50 days until College Radio Day!

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With now 50 days until College Radio Day, we wanted to give you a brief insight into what’s cooking for the big day on November 4th:

  • In our special 1-hr College Radio Day simulcast exclusive interviews with Sean Lennon, Jeremiah Fraites from The Lumineers, Nikki Silva from NPR’s Kitchen Sisters, Lee Loughnane from the band Chicago and many more to come!
  • A special documentary called “The Soul of College Radio” by Paul Crutcher, GM of XLR Lander Radio, Lander University
  • Brand new promos for college radio stations to air are now ready – with more promos and sweepers to come!
  • We are putting together our special CRD Loot Boxes that will be sent to lucky stations randomly drawn from the hat!
  • We are working on the special custom station ID/liner for those stations that signed up by August 1st!
  • Our awesome CRD 2016 T-SHIRT is still available to buy individually and in specially priced station bundles here! The deadline to order is October 1st!

Plus there is a lot more in the works as well. So if college and high school radio stations have not yet registered, please do so!

Stay tuned for more updates!

College Radio Reality: Crunching the numbers…

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How do stations celebrate College Radio Day? Does it have any benefit for them?

Just under two months to go until College Radio Day 2016. On November 4 we expect college radio stations from across the country and also worldwide (celebrating World College Radio Day) to celebrate the medium of college radio. In many ways, it’s difficult to keep track of what stations are doing for this event, and certainly almost impossible to actually hear all that radio broadcasting!

For us, this is the tricky part. It’s a bit like being a kid in a candy store being told that you can have as much candy as you can physically carry. Sure, that’s a lot of candy, but you can imagine how tortuous it is to see just how much more candy you will never get to!

So last year we offered a survey to college radio stations that participated in College Radio Day. We really wanted to know how they celebrated and how they thought we could do better for this year. The results were utterly fascinating. They really give a true (albeit limited) snapshot of how stations use College Radio Day and harness the occasion for their own good.

For example, of those stations that completed the survey, 94% of them said that they broadcast special programming for the day; 64% said that they had live music in the studio or somewhere on campus; 52% said that they had on-campus activities and also had special interviews on the air. Many stations did all of these activities and more. Some stations had special fundraising drives, had guest DJs (including inviting alumni back) on the air and many stations offered raffles, free food, had outdoor remotes and concert ticket giveaways as well!

98-5-wnuwThe Staff of 98.5 WNUW celebrating College Radio Day!

Even though the survey was not completed by every participating station, it’s still a valuable snapshot of the energy and passion that students, community volunteers, faculty and staff pour into this event every year. And yet…we still know that many more special events and activities happen that we never hear about!

So we also wanted to know how did the CRD event benefit the stations involved? Some of the feedback was as follows:

“Very successful at establishing our presence on campus as well as the community”
“It energized our students, and our alumni mentioned it”
“We got many artists in the station that we would not have pursued if we were not participating”
“There were more listeners than usual, so it was successful in that sense”
“This was an extremely successful event for us”

College Radio Day as an event is a unique thing really. There is no one single way to celebrate college radio, and as such, stations are literally doing their own things across the country during the day. It shouldn’t be any other way. Every station is different. From the survey we asked how stations celebrated in their own ways:

“Our station had a live concert on our cafeteria patio”
“We held a local artist showcase at our biggest local venue”
“We played 1,069 songs in a row”
“We ran a 24-hour broadcast”
“We did 12 hours of live music and interviews from local acts”

At CRD HQ we also heard about station BBQs, Dunk-A-DJ, food and clothes drives for local charities, CD and merch giveaways and student recruitment drives as well. It was impressive just how imaginative some of the events were.

Once in a while I do get an email from a station that contends that there is no benefit to participating in CRD. “What’s the point?” they ask. One such email said “there is no benefit to participating in CRD at all for us.” In my opinion, such a view is a failure of vision. College Radio Day is meant to be used by stations as a vehicle for them. CRD should be harnessed to raise the profile of the station both on and off-campus; to remind college administrators that they are alive and kicking and that it is an incredibly important resource for the students and campus community. I once even received an email that made the argument that a station would not be participating because they did not want to bring themselves to the attention of the university, because they would remind them that they exist and they feared their scrutiny!

It’s true that every college radio station is in a unique position, and I respect the difficulties that some of them may find themselves in. Yet, it is our hope that college stations can use College Radio Day to be a genuinely positive experience. When we come together nationally, even for just one day, we are reminding the entire country that we are still here, and we are the last bastion of truly independent radio programming that is both fearless and innovative. Now, surely that’s a good enough reason to celebrate, right?

