WRVU Notes from the Front

Dear Friends of WRVU,

I know it has been quiet lately, worse than quiet, perhaps, in Nashville where the endless classical music on 91.1 FM pretends that everything is A-OK.   The turmoil behind the scenes, however, rages on.  Fine WRVU DJs have been banned from the online station in a shockingly transparent mass-elimination of those who vocally opposed the frequency sale last semester. The remaining live DJs struggle to keep an audience via online stream and have deeply lamented the loss of regular callers, regular listeners.  DJ HAL (the automated playlist) dominates the current schedule spinning random tunes 13+ hours each day.

Meanwhile, the classical music on WFCL “91-One” is not pulling in the listeners Nashville Public Radio might have expected.  In fact, despite the money and corporate strategy behind promoting the new station, the current ratings for WFCL are not much higher than we were seeing with WRVU.  In addition, ratings on WPLN have been down since they went public with their intentions to purchase the WRVU frequency.

Many thanks to those of you who have expressed your dissatisfaction with Nashville Public Radio in regards to their intent to purchase 91.1 FM.  Please keep up the pressure by writing WPLN President Rob Gordon  rgordon@wpln.org and boycotting Nashville Public Radio pledge drives and fundraisers.

The simplest solution to this entire situation would be for WPLN to back out of the deal and return the frequency to its rightful owners — the students of WRVU.

We know that Vanderbilt Student Communications (VSC) still owns the 91.1 FM frequency and they have entered into an LMA,
Lease-Management Agreement, with Nashville Public Radio. According to the strict FCC laws that govern this sort of contract, the frequency owners retain the right to cancel the LMA at any point.  Without entirely new leadership at the VSC, however, it is hard to imagine this happening.

While we would prefer not to involve attorneys, the Federal Communications Commission, and the State of Tennessee in our quest to Save WRVU, we are committed to doing what is right for the people of Nashville, the students of Vanderbilt University, and college radio supporters around the world.

Over the past few months, WRVU Friends & Family representatives have been traveling to the nation’s hottest radio conferences (CMJ, CBI, GRC) joining with our brethren from KTRU and KUSF warning college broadcasters of a College Radio Crisis that is now in full swing.

Public Radio Capital (PRC) is an aggressive financing group that has been involved with just about every College Radio buyout in recent history.  One of their Board Members also sits on the Board of Nashville Public Radio.  You are invited to learn more about PRC using the link below. It is because of this group & their aggressive national campaign to acquire educational frequencies that we know we must fight harder. No longer is this struggle about one college radio station, it is about the existence of this diverse and dynamic medium as a whole.

We learned from industry experts at CMJ and CBI that our struggle in Nashville combined with those at KTRU in Houston and KUSF in San Francisco has slowed the tide of College Radio frequency sales & has piqued the interest of the FCC.

This has been a long, VERY LONG ordeal but there have been some victories and although they seem small to us, still lost without our beloved frequency, these accomplishments are quite big to the rest of the college radio world.

We MUST continue the fight.

Over the past year, a handful of volunteers have waged this battle for WRVU 91.1 FM without asking for money. We have been working out of our pockets & off of a few random contributions that have come our way (Thank you, BTW, & look for another message soon as to how we hope to repay your unsolicited generosity!).

Within the coming weeks, however, we will be launching a new fundraising platform on the vivawrvu.org website.

We hope you all will reflect on how much WRVU has meant to you – as education and as entertainment –  and contribute accordingly.  The money raised by the WRVU Friends & Family will be used for the sole purpose of getting Vanderbilt students back on the FM dial.  This is a goal we DO believe we can accomplish but we will need the support of the entire community.

Please know that we have spent many, many months investigating this situation. Feel confident that we would not ask for your money if we did not think this was a battle that we can WIN.





Ousted WRVU DJ Pete Wilson Speaks Out Against ‘Micromanaging and Censoring’ by VSC
By Steve Harush, Nashville Scene

Public Radio Capital: Money from the Sky
By Jim Vest, Keep Public Radio Public

College Radio’s Fight for FM
By Jennifer Waits,Radio Survivor


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