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RE: WJUL "Lowell SunRise"

At 07:41 PM 9/29/2003, Bill O'Neill wrote:
>Aaron writes:
> > Oooh...can't stand with you on that one, Bill.  I've seen many a
> > student-run and organized news program.  Most of them stink to high
> > heaven.  Poor journalistic integrity.  Poor audio production
> > quality.  Poor
> > quality of news.  It goes on and on.
>That's okay Aaron.  But, would you consider a concerted effort by the 
>to piece together scholastic units/resources as having no greater value 
>than to
>go to a local media unit with no radio experience for a no-bid contract?

Oh sure.  If UMass Lowell's chief goal was to create a quality morning news 
show, then they could hire a few professionals to run the deal and teach 
the kids and it could be great.  WBUR, in many ways, is not so dissimilar; 
work study students do a lot of news writing and research there.

However, that wasn't the goal.  The goal...edict, even...was to maximize 
existing resources.  The program I outline above would cost UML a ton of 
money...easily $100,000 annually (if not $200k) in staff costs (salary and 
benefits) and other miscellaneous expenses.  The current plan attempts to 
have it both ways - a quality news program, and more money flowing into 
UML's depleted budget.

>initiatives dating back years, as a line item.  Clearly, the university, under
>this new agreement, will receive funding from the Lowell Sun through a newly
>created 501 C(3) called the Lowell Community Broadcasters.  The university 
>(will) pay out that money in the context of a full state slot, with benefits,
>for an "advisor" which will, in actual fact, be the morning show voice and 
>leave the building at 10 a.m.
>Bill O'Neill

Yes and no...the contract splits underwriting and fundraising revenue both 
during and outside the show according to a certain percentage between the 
Sun and UML.  So UML will, in time, be making a "profit" off the deal.  Far 
more than the cost of a the "advisor".   I think your take on the "morning 
show voice" is quite possibly accurate, though...for reasons I can't 
disclose on a public listserv.  :-)

Regardless, the argument that a station is funded solely by student fees is 
a load of hooey at ANY school and I'm kinda tired of people trying to use 
it.  Rent (or its equivalent), internet, phones, utilities, custodians and 
the dozens of other perks that many college radio stations enjoy for "free" 
are usually NOT paid for by the student activities fees, despite their very 
real cost to the college.  NStar jacked my one-room office's electricity 
rate by 75% this year.  Let's say it does the same to all of UMass 
Lowell.  Will WJUL "pay" more to cover their share of the cost?  Possibly, 
but I doubt it.

Aaron "Bishop" Read             aread@speakeasy.net
FriedBagels Consulting          AOL-IM: readaaron
http://www.friedbagels.com      Boston, MA