My spiritual faith in college radio disallows me from allowing a single cent of my hard earned tax dollars to fund evil corporate bureaucrats who have no consideration for anything but themselves. Using my money to fund GPB is vile, criminal extortion and theft.
I love NPR, but this deal is an absolute crime. We're losing hours and hours of unique local programs in order to hear hours and hours of shows we already hear on WABE. Who drank what before making this deal? Wtf?
Thumbs up for Mother Universe.
I have been a devoted listener to album 88 since 2007. Like the CL writer, the CD player in my car hasn't worked for probably a decade. These last seven years have found me becoming increasingly immersed in what Atlanta's music scene offers, often by discovering new things from 88.5. I also graduated from the Andrew young school with a MS and listening to WRAS always made me feel proud to have chosen a school with a progressive musical voice, but also one that embraced the great genres of the past. Hearing all the duplicated programming, finding out that bill nigut wants to relive his glory years through this hostile takeover that strips young people of their only broadcasting experience opportunities...soul crushing and enraging. Hearing Dr. Becker talking about weathering the storm as though the storm is not coming fr the people he should be paying attention to, never once offering a cogent explanation as to how this benefits students or the public of metro Atlanta-- disheartening but enough to make me want to do my part to help the storm grow.
As former PM at 90.7fm Carrollton, Album91. I must say that this same thing happened long ago at West Georgia. Students were getting training, and learning hands on. I'm not so sure that using a "pipe'd" program will give students on-air experiences. Well, as for radio, and almost the same for television, the entire idea is to only have a computer run everything, and to replace everyone because of expenses. I don't like losing the flavor of WRAS in the ATL.
I lived in Atlanta for many years and Album 88 was GREAT. They played "all that hipster shit" that you couldn't hear on a regular basis..unless you had satellite or used music blogs (which I was too lazy to do).
That being said, it SUCKS that it's gone, but isn't this just the norm for radio? As much nostalgia as we can muster, this radio station will go just like the others, and we will find another outlet.
nothing to listen to to and from work anymore. it really sunk in when there was no "i don't care" friday. bunch of bullshit.
A little over a week ago, I wrote the following letter to the GSU President, the GSU VP of Student Affairs, and the CEO of GPB. Of course, none of them responded, and they probably didn't read it. I can't find ONE person in metro Atlanta who supports this takeover. I listen to NPR sometimes on WABE, but we don't need TWO stations playing THE SAME THING in Atlanta at the expense of Album 88 and everything it was to this community. I thought I'd share my letter here.
Dear Mark Becker, Douglass Covey, and Teya Ryan:
My name is Sara Crawford. I am a 29-year-old singer/songwriter and author living in Marietta. I never attended Georgia State University, but Album 88 WRAS was a very big part of my college experience. I remember all of the times I drove to my classes at Kennesaw State University, listening to the exciting new music on Album 88. In a landscape of bland commercial radio stations in Atlanta that play the same 50 songs over and over again, Album 88 is extremely refreshing. It is the only radio station a metro Atlanta resident can turn to to hear new music, a wide variety of music, local music from fellow Georgians, and a student-run iconic radio station that has lasted 40 years.
As someone who has been active in the Atlanta music scene, there is a special place in my heart for Album 88. I will never forget how it felt to turn on the Georgia Music Show and hear my song "Cyclone" on the radio for the very first time. It's getting harder and harder for independent musicians to get their music out there, and without stations like Album 88, it would be so much more difficult. This station has been an integral part of the whole music scene in Atlanta. It has helped launch many different careers throughout the past four decades--both of musicians and radio personalities alike.
I have discovered SO many bands on Album 88. Bands like Stars, Dark Dark Dark, Faces on Film, Laura Reed and Deep Pocket, Freelance Whales...I could go on. These bands have meant the world to me. They have been there for me in difficult times. There is a certain kind of magic when you are driving around as an adolescent, having a really horrible day, and you hear that perfect song at the perfect time on the radio. That never happens on 105.7 or 94.1 or 98.5 or any of the other stations in Atlanta because every time I turn them on, it's that same song from 1999 that we've all heard 1800 times and has no meaning anymore.
Sure, there are a lot of other outlets for music these days. Spotify, Last FM, Pandora. And I use these sometimes. But there is still a place for analog radio--especially in the car. I can't tell you how many memories I have of driving around listening to Album 88 or driving out of town and listening until it fades away (which usually takes a while).
