Atlanta radio was made substantially worse thanks to a partnership between Georgia State University and Georgia Public Broadcasting.
In an utterly stupid* decision, WRAS, GSU’s student-run radio station, will start airing GPB programming between 5:00AM and 7:00PM. The change starts on June 2.
It remains to be seen what will be played during the remaining hours, but I’m not convinced it will be good. In my apoplexy I forgot student’s will still have the graveyard shifts for programming. Yay.
Now Atlantans have lost one of the best radio stations in the country and possibly the world. Instead of cutting-edge new music that can’t be easily found, we’re getting programming available from literally dozens of other outlets, all available with the click of a mouse. Just what we needed!
Undoubtedly, GSU deserves an especially hearty “well done” for this partnership. In addition to weakening Atlanta’s media, the university also sabotaged itself. Eliminating one of the few on-campus organizations that made GSU truly interesting and outstanding doesn’t seem like the best of decisions.
There are generations of people who benefited from exposure to the music of WRAS. I, and many other students, went to GSU specifically because of WRAS and the chance to work there. Not only that, but I challenge you to find more than three people who worked at WRAS and didn’t love every second of it. Will GPB deliver that same impact, and be that formative for so many people? Absolutely not. Especially because on an initial reading of the announcement, there seems to be at best, a minimal amount of new content that will be aired on 88.5.
*Yes, I know a 100,000-watt radio station in one of the country’s biggest media markets is probably worth millions of dollars and yes I’m, uh, pretty familiar with the liability of using students as on-air “talent” for 24 hours a day. That still doesn’t make this a good decision.