A Few College Radio Highlights of 2010

A few of my college radio highlights (and a couple of lows too) of 2010 include:

WRHU broadcasting the NHL’s New York Islanders. How many college radio stations broadcast even a minor league team let alone a professional franchise?

Steve Carrell telling Howard 100 that he worked on WDUB, Dennison OH while attending the eclectic Dennison University. The station known as “the doobie” launched one of America’s most popular actors. Also in Ohio, former Major League player and manager Bob Brenley happened to mention working on WOUB, Athens OH while working a Cubs game as guest broadcaster.

On a sad note, however, KTRU, Houston, at Rice University, and WRVU, Nashville, at Vanderbilt appeared in a recent Times article on the topic of stations being shut down due apathy/budget concerns. The article also mentioned KAUR, Augustana College in South Dakota as a recent example where the school sold or scissored the station in one way or another.

It’s a terrible loss to have KTRU off the air, and on paper, losing WRVU would mean having no alternative voice in “Music City” other than WPLN and the legendary Lightning 100. Would that make WFHU at Freed-Hardeman be the only college radio station in town (actually Henderson).

KTRU was as far to the left as possible and quite uncooperative from an industry point of view (to use Noah Sheer’s “compliance” theory). But Willie Nelson and I wrote a letter to the President of Rice years ago during another conflict (the kids played punk records during a basketball broadcast they were forced to put on the air).

Alternative music in Houston began in the sixties with my pal Hugh Foley’s pop who worked at the progressive FM based there. There is also legend of KPFT, the Pacifica station having its transmitter blown up. Whatever the case, as big as Houston is, the loss of KTRU takes away from its cultural diversity. This is probably not an argument that would hold much water in Nashville, home of homogeneity.

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