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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Guest Commentary

Listeners everywhere tune in for College Radio Day

In the age of iTunes, 8Tracks, Spotify and Pandora, one might question the importance of college radio. With so many outlets at our fingertips, the fight to keep college radio alive has been a struggle. As a member of Coog Radio, the University’s student-run radio station, it’s a struggle I aim to overcome.

In the past couple of years, college radio stations around the country have faced their share of problems — losing their FM license because of budget cuts, stripping away part of their identity and how listeners associate them as a station. According to a New York Times article, Rice’s KTRU was sold to the University for $9.5 million. The 50,000-watt FM frequency is now the home to Classical 91.7, Houston’s classical music radio station.

Other college radio stations have felt the economy’s repercussions, too. Vanderbilt University’s WRVU transitioned from terrestrial airwaves to online-only broadcasts after Nashville Public Radio bought its FM frequency. Similar trends have affected college radio stations at Texas Tech University, the University of San Francisco, Augustana College and Chattanooga State Technical Community College, according to a USA Today article.

Despite these casualties, college radio is still a force to be reckoned with: It offers an incomparable sense of creativity, expression and openness. College radio is a place of comfort and an escape from Top 40 tracks and Billboard hits. It’s a haven for students who are interested in exploring different genres of music and budding artists who want to share their talents and get a start in the industry. There’s an understood responsibility to bring musical awareness through its content and presence in the community. It offers a long-standing tradition that cannot be replaced and should be preserved.

In the fight to stay alive, college radio stations need support. Oct. 1 is College Radio Day. Conceived by Rob Quicke, the general manager for William Patterson University’s WPSC FM, College Radio Day’s goal is to raise awareness of college and high school radio stations by encouraging everyone to listen with the hope that listeners become regulars to the stations, according to College Radio Day’s website.

Fortunately, UH is one of many colleges that still funds its college radio station. Find some time to support the University’s student-run, online-only radio station. Celebrate College Radio Day by listening to Coog Radio online, through iTunes Radio or on your phone through the TuneIn app. You might get hooked and discover your new favorite band.

Advertising senior Samantha Wong is the station director of Coog Radio and may be reached at [email protected]


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