets (see Mark Wolleager podcast) the Chancellor or the Board of Trust will be required to sign off on the deal. If they do not, of course, the whole thing is off the table.

See article in Nashville Scene HERE.

So PLEASE keep the pressure on Kirkland Hall! If you haven’t written a letter to the Chancellor yet – GET ON IT! If you have written before, please WRITE AGAIN. Don’t be afraid to let Zeppos know that you are aware of his role in this saga and of his power to bring it to an end. He has been shamefully ignoring Vanderbilt students and alumni who have been pleading for his help since September. It is time he took a stand.


Jennifer Waits of Radio Survivor has recently sent this information regarding WWPV, the student run station belonging to St. Michael’s college:

In March 2007, WWPV attracted local attention when Vermont Public Radio approached the college’s president, Marc vanderHeyden, and the Board of Trustees with an interest in purchasing the frequency to turn it into a 24-hour classical station.[1] After word of this potential sale became public in the Burlington Free Press and the St. Michael’s online magazine, The Echo, SMC students, faculty, and staff rallied against the sale in an effort to preserve the station as a student-run, freeform college station. Numerous letters were written to the Free Press, [2], posters were put up around campus, and a large Facebook group was created to mobilize students. Because of the outcry, vanderHeyden recommended to the board that the station not be sold, effectively ending the possibility of a deal.[3] Vermont Public Radio instead bought 90.9 FM, now known as WOXR, to run the classical format.



According to sources who attended a live recording of the Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me radio show last week at TPAC, Nashville Public Radio President Rob Gordon was booed off stage when he mentioned “our new classical station, WFCL” !!!

Way to Go Nashville!!! Then, apparently, Gordon shrugged and said “”Yeah, well, we’ll see how it goes.” WPLN must not have realized the huge overlap in WRVU and NPR listeners. No one is happy about sacrificing one station to feed the other. Enough public outcry & again, Rob Gordon can bring this shenanigan to an END!

Again, please remind your friends & neighbors to boycott WPLN, WFCL and all their affiliated stations. Until they release our frequency, do your best to screw up WPLN’s Arbitron ratings and their membership drives. Also, please stay vocal on the Nashville Pubic Radio facebook page. Perhaps one day, within the next 18 months, they will wake up and realize that purchasing 91.1 FM is a very bad idea!


In other good news, our sister station KUSF is having some success in their struggle as well. The FCC is concerned about the USF/CPRN lease-purchase agreement, which questions many variables including the educational value the new classical format. You are encouraged to read more HERE about the situation via the link below and look for items that sound familiar.


WRVU Friends & Family has been working with a strong legal team to develop the most effective strategy for getting the station you love back on the air. Those individuals who were once skeptical now believe we have much more than a fighting chance! We welcome your thoughts and comments in the weeks and months to come. As this is likely to be a prolonged battle. To win, we must keep the moral high. Please continue to get the word out that this IS NOT OVER. With your support and encouragement, and that of the Nashville community, WRVU can rise again!!!!! (& just imagine what a story that will be…)

On other fronts, in the continuing struggle to maintain a voice, college radio saw another station fall prey to conglomeration, aided and abetted by the omnipresent Public Radio Capital:.

The $1.1 million sale of Mobile, Alabama’s WHIL (91.3) has closed, and the Tuscaloosa-based University of Alabama has taken the reins at the monster Class C signal. The deal dramatically extends the potential population reach of the Alabama Public Radio, while getting Mobile’s Jesuit-run Spring Hill College out of the radio biz. Spring Hill had worked with a local group to buy WHIL, but when that didn’t happen, the University of Alabama was in line. The March 19 TRI had the story of the deal and now it’s just closed, with Public Radio Capital representing buyer Alabama Public Radio. The site says the buyer hopes to eventually have a fulltime news reporter to cover Mobile, and it’s meeting with local arts groups. But WHIL’s 22-year-old Radio Reading Service for the blind and visually impaired is apparently now off its subchannel.



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