I understand that this deal would still allow GSU students to play music at night time on Album 88 and stream online. However, this is not enough. The prime radio times are the commute to and from work, and WRAS should be available during those times! The online streaming is great, but when Album 88 is only available online, it is in direct competition with Spotify, Pandora, etc. and will lose listeners.
Furthermore, WE ALREADY HAVE an outlet for NEWS and NPR in ATLANTA. 90.1 WABE is a great radio station that I listen to often. It is my understanding that a lot of the programming you are planning to play on GPB/WRAS is ALREADY BEING PLAYED on 90.1. We don't need two radio stations playing the exact same thing in Atlanta! No one wants this.
Lastly, I truly believe that Album 88 WRAS as it stands right now is much more beneficial for students who want to learn about radio, be a part of an iconic radio station, and participate in everything that makes the Atlanta music scene great. Shouldn't you be doing what is best for the students of Georgia State University? If you took a poll, I guarantee you 99.9% of Georgia State Students would not be in favor of this plan.
If you take away WRAS, you are taking away one of the most special things about Atlanta culture. You are taking away the last remaining decent outlet for new music in Atlanta radio. You are depriving Atlanta residents from being able to discover new, independent bands, and you are depriving the musicians of one precious outlet to reach people with their music. Please cancel the contract.
The Album 88 Alumni have created a well-written proposal that would be a much better compromise and a much better solution for the future of WRAS. Please read it and re-consider. http://savewras.com/proposal/
I knew it was going to happen. After reading article after article, interview after interview and comment after comment, you'd think I would be prepared for that moment which I would turn the FM dial in my car just about as far left as it would go and my go-to station for new and unusual music would no longer be there for me to listen to. Sure, I could switch over to some NPR classical, top 40 or classic rock station to hear the tested and true favorites but I LIKE listening to things I haven't heard before and I ENJOY being introduced to something odd, new, and sometimes even a bit baffling.
WRAS has for years provided the Atlanta area with its quintessential source for interesting, eccentric and local programming. This weird behemoth which even experimented in quadraphonic broadcast for a period heretofore distinguished itself by disregarding ratings and bringing to the fore obscure tracks otherwise unavailable without a substantial background knowledge and a good amount of digging on the part of the individual. Sure, we can find some of these strange and talented musical dynamos on the internet - but only if we already know they're there. In a country where broadcast sources provide the largest venue of new music discovery (ranging between a little over a third and a little under a half depending on your study), it's just one of a thousand reasons this resource should have been protected and preserved, rather than sold out to Georgia Public Broadcasting for a measly $150,000.
After nearly two years of closed-door negotiations with GPB and with no notice, consideration, or offer for input given to the student body, Georgia State handed over the majority of their broadcast day, 5:00 AM - 7:00 PM, for GPB syndicated programming like Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Don't get me wrong, I love this type of programming and I feel there is a huge call and responsibility to put basic news content (especially local) without conflagrating itself alongside vitriolic editorial talk or watering it down to marketable soundbites. Unfortunately, the GPB programming schedule is mostly repeated from the long-standing WABE schedule just a few clicks up the dial on 90.1 FM. This is so markedly the case, the chairman of WABE has sent an open letter requesting GPB create a different programming schedule and provide better resources to both students and listeners of their broadcasts. As it adds up now, about 2/3 of the material that will now be broadcast on 88.5 is repeat programming of what 90.1 WABE broadcasts, often at the same time of day.
This is a hard hit to take for radioheads in Atlanta who have listened as markets are eaten up, homogenized and abandoned in media consolidation and profit motive unfairly mixed in with a public utility. The most important elements of broadcast such as its robust infrastructure in emergencies and as a source for NEW music and NON-EDITORIAL information cease to be recognized because those essential services are not seen as immediately profitable with a regulatory agency like the FCC handing out licenses like candy since 1996. Programming variety, public good and news value have been overridden by the influence of sponsors, shareholders and CEOs. It's most unfortunate to see this style of management creep into college as well as public broadcast with methodologies like mass syndication and market homogenization. I will now (as before) be listening exclusively to WABE for my public radio programming and others like AM 1690 who actively fight against such lowest common denominator mentalities even when it doesn't always sell.
