Today people across North America are celebrating College Radio Day—a brand-new holiday founded by two enthusiasts of college radio's typically "unique and fearless programming." On college radio, DJs can play Birthday Party songs before bluegrass songs and after Miles Davis songs, but also play Ke$ha songs if they want. On college radio, DJs can go "um" and "uhhhh" and it's okay, nobody fires them.
What's not okay about college radio is its current health status. "A steady stream of universities nationwide...have been selling or transferring their FM licenses to non-student operations, usually in response to tighter budgets and a rapidly changing media industry," reports the angel radio news source USA Today. Also, a lot of kids just don't listen to the stations like they did in the olden days (i.e., when we were in college). The stations' licenses usually go to noncommercial NPR affiliates or religious broadcasters—depriving college kids of a venue where they can share their new musical obsessions, friends' bands' demos, and hot new Goodwill vinyl.
Sure, many kids now make their own online radio stations, YouTube playlists, and Spotifys, and/or have no interest in college radio because they find out about music through other channels. But many others worry that losing commercial radio stations leaves many radio listeners with no non-commercial alternative. Such homogenization might not be good for people.
Rice, the University of San Francisco, and Vanderbilt have all sold their station licenses, the USA Today reports. All you 2012 high school graduates should boycott those schools.
[USA Today. Image via AP]