RIP WRVU



On Tuesday, June 7 at 2:56 pm, longtime WRVU DJ (and host of hands down the best show on that station, Nashville Jumps) Pete Wilson played Johnny Thunder's "You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory." And then... nine hours of static. At midnight, Nashville's beloved college radio station 91.1 WRVU became Classical 91.1, the all classical affiliate of Nashville Public Radio's WPLN.

This story has been brewing for a long time, so I won't post the details. It's been covered in more detail
here, and if you need background I suggest you read Nashville Cream's articles regarding the rape and pillage of Vanderbilt's student run radio station. As much as people rallied to fight it, I think deep down most of us knew it was a forgone conclusion once Vanderbilt Student Communications said they were "exploring the option" of selling the stations broadast license. The writing was definitely on the wall. VSC's director, Chris Carroll, has a bit of a history of dismantling college radio stations. And while there were many students, alumni and staff who were dedicated to making the station great, a vast majority of Vandy's students just didn't give a shit.

I've been a regular listener of WRVU for over 20 years. It was where I first heard bands like R.E.M., Arcade Fire, The Replacements and Soundgarden long before they broke into the mainstream. I can't tell you the number of bands I now love who I first heard because a clued in volunteer DJ wanted to share them with the world. I've been in bands that were interviewed and performed on the station. I've attended more benefit shows than I could count. And in a round about way, I started this blog because of WRVU. It was by reading online counterpart to WRVU's
Out The Other that first got me reading music blogs, and eventually deciding that I should start one myself. To say that WRVU has had a huge influence on my life, musical and otherwise, would be an understatement.

While WRVU isn't technically dead, it will never be the same. Online streaming is great, but it doesn't match the local reach and accessibility of terrestrial radio. And while it will still be broadcast over WPLN's HD3 channel this fall, raise your hand if you own an HD radio? Yeah, that's what I thought. If my favorite DJs and shows are back on the station this fall, I'll seek them out via online streams, but I can't say I'd blame them if they walked away. I hope they don't.

Comments:
It's exactly this kind of attitude that the Save WRVU group needs to squash out! WRVU is NOT dead, and the sale is NOT final!

1) WPLN HAS NOT PAID VSC, and doesn't have the money yet! They still have to raise 3.3 million dollars.

2) WPLN has not filed with the FCC! The FCC has to approve the deal, and they have raised many objections to a similar filing that's underway right now (KUSF in San Fran).

3) According to VSC's bylaws, Vanderbilt University is the sole member of VSC, meaning Vandy (either the Chancellor or the Board of Trust) has to sign off on any sale of more than 50% of VSC's assets. Since VSC has justified this entire sale by saying the WRVU license is its ONLY asset, this means VU HAS to sign off on the sale for it to go through, which they have not done.

I completely share your sentiments, with the notable exception that I know the fight is not over. We need everyone's help to make sure people know that there is still a lot to be done! Please update your post to let people know it is NOT time to give up!

More details here: http://savewrvuradio.wordpress.com/
 
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