What Is College Radio Day?
They say that
the best ideas are often the simplest, and perhaps also the most obvious.
2010, I was searching for an idea that would unite college radio stations
across the country in a new and exciting way. I particularly remember watching
the film “The Social Network” and being inspired by how a single idea can
spread so quickly and generate so much excitement.
morning I woke up with the crystallized idea of College Radio Day. After an
extensive search online and confirming the availability of the domain name, I
knew that this idea to unite all college and high school stations for one day
just might have a chance of taking off. It was amazing to me that this had
never been done.
Our own long tail
I had been
recently reading “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of
More” by Chris Anderson. I was struck by the idea that the “long tail” of
hundreds of college radio stations in North America that individually perhaps
don’t have as big a reach as most commercial radio stations, would surely make
a formidable impact if they all came together.
Rob Quicke, Risa
Pappas and Brian Gorski, from left, at WPSC.
There would be
strength through unity and, on this particular day, we would ask people in
North America to simply tune in to their local college and high school radio
stations to realize that there exists a place on the radio dial for adventurous
and passionate programming.
So the original idea was for a
celebration of college radio, to remind people that we exist and that we are
one of the last bastions of creative programming out there.
much more pressing and serious issue arose almost immediately: the recent trend
of selling off college radio stations by cash-strapped colleges and
universities (Rice and Vanderbilt universities, for example).
There is a
strong need to remind colleges and universities that selling off their college
stations silences their students’ voices. We need to take a stand and
collectively say, “No more stations must be sold!” The recent “minute of
silence” by College Broadcasters Inc. was an excellent idea and very successful
in raising the profile of college radio stations. We want to support the
efforts of CBI, IBS and other organizations that are fighting these decisions.
Benefits of Participating
From the College Radio Day website:
1. The College Radio Day organization will provide
professional sweepers/imaging for on-air play and graphics, banners and logos
for all radio stations that participate. This will ensure nationwide
consistency in the branding of the day.
2. College Radio Day will provide items and prizes for
station participants to give away on the day (for example, some autographed and
rare/unique items from popular music artists) to assist in boosting
listenership and fundraising efforts by individual stations.
3. Stations who participate in College Radio Day agree to air
up to 30 minutes of our keynote radio feature: “College Radio in 2011: Its
Past, Present & Future” during the day (but have the option to play a
15-minute edit if you prefer). Additionally, we will provide stations optional
“news” audio bulletins throughout the daygiving information and updates on participating stations, their
programming and fundraising efforts as well as and other activities. This
provides national exposure for participating college radio stations and
reinforces the feeling of national unity throughout the day.
4. Participating radio stations are encouraged to gather and
share, when opportunity allows, specially recorded IDs and liners for College
Radio Day use on other participating radio stations throughout the country. For
example,“Hi, this is Chris Martin
from Coldplay, and you are listening to College Radio Day.” If one station
lands a great band liner or ID, we all do. It’s time to harness our collective
resources and connections!
plays a hugely valuable role in discovering the next big music artists as well
as being a vital training ground for future media broadcasters. It is my hope
that we remind the larger North American audience of the vital importance of
college radio and its unique role in the media landscape, and also remind
college administrations just how important their college radio stations are.
So, what can you expect on
College Radio Day, Oct. 11, 2011?
We hope that
many of the station participants will use the day to showcase their best
programming, and to bring in special guests for musical performances and special
interviews. It’s free for stations to register and we hope that those students
involved will feel something truly magical by being part of a large and vibrant
movement. Before the day we will be seeking to unleash the students’ creativity
by asking them to contribute radio programming (sweepers, interviews and
features) that we will share with other radio stations that are interested in
College Radio Day is an exciting
idea, and in many ways, now a necessary one. I invite the readers of Radio
World to tune in on Oct. 11 and enjoy the enthusiasm of college radio
Information about College Radio
Day can be found at www.collegeradioday.com. College Radio Day is a not-for-profit organized by volunteer staff
members from college stations.
Rob Quicke is founder & president of
College Radio Day as well as general manager of WPSC(FM) at William Paterson
University, Wayne, N.J. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.