Tuesday, March 24, 2009

College Radio Tidbits: WMEB in Maine to Boost Range, College May Cut Funds to Public Station in Texas & College Applicant's Funding Fears

A few college radio tidbits to report on:

WMEB to Expanse Broadcast Range

The Maine Campus reports that University of Maine's student radio station WMEB-FM has been approved by the FCC for a boost in power from 680 to 10,000 watts. According to the article, "WMEB is working on rebranding itself in conjunction with the power increase. The new slogan for the station is 'college radio in a class by itself.' They are working on a number of improvements to the station Web site, including a 'now playing' widget, which would allow listeners to check online for songs they heard on the radio."

Odessa College May Reduce Funding to Its Public Radio Station KOCV

An interesting, and unsurprising situation is occurring at KOCV-FM, a college-owned public radio station in Odessa, Texas known as Permian Basic Public Radio. According to an article in Odessa American Online, the college can no longer afford the financial commitment of supporting the public radio station. Various options are outlined in the article, but what wasn't mentioned is that the station does have some locally-produced music programming, hosted by students and community volunteers. According to the article:

"We are very interested in keeping the station on the air, so we could look at selling or transferring the license, as well as having community partners support it," [Vice President for Instruction Clayton] Alred said.

...According to [former interim station manager Phil] Ebensberger, not having an academic program tied to the station keeps students from being able to staff it. [Odessa College Board President Richard] Abalos agreed with Ebensberger, saying the station doesn't produce careers as currently set up. However, Ebensberger said such a program may not be the best solution.

'There aren't that many jobs out there in radio. If you can't guarantee a job, will people sign up?' Ebensberger asked."

College Applicant Gives Shout out to Fears about College Radio Funding

This is just a tiny blurb, but I found it interesting that in this father/son-authored column in the Wall Street Journal there was mention of concerns about college radio funding. In the section of the piece written by the high school senior son, Isaac Yoder writes about his fears that with the economic downturn some of the things he was excited about during his college search may be threatened by budget cuts. He writes:

"Many of the qualities that schools advertised when I was putting together my short list may be reduced significantly or cut altogether. Will some of the very things that made a school appeal to me in the first place be gone? What if they cut funding for their radio stations, for example? What if they cut back the English department?"

I think he makes an interesting point and it's a good reminder that students may be drawn to a school in part because of extra-curriculars like college radio.

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