Fwd: [CBI] Up for sale, WRVG fell short of its big dreams

Aaron Read aread@speakeasy.net
Tue Nov 11 17:16:28 EST 2003

At 04:49 PM 11/11/2003, SteveOrdinetz wrote:
> > Jeez....WJHU/WYPR, WJUL/WUML, WYCM and now WRVG.  Has anyone been
> > keeping  tabs on what colleges/high schools have "sold out" part or all
> > of their  stations' programming/license to outside influences?
>Pardon the stupid question, but why does a college need a 50 kW radio
>station in the first place?  The article mentioned the school getting an
>LPFM license for students to run...seems to me that this should be more
>than sufficient.  If there were fewer flamethrowers in the noncom band,
>there would be room for more stations there.

There were two bits in the article that I think explains that:


FIRST, as to why the college wanted a 50kW station in the first place:

         "I think there was a fundamental misunderstanding,"-Martin said.
         "I think what happened was the idea that, with the administration,
         it was: 'Oh my God, we've got a 50,000-watt radio station -- we
         can raise money with this -- it's going to save the college.'

         "And we (the radio staffers) were coming at it with: 'Well, this is
         public radio, you can generate revenue that will pay for it, but 
         not ever going to generate revenue that will support an institution,
         even marginally.'

         "There seemed to have been a disconnect between the reality of it
         and the dream."

SECOND, as to why the station wanted a 50kW license, was that they were 
attempting to become a major player; an alternative to PRI and NPR called 
"World Radio" that had ambitious goals but never really got off the ground 
and flopped hardcore.  I think it was a noble goal but I don't think 
there's enough room for three major players in the public radio content 
distribution world (certainly two big ones and several smaller networks 
like PRX.org) ...and even if there is I think it'd have to be an 
evolutionary thing, rather than revolutionary.

The argument can be made that a well-integrated program can have a giant 
professionally-run flamethrower at the college paired with a LPFM or Part 
15 station, and there's an established program where the students get 
training at both but also get to have fun at the little station while 
learning "real world" skills at the big one.   WBUR & WTBU at Boston 
University could have this and they're not far from it in many ways....but 
it's not *quite* there.   WERS & WECB @ Emerson is arguably closer.

Aaron "Bishop" Read             aread@speakeasy.net
FriedBagels Consulting          Boston, MA

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