Robyn Gee on Thursday, Jan. 6th
College radio stations, while deeply important to those involved, are not as important to a listening audience, according to the New York Times. While college radio stations are occasionally the first to discover a new group or artist, funding for campus stations is being cut around the country because they just don’t have that many listeners. The New York Times quotes one college radio producer who says after work, he only listens to his iPod.
Does college radio have a future?
Miguel Macias, Professor of Radio and Television at Brooklyn College explained that since Brooklyn College Radio does not own an FM frequency, they operate on a low budget and there is not a lot to cut. They are mostly a web-based station. Macias does not worry about how many people listen to their radio shows.
“I do agree with the statement that college radio should be more about the people involved than the people listening. That is precisely why I don’t worry too much about audiences. I worry about the quality of the shows. If people listen, that’s great. But I would not like to see the programming change just to gain listeners unless that change is for the better. For Brooklyn College, our radio station is a place for people to meet, learn, spend time, find friends, get a nearly professional experience and have fun,” he said.
Here are some college radio stations that Turnstyle is keeping an eye on – check ‘em out here:
- KALX: UC Berkeley
- KZSC: UC Santa Cruz
Stations licensed by universities, but maintain paid staff:
- WFMU: Previously licensed by Fordham University
- KEXP: University of Washington
- KCRW: Santa Monica College
Princeton Review’s Top 5 College Radio Stations:
- WGRE: De Pauw University
- WICB: Ithaca College
- WERS: Emerson College
- WSBU: St. Bonaventure University
- BSR: Brown University
Meanwhile, the country is also trying to determine whether radio is a priority. On Saturday, December 18, Congress passed the Local Community Radio Act, an act that opens up radio spectrum to many independent radio stations.
According to the Huffington Post, “Its passing will bring new choices and voices on the radio dial nationwide, but is especially relevant to a broadcast area reaching 160 million people who lived in areas where these stations had previously been barred from local airwaves.”