Boxford pirate's coax cable cut

Aaron Read
Wed Sep 30 13:27:12 EDT 2009

 > Given that most are licensed to, have studios in, and antennas
 > attached to churches, I would expect that most of them would not pay
 > any rent.

Most LPFM's in general, yes.  I was talking specifically about the 
"community broadcaster" LPFM's...the ones not directly affiliated with a 
church, school or similar, larger, organization.

I'm sure all LPFM's have found the fiscal realities are harsh for a 
small FM station, but it's the "community broadcaster" stations that 
don't have a larger organization to fall back on that're having the most 

 > Colleges tend to require that student organizations be run by
 > students.  In particular, they tend to require that the officers of a
 > student organization be graduate or undergraduate students. Since the
 > station is usually licensed to the Board of Trustees, the college
 > administration will take control if they find that people who don't
 > have a connection to the college are running things.
 > I realize that WMBR and WHRB are licensed to separate foundations,
 > not the school, but the schools have other ways of preventing
 > outsiders from getting control.  In the case of WMBR, the studios are
 > on MIT property.  I don't know whether this is true of WHRB.

I've been to them, WHRB's studios are in a Harvard-owned building. 
Harvard also pays their utility costs (heat, lights, water, janitorial, 
telco) for the studios, too.

What you say about colleges requiring student management is both true 
and not true.  Some colleges do actually have it in writing that certain 
management roles be filled by a student.  Many do not.  Some don't have 
it in writing but it is "required" by tradition (and tradition can carry 
extraordinary weight at a college).  Some don't care one way or the 
other.  In quite a few cases, regardless of what the official or 
unofficial line is, the reality on the ground is that community 
volunteers are running things.  WZBC used to be like that prior to the 
hiring of Judy Schwartz as a half-time GM; it might've been students in 
the official management positions but the community DJ's had tremendous 
say over virtually all aspects of how the station was run.

Certainly when I was Operations Manager at WMFO (as a community 
volunteer, albeit only two years out of BU myself) the student managers 
were not about to turn down any free help...especially not over the 
summer.  If community folks had organized and quietly just done their 
own wouldn't take long to establish a new "tradition" and it 
wouldn't matter much if it was a student in charge or not.

Obviously every station is different, but there are certain trends 
across most college stations in regards to what students want out of 
them.  Usually, it's not terribly hard to give them what they want while 
still maintaining a community-focused broadcast outlet.

I'm not saying it's a cakewalk; it requires political savvy in dealing 
with both students and administrations, and also a fair amount of 
patience and planning.  But it typically offers a MUCH cheaper path to 
effective control of what's usually a solid FM signal.  And you don't 
have to wait years for an FCC filing window.

Aaron Read                  |  Finger Lakes Public Radio       |  General Manager (WEOS & WHWS-LP)
Geneva, NY 14456            | /

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