Morning Reads–Still Upset

I’m still upset at Georgia State’s idiotic decision to effectively kill WRAS, qua interesting radio. In fairness–I’m writing this post about 10 minutes after my reaction.

My insignificant form of protest is a music-free MRs.


  1. MattMD says:

    I never really understood how Georgia State is considered a “major research University”. Both UGA’s and certainly Georgia Tech’s budgets blow them clear out of the water.

    Georgia State has made great strides but it simply isn’t a major University. It really isn’t even close, honestly.

    Two decades for a commuter college to become like UGA or Tech? Give me a freakin’ break.

    • John Konop says:

      In all due respect GSU has nationally ranked schools in business, Law,public policy…..Like KSU they are on the map….GT and UGA are top tier institutions……but GSU and KSU are both major universities but any measure…..

        • linuxfanatic says:

          If you have a disagreement with anyone, it is with the Carnegie Foundation, which ranks universities according to their research activity. It is their highest research classification, and includes only 108 universities. Georgia State is one of the 108.


          “Georgia State has made great strides but it simply isn’t a major University. It really isn’t even close, honestly. ”

          You are welcome to that opinion but it is simply factually incorrect. Georgia State has 32,000+ students, making it a major university in size. And it is a top 100 research university.

          Georgia State has benefited greatly from its proximity to Georgia Tech, Emory and the CDC. Also, Georgia State was the biggest beneficiary of the Olympics, and can be considered Atlanta’s only lasting Olympics legacy now that Turner Field is about to get torn down. Getting the athletics dormitories built for the Olympics allowed Georgia State to shift from being a commuter school (though they did have some on-campus housing before then) to a full-fledged urban university (minus medicine and engineering of course … actually Georgia State is able to focus on the research areas that Georgia Tech neglects).

          All Georgia State needs is for its reputation to catch up, a process that takes about 10 years. UGA went through the same thing: they had vastly improved their administration, professors and student profile for years before they were regarded as a “public Ivy.” It took awhile for Georgia Tech to be recognized as one of the top public universities in the country also.

          Not that Georgia State will ever be Georgia Tech or even UGA. However, Georgia State is clearly as strong as pre-HOPE/pre-Adams UGA ever was. It just lacks the SEC football team :-). And Georgia State is also in a prime position to benefit from the revitalization of downtown. If the city makes the wise decision to “sell” the Turner Field area and Underground Atlanta to Georgia State, GSU can not only benefit from revitalizing downtown, but play a major role in shaping it as an education/research hub.

    • Ed says:

      I don’t think anyone is going to say it is a “great university” but a very good one doing very good research, in fact, cutting edge in many areas? Yes.

  2. John Konop says:


    I also think the concept behind the alliance was to get students experience in creating formats on radio…ie job experience….I do not understand how just playing programs from NPR helps foster students? A lot of great personalities, creative programs…..came from students experimenting on college radio stations with thier own format..,.is this not the point of it? Why even have a college station if it is not for education?

    • xdog says:

      My reaction is 100 percent selfish: WRAS’ range and depth of music presented was beyond first-rate, it was a gift of the dial, and now I’ll have to work harder just to hear much much less.

      I personally know people who shipped hours of A88 broadcasting to GIs in Iraq. There are soldiers and sailors from all over the country with fond memories of well-crafted music shows created by students from a school they never heard of in a town they never visited. I have heard that A88 was urged to sign on with AFN but felt to do so would cost them autonomy, which is a word that used to mean something.

      • Noway says:

        I feel like I’ve missed out on something here. Was this station able to be heard outside of the perimeter? And it was an NPR affiliate?

        • xdog says:

          I live between Athens and Madison and I regularly get a strong signal. Lately, though, a low-power religious station’s signal has been bleeding through. I was seriously considering checking with them and RAS to see what’s up.

          • Ed says:

            Depends on where the other station’s transmitter is located. The problem with non-digital FM signals is there can be a ton of interference.

            • xdog says:

              A brother has radio experience and that’s what he told me. The low-power transmitter is NW of Athens towards Jefferson, maybe a 10 miles shot from here. WRAS is a little south of east 60 miles. 500 versus 100k watts.

        • Ed says:

          It can be heard into Chattanooga and parts of Alabama on good days, it has a 100,000-watt signal. WRAS is not affiliated with NPR.

