Music Attorney and Musician John Strohm on the Value of Public Radio

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ATTN READER: Nashville Public

Submitted by Sharon Scott (not verified) on April 12, 2012 - 10:07am.

ATTN READER: Nashville Public Radio silenced WRVU 91.1 FM "The Student Voice of Vanderbilt University" in June of 2011. They are currently broadcasting all classical music on the channel that brought new and interesting music to the good people of Nashville, Tennessee for 58 years.

WRVU is responsible for breaking great young artists from R.E.M to the Black Keys. Nashville Public Radio, an NPR affiliate, is currently leasing the 10,000 watt frequency from Vanderbilt Student Communications until they can raise the $3.35 Million to buy it outright. The students and alumni of WRVU have been united with the citizens of Music City, USA in their demands to the University and to NPR: STOP THE SALE OF WRVU 91.1 FM. Yet Chancellor Zeppos and NPR President Rob Gordon act as if there is nothing they can do to reverse this horrible decision in which the students of WRVU had no role.

This is not an isolated incident. Almost every college station that has been sold in recent history has gone to an NPR affiliate. Funding organizations such as Public Radio Capital are traveling the country encouraging & enabling these sales to happen. They talk of a new model for Public Radio that includes 2 NPR stations – one talk, one classical, in each major city. The FM dial is limited and already overcrowded, however. To make room, NPR has realized college frequencies are an easy victim. Student turn-over every four years means little institutional memory, poor economic conditions make College Administrators quick to sell these local cultural treasures.

While students at Brown, Rice, and Odessa all lost their frequencies to NPR affiliate stations over the past year, students at Vanderbilt and the University of San Francisco continue to fight for their voice, for their influence within society. I encourage the reader to learn more about these cruel bureaucratic situations and how vigilantly the students at these Universities are holding their ground. If you love independent music and independent music, it is important to support these battles, as they will determine the future of college radio.

If is frankly unbelievable that this article comes out of Nashville! Music City Attorney and Musician John Strohm must be well aware of the situation at WRVU 91.1 FM and that Nashville Public Radio has erased half a century of legendary college-rock history and replaced it with mediocre classical broadcasting. Welcome to A Clockwork Orange.

Strom states, "If someone had told me ten years ago that public radio would become one of my most reliable discovery sources for new music, I’d have had a good laugh. I grew up listening to public radio, but as a kid I thought of it as the antithesis of hip." With what seems to be a national focus on acquiring college frequencies, National Public Radio actually IS the antithesis of hip in a very literal sense. It is literally yanking the voice of America’s youth off the FM dial and replacing it with canned national programs whose “hip” programming wouldn’t dare include unsigned artists, unknown bands. John Strohm writes from Nashville speaking of Public Radio as the best spot on the dial for new music. He fails to mention however, the way Nashville Public Radio has achieved this coveted position -- by silencing WRVU, Nashville’s ONLY alternative.

NPR will never "discover" a

Submitted by Justin Walsh (not verified) on April 12, 2012 - 8:54pm.

NPR will never "discover" a new musician -- it's not in their mandate. That's the job of college stations! Oh, wait, NPR is eating college radio across the country, like KTRU, KUSF, and WRVU... I guess we'll just have to settle for anodyne "alternatives" rather than radically new art you can't find anywhere else.

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