Monday, March 30, 2009

College Radio Tidbits: WPRK's 10 Years of Punk, KUCI Dance Party, WHRB's iPhone App, & Music vs. Talk at Community Station

Here are a few college and community radio-related stories from the past few days:

10th Anniversary of WPRK Show "Punk Rock in Your PJs"

There's a sweet blog post paying homage to the 10th anniversary of a show on college radio station WPRK (Rollins College, Florida). Here's a bit of the post from This is Radio Chas!

"...Part of the magic of college radio is that the shows, tastes and attitudes change with the years, but I do admit that there is some pleasure in knowing that a few staple shows are going to still be there as the seasons change, and PRiYPJs is one of those we always enjoy.

I think this anniversary is particularly noteworthy in light of all the 'life changes' one typically goes through post-college, such as getting married and having a kid and -- (shiver) 'settling down.' For most people, their priorities as well as tastes change, but Maggie is still brimming with that youthful energy and passion for the music she plays -- mostly punk-pop from the 90s to today, with a handful of 'old-school' punk like her beloved Ramones. I find it very inspiring as part of my ongoing efforts to find new music to enjoy..."

Right on. It impresses me too that there are dedicated college radio DJs who continue to do their shows for years and years. And, I think it's worth recognizing that many folks in college radio have had their shows longer than a lot of commercial DJs. It's usually a labor of love with no paycheck, so we should all send some love to our favorite DJs.

KUCI's Dance Party

A piece in New University talks about a dance party event this weekend being hosted by University of California, Irvine station KUCI. DJs from the station will be playing music and hope to introduce the station to some new listeners. The article points out the college radio station's history in playing independent music, stating:

"With the demise of popular local radio station Indie 103.1, KUCI has seen increased attention as the only radio station that supplies similar music, according to [KUCI General Manager Mike] Kaspar.

'Now that Indie 103 has gone away … we’ve been approached by a lot of different clubs and bands,' Kaspar said.

But Kaspar sees Indie 103.1 as a passing influence compared to the history of independent music on KUCI.

'We’ve been doing what we’ve been doing for 40 years,' Kaspar said. 'Without us, there’d be a lot less opportunity for new music. We want to be playing stuff that hasn’t been heard before.'"

Harvard Station's iPhone Application

A piece in the Boston Herald talks about a new iPhone application created by students at Harvard that allows users to stream their student station WHRB. The piece states that, "

"...according to WHRB General Manager Joseph Poirier, the eclectic, nonprofit Cambridge station is the first college radio station to court iPhone users."

Is this true? If your station has iPhone apps, let me know. If not, this sounds like a worthwhile challenge to create some.

Role of Music and Talk Programming at Florida Community Radio Station?

There was a blog post this week about the role of music and news programming at community radio station WMNF. In response to a fundraiser message from Florida community radio station WMNF, Jay Cridlin of the Tampa Bay Times' Soundcheck blog writes,

"That headline -- 'The end of music on WMNF?' -- was the subject line of a mass e-mail...the music director for WMNF-88.5 FM, sent out this morning.

It was a plea for donations to the station, which is in the middle of its Spring pledge drive, and Courtney's message was: News shows are getting a lot more support from readers than music shows.

In fact, he said, the station has debated switching another hour or more of its daily programming from music to news."

It's kind of scary when stations start tallying up fundraiser donations by type of show. Is this something that you worry about at your station?

1 comment:

mediageek said...

I'm critical of the WMNF ploy to pit music vs. news, especially using pledge revenue as a weapon. To me, it hits way too close to the commercial radio mentality.

As a community radio veteran, the news vs. music argument is a long-standing battle that never seems to get resolved and is never productive.

Judging shows by their pledge revenue seems particularly anti-community. What about shows that appeal to a particularly disenfranchised or impoverished audience? What about listeners who like many different shows but only have enough money or time to pledge to one? Non-commercial and community stations shouldn't be in the business of tailoring their programming to well-heeled demographics. But making programming decisions based on pledge dollars is exactly that.