    • Man from Atlanta says:

      WRAS alumni have a tremendous impact on American entertainment and Atlanta in particular. WRAS has been blessed to attract very motivated and creative students, and it has given them their trial by fire as well as the freedom to experiment with formats and genres.

      I am still incredulous. I have to wonder at the behind the scenes moves that may be the real purpose behind this raid. The administrators quietly (and cheaply?) sold out all the kids who have volunteered countless hours and late nights they have committed to WRAS and ought to be ashamed. But by the fact that they already had t-shirts available for the announcement, it seems obvious to me that shame is not something they suffer from.

      • Ed says:

        As they told us when we went through our orientation, if you are running the board and an “obscenity” goes over the air, you could be personally liable and the university will be liable as well. Considering how powerful WRAS’ signal is and the ability to reach thousands more “outraged” listeners, would you as a prudent administrator, want a multi-million dollar liability in the hands of students?

    • Ed says:

      Well they will be pulling from more than NPR and it grants radio and TV opportunities for GSU students. Even if you’re an affiliate not generating any new content, there’s a lot to “just playing programs.”

    • John Konop says:

      I am sure you remember this…

      ………Ahrens said he wasn’t sure if anyone explained to the RRDA members they would have to sign, but he thought that should have been understood, since the RRDA owns the facility.

      “This does not have a black and white answer,” he said.

      Whether there was personal liability or not, Duncan and Konop said they didn’t want to associate their names with an RRDA deal after the 2006 deal with Jimmy Bobo led to county taxpayers being responsible for $100,000 in lease payments on the Ball Ground facility.

      “We’d be crazy to put our names all over stuff,” Duncan said Wednesday. “We want to help but we’re not going to take ownership of somebody else’s mess.”

      Duncan and Konop said they asked county employees multiple times about the role of the RRDA and they never knew they were going to have to sign anything, because the board was only meant to act in an advisory capacity to commissioners.

      “We asked a very simple question and (the county’s) answer was that we were a recommending body only,” Duncan said. “Our role, as we understood, was to come in and look at best practices and make a recommendation on any offers.”

      Referencing multiple discussions in public meetings, Konop said the RRDA repeatedly asked the county to clarify how a potential deal would take place, but executing documents never came up.

      Goes without saying?

      According to Cherokee County Attorney Angie Davis, it might not have explicitly been told to the RRDA members they would have to sign the documents. But she also thought it could have gone without saying.

      In a Wednesday email to officials and forwarded to the Tribune, Davis explained the most recent RRDA members were given a document in September 2013 explaining the roles of the board. The first page of that document says the RRDA owned the Ball Ground Recycling facility.

      “While not explicitly stated that the owner of property would have to sign a document to sell or lease the property,” Davis wrote, “the notion that the owner of property must sign a document to sell or lease the property is elementary and would seem to go without saying, particularly when dealing with such a sophisticated group of business executives.”

      Konop doesn’t like that logic.

      “Are you telling me as a layman that I’m supposed to understand legally what’s going on?” he asked Wednesday. “We’re unpaid volunteers.”

      He also asked several lawyers if he should sign the documents. “Guess what they said — No,” Konop said……

      Read more: Cherokee Tribune – RRDA members say they weren t told their role

      • Three Jack says:


        I do remember that very well. So with the lawsuit naming among others the RRDA, are you, Jeff and the rest now party to the suit? If I recall, the last act taken before you guys resigned was a vote of approval for the Cowart purchase.

        Here is a link to a very good start to some decent reporting by the Cherokee Ledger News on this matter – – they filed a FOIA to get the entire 7300 page audit which is also linked from their story. As a side note, the newspaper of record in Cherokee County is the Cherokee Tribune which has the wife (Rebecca Johnston) of Commissioner Harry Johnston as its editor….we won’t be getting any trustworthy stories from that paper.

        Among many high(low)lights from their initial read of the audit is this from Rhonda McClendon, an accountant hired to conduct the audit – ‘McClendon concluded there is evidence of altered invoices.’ This goes along with everything else reported so far which points to a total lack of oversight by the county and mishandling of funds by both the county and Bobo. For the DA to conclude there was no illegal activity based on this audit, she would have to either be a complete idiot (she’s not) or another Cherokee crony sucking up to the good ol boys.

        • John Konop says:

          Had we listen to Angie Davis it looks like we would of been part of the lawsuit…..As I said every lawyer told me I should not sign that agreement….Also I had no idea about any other negotiations….when we did the deal with Cowart….

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