The Life of a small college radio station

College radio is still around these days but it’s different than before. Many stations now have NPR feeds, full time staff members, and engineers. WJMD – K college radio, is still student run, and we’re proud of that. Sure, we aren’t on the FM dial (FCC’s rules are too burdensome, more on that in future entries), WJMD has their home online, broadcasting on the internet. We’re not broadcasting yet and that is frustrating but we’re on the mend. Stolen equipment, no direction (of what to do) from previous management, and uncertain legal future of the webstream have made it pretty tough to get back up and broadcasting.

Sure enough, according to last year’s budget records, the license expired over the summer. (Everyone, including non-profits and educational institutions, have to pay a license to stream online) Our license was through IBS, whom you pay a flat fee (of $325 or so, maybe) at any time of the year (their site does not specify if it runs during a set time) and it’s good to broadcast for one year.

I attempted to contact IBS in the beginning of the year. They didn’t contact me after I sent them an email about the status of our membership. Plus, their website layout was horrid, and I couldn’t tell even what information was relevant and updated on the site.

Instead, our station joined CBI, another group of college radio stations across America. For $80 a year (membership runs Sept-Sept), it provides a central meeting place [listserv] for station managers like me to and provides technical documents of the laws of broadcasting, recommendations on equipment, gives information of how other stations are running things, and also lobbies to the FCC on our behalf ^_^

We found out through CBI that the college radio stations pay Soundexchange, a consortium representing the record labels. Until 2005, you paid $250 a year, plus $25 if you didn’t keep a log of what you played. The rates for 2005 were extended for this year but it’s still uncertain of the rates for 2007 and beyond..

(so much more to talk about), skorasaurus.
(This is poor writing but I believe it will continue to improve over time.)

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