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Friday, May 16, 2014

WRAS student staffers meet with GSU officials over station's future

Members of WRAS student leadership fielded questions from reporters about their meeting with GSU staff.
  • Max Blau
  • Members of WRAS student leadership fielded questions from reporters about their meeting with GSU staff. "Hopefully they'll continue to work with us to try and make WRAS a partner and not just a bargaining chip," outgoing WRAS General Manager Ana Zimitravich said.
Members of WRAS 88.5 FM today met with Georgia State University officials to discuss the school's new partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting - and whether the station will be able to continue operating as a student-run organization.

For the first time since the deal was announced, administrators and faculty sat down with WRAS' student management to discuss their growing concerns over the partnership. The two-year, $150,000 deal, which allows the state media network to enter Atlanta's radio market, has drawn major criticism from current students, alumni, and listeners over the past two weeks.

Ten days ago, Becker announced that WRAS would split into two distinct programming blocks. GPB will soon broadcast a mix of local news and nationally syndicated content from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. GSU student DJs will program music for the remaining 10 hours and retain complete control over the university's online streaming radio station.

In a press conference, four WRAS staffers debriefed reporters about the closed-door talks. Outgoing General Manager Ana Zimitravich, outgoing Program Director Josh Martin, current General Manager Alayna Fabricius, and current Urban Music Director Jenny Nesvetailova expressed an overall satisfaction with their reception. They were encouraged by the administration's response and received assurances that future conversations would be scheduled to continue the conversations.

"It was promising," Zimitravich told reporters. "We're glad we were finally able to open a dialogue. We feel as if we've been included in this. We feel there's been more of a effort to make this a partnership and less of a takeover."

Read the rest of this story over at Fresh Loaf.

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