– College Radio Reality is a monthly column written by Dr. Rob Quicke for Collegeradio.org.

Due to popular demand: Individual CRD 2016 T-Shirts now on Sale!

Due to the many inquiries we have had about our awesomely designed CRD 2016 t-shirt being available for individual purchase – we are happy to now take pre-orders!

The price is $20 (including shipping to any USA address).

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Please select your size below to pay via PayPal.

SMALL  |   MEDIUM  |  LARGE  |  XL  |  XXL

All orders ship in October!

College stations can, of course, order in larger quantities at a discount on our shop page.

College Radio Reality: The Ritual Begins…

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Is college radio a niche student activity or should it be mainstream?

Students were moving into the dorms in anticipation of another semester soon to begin. Under a tent, sweltering in the heat, and wearing our official radio station t-shirt were a group of my passionate students. Despite the fact that the heat was brutal, they were happily passing out flyers to all the incoming students shuttling back and forth between the dorms and their cars, laden with their possessions. We even had hundreds of donuts to give away, having just signed an underwriting deal with a local donut place the day before. In addition to all this, the PA was broadcasting great music to the masses, and there wasn’t a single person in the area who was not aware of our presence. The students under the tent were a beacon of energy and excitement, and a source of free donuts too! Their enthusiasm was palpable.

bravestaffEnduring the heat: some students from Brave New Radio

Such a scene is familiar to anyone involved in college radio. We use the opportunity at the start of the academic year to get out in front of as many people as we can, to promote what we do, but more importantly, to recruit students to get involved. Without a fresh intake of new recruits, the station’s future would be in question. So it’s as much for our own survival as it is to remind or inform people that we exist and that we are actually very worthy of their time and their ears. It has become an essential ritual for many college radio stations across the country at the start of every academic year. Yet, what kind of results does the ritual yield?

For our station, WPSC, on the campus of William Paterson University, we are engaged in a perpetual effort to not only be listened to on campus, but to actually make people aware of our existence. From the flyers and the filled in sign-up sheets that we get from the start of the semester, we will then go through the recruitment process and interview as many of those students as possible.  And yet, despite attracting the attention of hundreds of students, and signing up perhaps dozens who say they are really interested in participating – the final number of students each semester that truly commit is probably less than 30. This number of course varies per station across the country, so there is no way of knowing if this is a typical number. But how can it be that an activity as ‘cool’ as being a radio DJ could end up with such a relatively small number of students actually doing it?

For us, the question is all about what kind of radio station we want to be. There is no doubt that we want students to be involved, many of whom will never work in the radio industry professionally, and are not even communication majors! Yet, we have worked really hard to instill a culture of professionalism at the station, where we take very seriously the act of broadcasting and the preparation and content of our shows. This is probably the reason why we have the attrition rate that we do. Once students find out exactly what it takes to be involved, the idea that this is a serious endeavor with serious responsibilities, rather than just occasionally playing their favorite music on the air, probably turns some students away. Of course, there is real work to be done, but for those students who do commit, they find themselves part of something very special. They find themselves as a group of students who are united in striving to make the best radio possible, and are supportive of each other’s efforts. For many, they will find friends here that will last a lifetime.

But the question remains: When we engage in this ritual every year, are we setting the bar too high for students to be involved? Is there some other way that students can be involved with the station that does not require them to commit so much time? Or does loyalty require serious commitment? Is college radio a niche student activity or should it be mainstream? It’s a question worth exploring, as every year we once again perform the ritual anew.

– College Radio Reality is a monthly column written by Dr. Rob Quicke for Collegeradio.org.

CRD 2016: IGNITING THE SOUL OF COLLEGE RADIO!

We are proud to announce the theme for this year’s College Radio Day:

“IGNITING THE SOUL OF COLLEGE RADIO”

CollegeRadio_Preview croppedMany thanks to Paul Crutcher, adviser of XLR Lander Radio at Lander University for the inspiration for this great theme. Paul has produced a special 20-minute documentary called “The Soul of College Radio” that is also going to be featured in our keynote College Radio Day 1-hr Special! We are very excited that this year’s celebration on November 4 will also be our 6th CRD event! We think that this could be our best celebration of college radio yet!

 

QUICK NEWS UPDATES:

1. COLLEGE STATIONS – DON’T FORGET TO REGISTER (IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO)
If you have not yet registered, please do so here. It only takes about 30 seconds and is, of course, free!