I'm not a GSU alum, but I was still extremely surprised and disappointed by the lack of concern the GSU administration showed for an asset that was obviously so dear to many tuition paying students. I was involved in college radio and it was the most beneficial, life changing experiences I had during college. I met many dear friends I still stay in touch with over a decade later. I met and proposed to my wife on the station. I learned more about leadership and management through my involvement in college radio than I did through any of my classes. I still use these lessons today. It's unfortunate the university lessened these opportunities for their students.
As a member of the community, I lose what has been one of the most productive ways to find out about new music. Like many of the people in the article mentioned, I often found myself shazamming song after song that I heard on WRAS. The variety was great. I loved the quality specialty shows that exposed me to music I wouldn't go searching for on my own. The station was a great example for the diversity communities should strive to achieve. The fact that GSU took this service away from the community makes me much less likely to be a friend of the university that is in my backyard in the future.
I went looking for my Saturday Album 88 fix as soon as those two cackling morons from Massachusetts came on WABE only to discover that both my phone browser and my Kindle browser doln't support the WRAS live stream. Thanks, Teya. How about developing an app like WABE's so I can Bluetooth some Marvaux?
Oh gawd stop with the whining, Atlanta people! We'll soon have two Bill Nigut Bellowing ops to look forward to as replacement programming, coming to WRAS 88.5. So it's like being blessed with the Ebola virus as a cure for one's asthma. Suck it up, sit back, and enjoy. http://bit.ly/1oukfle
Big Band Jump (re-runs) on Sundays. You never know how much you like/take something for granted until it's gone, eh?
Album 88 has introduced me to a lot of music over the last couple of decades. Shame on GPB for silencing the voices of these students and for taking away a resource of value to our community.
GSU essentially gave away a radio station with a reputation - an asset- for what? A tote bag?
I've come across ONE show that wasn't duplicated on WABE so far; it sucked and sounded like it was done from a broom closet.
Why doesn't GSU just have two radio stations? My university had one NPR station and a music station. Students worked both.
I could understand if the move somehow helped cover the financial drain of the football program (dumb move), but come on, this was just stupid.
I've been a WRAS fan/ listener since 1980. WRAS has always played the best variety of music I've ever heard on any radio station in any city. I work night shift. I am greatly disappointed that I can no longer enjoy the music all day! No more album 88 in the car, at the lake, etc.. is going to be a drag. At least there's still the "synthe-side" to cheer me up.
I will be boycotting GPB for sure!
There's a hole in my life. My clock radio has been pinned to RAS for years. Now there's no chance of those half dreamt song discoveries--is this really as good as it sounds in my half-waking stupor? And then waiting to hear the DJ back-announce so I know who I was listening to. And there's nowhere else to turn--there is absolutely nothing on Atlanta's radio dial before noon that covers any of the ground 88.5 does. I still listen in the evening, and it's great, but it just serves to remind me how much I'm missing the rest of the day.
I have pages and pages of handwritten notes, from hearing things on WRAS 88. by chance and jotting it down for future reference to follow up on. Before the switch it was also writing down things my daughter liked that we would hear on the way to her daycare and that she asked about or wanted to hear again. I drive a lot for work, so its 3-4 hours a day in the car. Now the radio has been off. Nothing. That was the great thing about WRAS, you would hear some amazing tune that really gave you goosebumps that otherwise you never would have caught. Randomly on Youtube? on some Pandora thing? No. GPB took a really wonderful thing and ruined it. I really try to avoid hate since its destructive, but I really hate GPB for this.
It's wrecked the soundtrack of my adult life. Now, instead of great new music from a host of genres, I get to hear Baby Boomers bloviating to each other about the same crap I can hear them pontificate about two stations down the damn dial.
You guys can't be seriously surprised by this move.. This is the same town that just passed a 800 million dollar tax payer funded new stadium to be built in ANOTHER frikkin city for the braves. Nobody here has any clue as to the desires and tastes of the people who actually live in the city of Atlanta and this crap goes on here all the time.
The comment above about "stop GPB from killing Atlanta culture" is laughable. There may be 150 people in this town that can even spell culture. The only thing that matters to the "leaders" of this town is making big, behind the scenes deals and lining their pockets.
We have had a succession of corrupt, some now imprisoned, mayors and administrators who have had no plan, and no vision for the future beyond buying their retirement home.
Now that this is gone, maybe all the cultured listeners can put their money where their mouth is and actually financially support the only remaining decent community radio station in the ATL over at Radio Free Georgia? WRFG.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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