College Radio to Observe Moment of Silence to Raise Awareness of Station Sales

College Broadcasters, Inc. (CBI) is calling for a moment of silence on college radio stations at exactly 11 a.m. EST this Thursday.  According to CBI, the aim of the synchronized dead air scheme is to “bring awareness of the deep impact that the sale of student radio stations is having on campuses and their surrounding communities.”

In recent years, an increasing number of high-profile terrestrial student radio stations have been sold or operate under the threat or rumor of sale.   The bottom line of the many rationales offered by an array of administrators is money– and universities not having enough of it or wanting more of it and looking for the easiest ways to make it.  The result, as impassioned college radio scholar Jennifer Waits has written, even the most popular, reputable, and venerable student stations are being eyed as “potential purchase targets.”

CBI president Candace Walton: “The recent sale of stations like KUSF at the University of San Francisco, KTRU at Rice University and WNAZ at Trevecca Nazrene University indicates that college broadcasters need to do a better job of explaining their value and purpose to the schools and communities they serve.  This minute of silence is just the first step in a broader effort to make the nation aware of how critical student stations are to localism in broadcasting.”

KUSF’s sudden shutdown/sale right before semester’s start has spurred some of the most dramatic moments in the ongoing battle for college radio’s terrestrial presence.

Below are screenshots of two must-watch related videos– KUSF staff approaching a USF administrator almost immediately after being kicked out of the station and a public forum the next night presided over by USF’s president (also a Jesuit priest).

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