I'm still keeping the faith for the DJs and staff of Texas Tech student radio station KTXT. The station was shut down without warning in December and its supporters are still rallying, writing, calling, and emailing in order to get the word out about the situation in order to hopefully keep the station alive.
An article in the Lubbock-Avalanche Journal this weekend reveals that Texas Tech still plans to move forward with their decision to merge KTXT with public radio station KOHM. According to the piece,
"Control of KTXT-FM's license has been transferred to Tech-owned KOHM-FM, Tech officials announced Friday.
KOHM, a non-commercial, educational radio station, features classical and jazz music and National Public Radio shows, as well as other programming.
'My goal is to utilize (the KTXT) signal for the training of students, which is what it was originally created for,' said Derrick Ginter, KOHM-FM's general manager...
KTXT-FM, which was broadcasting at 88.1 Mhz, had been a training ground for students since 1961, but officials in the Student Media department abruptly took the station off the air Dec. 10, citing money issues and a changing media industry...
Space and funding issues will prevent KTXT-FM from returning to its old format of little oversight, Ginter said. That format allowed students with little training to get their feet wet on air, playing wide-ranging music of their choice.
The already cramped KOHM studios couldn't support as many student volunteers as KTXT did, Ginter said. Some 70 students were volunteering at the station at the time of its closure, student volunteers have said...
Initially, broadcasting on the 88.1 frequency will probably be automated, he said.
KOHM - the first station in Lubbock to offer digital radio signals - wants to air music and programs on 88.1 with broader commercial appeal than the music played at KTXT, Ginter said. That's necessary to obtain the kind of financial support the station needs to run the frequency, he said.
'We are largely supported by our listeners through public donations,' Ginter said."
It's sad to me that all of the work and diversity of the old station seems to be discounted and discredited as a format of "little oversight." Additionally, it sounds like there will be a lot less room for volunteers at the new station; and a lot less room for creative sounds. An editorial in the Daily Toreador expresses dismay at this, saying:
"...KTXT was diverse. There was a sports show, a heavy metal show, a hip-hop show, a world music show, a current events talk show and even a comic book show. The music on KTXT was often different from mainstream radio. But in a town in which so little is different, KTXT was - and you hear this word used a lot - an oasis. For 47 years KTXT brought together a close-knit group of independent-minded individuals. Their views were myriad, their backgrounds dissimilar, and in many cases, they would never have met if it weren't for the ossifying nature of working for the same radio station. The Tech administration increasingly seems to think our school should be run purely as if it were a business, with efficiency valued more highly than intellectual rigor. With this cynical mindset, a non-mainstream radio station might appear superfluous."If you are so inclined, visit the Save KTXT Facebook group and consider helping them with their latest (work-in-progress) proposal to the university. In particular, they need help from other college radio stations and fans to express why college radio is still relevant and important. You can also donate funds to help with the cause as well.