In the past couple of months there has been an outbreak of schools selling, or attempting to sell, their college radio broadcast license. In the wake of budget cuts and other effects from a downturned economy, the universities which oversee these stations have realized they are sitting on potentially millions of dollars. The University of San Francisco recently sold their KUSF broadcast license and Vanderbilt University’s WRVU is currently on the chopping block. It’s a continuing trend which absolutely must stop.

I will tell you upfront that a few of the writers for TSOI are Vanderbilt University and WRVU alumni, but I am not one of them. When visiting Nashville in the mid-90’s I remember tuning into WRVU and hearing tracks from the recently released Rocket From The Crypt album Scream, Dracula, Scream! before catching their sold out show later that evening. I can guarantee that no other Nashville station would have been playing RFTC that day and that’s what I love about college radio. Having a yearly operating budget that is often less than the cost of running a single ad on a commercial station gives you the freedom to feature a much more diverse range of artists than their commercial counterparts.

As a writer for a music site, I’m constantly bombarded with new music sent to my inbox so I no longer listen to the radio that often. But I am in the minority. Nearly 90% of the population still listens to radio on a daily basis. When I do find myself surfing the dial, I always end up at the local college station (KSPC 88.7) opposed to the other local indie “The Smiths on the hour, every hour” stations.

I can definitively say that this website would not exist without college radio. Not only did college radio mold my musical tastes and world view, it was also my first experience in volunteer coordination, event planning, budget writing, fundraising and dealing with an advisory board. I’ve found the skills I gained from working and volunteering for a college radio station much more useful than the ones I received from my completed Psychology degree. Adopting the less popular/more expensive “online-only” broadcast format would greatly diminish the quality of the volunteer experience and do an extreme disservice to the student bodies of these universities.

To find out more about the Save WRVU campaign, check out Also, be sure to “Like” the Save WRVU page on Facebook.


  1. Bravo, Kevin. And we’ve been making precisely those points to the VSC board, which controls the WRVU license. Up till now they have proven deaf to our arguments. But you and other readers of the site can make your feelings know by writing to the board at


  2. Thanks for the excellent article. Without College Radio so much would be lost. We are truly struggling in Music City.

    The vandymeda/wrvu site is run by the individuals who want to sell the station & we simply can’t be sure that these comments made there will be heard.

    Instead, please visit & find a complete list of e-mails. Write these individuals & remind them of the importance of college radio. THANK YOU!!!!

  3. Thanks for bringing wider attention to this scary trend of colleges selling off their stations. I’m also a long-time college radio DJ (was even at KSPC for a year!) and I would be devastated if my station disappeared.

    I just wanted to point out that KUSF has not actually been sold yet. The deal is awaiting FCC approval, so they also encourage you to support their fight. They just filed a Petition to Deny with the FCC on Monday.

    I really hope that WRVU is able to prevent their station from being sold off and wish them luck!

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