2.NEW CRD 2016 T-SHIRTS CAN NOW BE ORDERED!
For the first time ever, we are offering our specially designed CRD 2016 t-shirt in bundles for radio stations for students, faculty and staff to wear. These t-shirts are tagless Hanes and will feature our theme for CRD 2016: “Igniting the Soul of College Radio.” Individual t-shirts will be available to buy in October. The 10 pack features front print only, with the 20 pack featuring any college radio station logo on the back (one color). All bundles can be of different/varying sizes. Once you have purchased the bundle we will contact you for the sizes, and also for your station logo for the 20 pack bundle. This is a pre-order – all orders will ship in mid-October. If you need us to invoice your college first, please contact lori@collegeradio.org. All orders due October 1st. We hope you’ll agree that these are our best t-shirts yet! (SEE IMAGE ABOVE) Bundles start at 10 t-shirts for $99 including free shipping.

You can now pre-order the t-shirts here:
http://www.collegeradio.org/shop/

3. NEW CRD 2016 PROMOS ARE READY TO AIR
We are also pleased to offer two brand new on-air promos for College Radio Day. This year we are happy to feature Sean Lennon, Moby and Alanis Morissette – all of whom pledge their support for college radio. We hope you will enjoy them and download them for on-air play. More promos are coming soon!

Here they are: https://soundcloud.com/collegeradioday/sets/crd-2016-promos

4. PERSONALIZED STATION SWEEPERS ARE COMING!

For those stations that registered by August 1st, we are shortly going to be producing your custom station sweeper. We will also be holding our LOOT BOX draw later in September. Stay tuned for more information about both these things.

5. PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT CRD!

As we get closer to November 4, please reach out to college radio stations near you and invite them to join this celebration. College and high school radio stations across the country are all welcome to participate in the one day that we come together to celebrate the important work that we do!

Last year was an incredible success, and even included a visit to the White House for a group of students representing the medium of college radio. We were presented with a letter from President Obama declaring his support for college radio! It really was an extraordinary day.

School is back in session, so let’s get to work and make sure that the whole country tunes in to what we are doing on November 4. Let’s be so good, that they never stop listening!

Long live college radio!

– The CRD Task Force!

Early Bird Registration for College Radio Day Ends on August 1st!

crd bannerJust a quick reminder that the end of this Monday is the end of early bird registration for College Radio Day (if your college radio station has not already registered). Of course, stations can still register after that date (up until the day itself on November 4) but if you sign up before the end of Monday you will:

  • Have your station be entered into our CRD Loot Box Draw. Your station could win a box packed with CRD 2016 t-shirts, stickers, buttons and more! Share the CRD spirit on November 4! 
  •  All stations registering by August 1, 2016 will also receive a custom made professional CRD station sweeper!

So, please take about a minute to head on over here to register your station for College Radio Day, on Friday November 4! As always, registration is always free – and has a host of great benefits for your station (such as a FREE Premium SoundCloud account for each station – (a $135 value) – with unlimited online audio storage!

Very soon we will be sharing lots of exciting plans for CRD 2016! Stay tuned for more updates as we start gearing up for the big day!

Long Live College Radio!

– The CRD Task Force

Vinylthon 2016 a huge success!

50 radio stations across the USA took part in the first ever college radio VINYLTHON, on Saturday, April 16.

vinylbedDuring the day long event, students, community volunteers, staff and faculty played music from vinyl records only. Four stations decided to do an entire 24 hours of vinyl-only music:

KMNR 89.7 FM – Missouri University of Science and Technology
Radio BUX – Bucks County Community College
WUSB – Stony Brook University
WVTC Tech Radio – Vermont Technical College

To see a list of all the participating stations, please click here.

A 5-minute highlight reel has been produced that captures just some of what was happening across the country:

Founder of College Radio Day, Rob Quicke, said that the event was “exactly as we hoped it would be – filled with fun, passion and great music!”

Quicke also added, “the idea of this Vinylthon in conjunction with Record Store Day made complete sense because college radio is still probably the only remaining broadcast medium that regularly plays music on vinyl. We are very happy with the response that the event received from both the broadcasters and the listeners. Vinythlon 2017 will definitely be happening!” The event also saw support from Record Store Day who posted to their followers on Facebook “Know what we’re listening to as we go between record stores on Saturday.”

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The College Radio Foundation now turns its attention to the annual College Radio Day event, coming on November 4, 2015.

The Vinylthon is coming!

