Thursday, July 30, 2009

Princeton Review's "Best College Radio Stations" 2010: Poor Number Three...

Oh goody. It's that time of year when the Princeton Review releases its "Best 371 Colleges" tome and along with that its bogus compilation of the "top" college radio stations.

As I've bitched and moaned about previously, these rankings are taken from student surveys (this year 122,000 students total at 371 colleges, for an average of 325 students per school) in which people are asked about "how popular" their campus radio station is.

So....this isn't any sort of indication of radio station quality, listenership, or anything else really.... It's sort of a "who got out the vote" deal. And, students are simply voting for how popular the radio stations in general are at their colleges rather than voting for particular stations, so it's impossible to pinpoint which station is being specified when a school has a number of them.

This time around in the 2010 college radio rankings, Ithaca College won the popularity contest (they were #5 in 2009 and #4 in 2008), with St. Bonaventure coming in 2nd (same position as 2009 and they were #1 in 2008).

The weirdest thing this year is that the online Top 20 list of school stations does not include a #3 (perhaps it's in the book?). Hmmmm. Who's missing? Could it be one of the two well-known and respected stations that have dropped off since the 2009 survey: Evergreen State station KAOS (great station! was #16 in 2009) or Seton Hall's WSOU (was #6 in 2009). Random.

The majority of the stations on here have been in previous top 20 lists. In fact, the stations ranked 2nd, 8th through 13th and 19th are in the exact same position as last year.

Compared with the 2009 list, one station has returned: Manhattanville College at #20 (they were #18 in 2008).

See my writeups about the 2009 and 2008 college radio rankings to compare and contrast for yourself.

Princeton Review's
Most Popular College Radio Stations-2010 Edition

(note: I've added station names as the Princeton Review only lists school names)

1. Ithaca College (WICB 91.7 FM and VIC Radio, Ithaca, New York)
2. St. Bonaventure University (WSBU-88.3 FM, St. Bonaventure, New York)
3. ??? there is no #3 listed
4. DePauw University (WGRE 91.5 FM, Greencastle, Indiana)
5. Emerson College (WERS 88.9FM and WECB, Boston, Massachusetts)
6. Brown University (BSR 88.1 FM and WBRU 95.5 FM, Providence, RI)
7. Stanford University (KZSU 90.1 FM, Stanford, CA)
8. Guilford College (WQFS 90.9 FM, Greensboro, North Carolina)
9. Knox College (WVKC 90.7 FM, Galesburg, Illinois)
10. Howard University (WHUR 96.3 FM & WHBC 830 AM, Washington D.C.)
11. University of Puget Sound (KUPS 90.1 FM Tacoma, Washington)
12. Carleton College (KRLX 88.1 FM, Northfield, Minnesota)
13. Alfred University (WALF 89.7 FM, Alfred, New York)
14. Reed College (KRRC 97.9 FM, Portland, Oregon)
15. Swarthmore College (WSRN 91.5 FM, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania)
16. Whitman College (KWCW 90.5 FM, Walla Walla, Washington)
17. Westminster College (WWNW 88.9 FM, New Wilmington, PA)
18. Bates College (WRBC 91.5 FM, Lewiston, Maine)
19. Skidmore College (WSPN 91.1 FM, Saratoga Springs, New York)
20. Manhattanville College (WMVL 88.1 FM, Purchase, New York) (back on list this year)

8 comments:

Jennifer Waits said...

UPDATE! After checking the print version of these rankings I found that the Seton Hall station is #3. Kind of what I expected had happened....

Matt K said...

I agree the rankings utilize a pretty poor methodology. My unordered favorites are...

Emerson College (WERS 88.9 FM and WECB)

Middlebury College (WRMC 91.1 FM)

Case Western Reserve University (WRUW 91.1 FM)

Oberlin College (WOBC 91.5 FM)

University of Pittsburgh (WPTS 92.1 FM)

Senator Beth said...

I find it interesting that most of the top 20 are in the eastern part of the country...hmmm...
My personal fave is WQFS with WERS coming in a close second.

Anonymous said...

WKNC 88.1FM out of Raleigh is without a doubt the best in college indy stations.

Pablo said...

Yay! I'm glad to see KZSU up in the top ten!

Anonymous said...

WERS isn't very good, it's full of rich long island kids playing top 40 hip hop. The two best stations in Boston are 90.3 WZBC and 88.1 WMBR. WZBC is best in the morning, then plays indie rock all day long, and they play the best stuff. ZBC goes experimental at night, which is still good, it used to be amazing in the 90's. MBR is great in the morning, then goes to 50's and 60's garage rock in the afternoon, but then gets good at night again with indie rock shows.

Kristin said...

I wholeheartedly agree with "Anonymous posting May 5th"

WERS is a poor representation of Boston area college music. Their blatant promotion for all things Emerson is pretty obvious. And their lack of area culture outside their campus funding is disgusting. If you want true, local, indie radio with a diverse format, check out 88.1 WMBR.

Kristin
bishopandrook.blogspot.com

Kristin said...

I wholeheartedly agree with "Anonymous posting May 5th"

WERS is a poor representation of Boston area college music. Their blatant promotion for all things Emerson is pretty obvious. And their lack of area culture outside their campus funding is disgusting. If you want true, local, indie radio with a diverse format, check out 88.1 WMBR.

Kristin
bishopandrook.blogspot.com