We reported yesterday that Georgia State University has partnered with Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) to take over the college’s iconic radio station, Album 88 (WRAS-FM/88.5), from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily with public radio offerings. Album 88 staff and management were unaware of the behind-the-scenes deal and have made their feelings known in a lengthy statement on the station’s Facebook page. Here’s part of it:
While we regret the decision greatly, know that neither WRAS staff nor management had any part of this change. Acting unilaterally as the FCC licensee, Georgia State University administration has chosen this route with stated goals of increasing listenership and generating a positive partnership between the institution and GPB. The staff of WRAS was met with surprise by this announcement for two reasons. First, up until the announcement was made this morning, WRAS staff was never of the understanding that our ratings mattered. As a college radio station, the mission of our station has never been to make the rich richer or to give airtime to mainstream music. This being true, we have never been concerned about ratings nor were we aware that the administration was until this morning. Our interests, instead, were delivering quality and diverse music to our listeners and supplying an alternative to mainstream radio.
Public reaction to the change has been mostly negative, especially in light of the fact that GSU’s deal for the powerful 100,000 watt station amounts to only $150,000. More than 1,000 people have already signed a petition at Change.org to stop the switch. Album 88 staffers are also encouraging fans to contact GPB to voice their opinion on the move.
There’s also a new Boycott GPB on 88.5 Facebook page that has sprung up and already has more than 2,000 likes.