Image courtesy of WMSC 90.3 FM, who are also participating in the Vinylthon.

On Saturday, April 16, 46 college radio stations from across the USA will participate in the first ever college radio Vinylthon!

To see an updated list of participating stations please click here.

To see an updated Vinylthon 2016 College Radio Programming Guide, please click here.

We hope that you will tune in to a participating college radio station this Saturday and enjoy the pleasure of listening to vinyl music!

First College Radio Vinylthon Unites College Radio Stations on Record Store Day

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Forty campus stations across the country will come together for the first ever college radio Vinylthon on Saturday, April 16, also Record Store Day.

This inaugural Vinylthon, being organized by the people behind the national College Radio Day event every Fall, will see college radio stations broadcasting special programs entirely with music played from vinyl records only. Some stations have also pledged to broadcast a full 24 hours of nothing but vinyl music.

Founder of College Radio Day, Dr. Rob Quicke, says “the idea of this Vinylthon in conjunction with Record Store Day makes sense because college radio is still probably the only remaining broadcast medium that regularly plays music on vinyl. A lot of college students still buy vinyl at record stores and then bring them to the studio to play them on the air.”

During the day participating stations will Tweet their vinyl playlists using the #vinylthon and #vinylthon2016 social media tags and will post pictures of their prized vinyl collections on Instagram and Facebook. They will also encourage listeners to call in with requests and to share their own love of the vinyl format.

“We want to remind everyone that for college radio, vinyl is still very important,” says Quicke. “Before computer algorithms and commercially-driven streaming services there was college radio. And we passionately believe that we are still the best musical curators out there!” added Quicke.

Excitement is high among participants as they get ready for Saturday’s event. “It’s a great way to celebrate the spirit of college radio stations and independent record stores, and I’m honored to be a part of it,” said Donald Wagenblast, DJ at WTSR 91.3 FM, The College of New Jersey. Rachel Frederico, Development Director at KDUR at Fort Lewis College in Colorado, added, “KDUR has been spinning vinyl for a very long time and will continue to for as long as we are on the air. We are excited to see so many other college stations do it too. Long live college radio and vinyl!”

The event is being organized by the College Radio Foundation, a non-profit charity based in New Jersey, that also organizes the annual College Radio Day event (this year on November 4). The CRD event unites hundreds of USA college radio stations every year and has been recognized and supported by such luminaries as President Obama, Moby, Coldplay, Wilco, Andrew WK, Aviici, The Lumineers, and Wyclef Jean, among others. TIME has called College Radio Day “a nationwide movement, illuminating the cultural significance of student-run radio.”

To see the updated list of participating stations, please click here.

Announcing our first college radio VINYLTHON!

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As you may know, College Radio Day unites hundreds of USA college radio stations every year (this year CRD will be November 4thregister here for free).

Saturday, April 16, is Record Store Day, and who better to celebrate the importance of vinyl music than college radio!

We therefore invite all college radio stations across the country to join us for our first ever VINYLTHON! This will take place on April 16, which is Record Store Day across the country and the world. It’s a day for college radio stations to play vinyl as much as possible.

The idea makes sense because we hear that college radio stations already, across the country, do events every year involving Record Store Day, and this will be a nice way for us to unite together once more. After all, college radio is still probably the only remaining radio medium that regularly plays music on vinyl. Let’s remind everyone that for many of us, vinyl is still very important.

What do you have to do? Sign up here for free if, on Saturday April 16, 2016, you can commit your station to playing at least an hour of music programing entirely from vinyl (preferably longer if you can).

Then…

  1. During the day Tweet your vinyl playlists/plans to @collegeradioday and use the hashtag #vinylthon and #collegeradioonrecordstoreday or even #joysofvinyl if you want! Also include the official RSD twitter if you want @recordstoreday
  2. Instagram! Send us your pictures of your station’s vinyl collection. During the day post pictures of your DJs with their vinyl, personal collections and favorites, etc. Explain why you love vinyl! Again use #vinylthon and #collegeradioonrecordstoreday and tag us @collegeradioday on Instagram!
  3. Help get the word out to the media that college radio is doing this event across the country! Use Facebook and your own websites to get the word out! We will also list your station as participating in the vinylthon on our own website: collegeradio.org

We hope that some stations will take the plunge and go for a whole 24 hours of vinyl only! Again, it’s free to register, and we hope you’ll join us for this fun event!

Long live college radio!

Cheers,

Rob Quicke
Founder, College Radio Day
www.collegeradio.org

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