Monday, June 13, 2011

WRVU Op-Ed in the New York Times; Other National Media Note Sale to WPLN

Posted By on Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 10:43 AM

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This weekend's New York Times featured an op-ed by Freddie O'Connell, former host, with Mary Mancini, of the WRVU news and politics show Liberadio!. "Tuesday I tuned my radio to 91.1 WRVU, Vanderbilt University’s campus radio station," O'Connell begins, "and heard the exact moment when college radio in Nashville died." Of course he's referring to the afternoon of June 7, 2011, when WRVU went off the air and was replaced by WPLN's new Classical 91 One.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given that he's a former WRVU DJ — or on the other hand, perhaps surprisingly, given that he works in Internet technology — O'Connell doesn't buy the argument that college radio has been made irrelevant by the web:

As anyone in the radio business can tell you, the Internet has not, in fact, signaled the death of radio. Ask Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity if they’d rather go to an online-only format. Besides, in a world where we can log on and find any song we want, it turns out that many people enjoy letting someone else curate a set list. College radio, free of the demands of profit and playability, is a particularly great source for such serendipity.

Or, if you live in Nashville, was a great source. O'Connell's op-ed inspired this post on the Times' education blog, asking students how they find new music, and whether or how much radio figures into that process.

Arcane Radio Trivia has posted WRVU's final moments on air, starring the music of Johnny Thunders and the voice of Pete Wilson. A number of TV and other news outlets picked up the AP story, and outlets as far-flung as The Chronicle of Higher Education ran items. Here's a brief round-up:

* Here's a video of WRVU station manager Robert Ackley and VSC board chair Mark Wollaeger giving their reactions.

* WPLN's own story gets punny with the title "WRVU Sale Creates Static."

* Radio-Info.com posted a story on the sale, which also spurred a bit of a discussion on the site's message board.

* Radio Survivor has been following the story since the outset. As Jennifer Waits notes in her post, "The sale will not be finalized without FCC approval, so I would anticipate that Save WRVU will focus its campaign on stopping the sale during the public comment period." The folks at savewrvu.com, for their part, are vowing that "this is not over."

* Keeping the Public in Public Radio has also kept up with the story, and filed their own http://keeppublicradiopublic.com/2011/06/07/pigs-cant-fly-2/>reaction to the news.

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