Album 88 Staying on the Air a Little Longer

May 30, 2014 12:00 pm

by Ed · 4 comments

Good news, everybody!  Georgia Public Broadcasting will have to wait a little while longer before gutting a beloved, excellent institution for a generic public radio network beginning broadcasting in Atlanta.

Creative Loafing has the news that GPB is now scheduled to be on the air starting June 29. 

“The date is being moved back to allow the university to continue to work on resolving issues raised by the WRAS leadership in a May 16 meeting with President Mark P. Becker and university leaders, and for GPB to finalize production plans for new local programming,” GSU spokeswoman Andrea Jones tells CL in an email.

GSU vice president for student affairs Douglass Covey told Album 88’s management “GPB was willing without any kind of apprehension” to move the start date back.

Hopefully this will give GPB enough cover to terminate the deal. The contract basically only allows GPB to end things.

One noteworthy item from this is that it signals a complete sea change in tune and tone from both GPB and GSU regarding the deal and how they will communicate with students and alumni. That is beyond fantastic.

As I’ve said before, I honestly don’t believe GSU or GPB anticipated there was this much loyalty to Album 88, nor did they realize how important Album 88 is (and, frankly, they probably still don’t). I also don’t blame GSU for exploring this deal. Having a 100,000-watt station with 100% student on-air “talent” is a massive liability. It also costs (IIRC) somewhere around $500,000 a year just to keep WRAS on the air.

What’s next? Well, who knows. Keep putting pressure on GPB and GSU is a start. I’ve heard there’s going to be a protest on Monday but that’s literally all I know. People should keep telling GPB and its board that the current GPB proposal is contrary to the public interest. Just look at GPB’s current radio schedule. We’re getting almost the same lineup as WABE, just slightly rearranged  and with about five hours less classical music during the week.

 

DrGonzo May 30, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Yeah, I was looking at the proposed weekend (Saturday) schedule for the GPB radio station, and basically it was the entire WABE Saturday lineup slightly re-arranged, with the addition of Bill Nigut’s local show, and including a healthy dose of NPR RE-RUNS. We’re taking student broadcasting away so we can hear NPR RE-RUNS?

So this delay is good news. Hopefully it will mean GPB is trying to back out gracefully. I know I’ve already contacted GPB several times to let them know I’ll never be donating to them again if they go through with this deal (helps that I’m on their donor list already having given money a couple years ago; I hope they’re getting a lot of grief from folks that have in fact given them money in the past, that has to scare the finance weasels to death to hear contributors threaten to stop donating).

I didn’t even go to GSU (Go Owls) but WRAS has been a big part of my radio listening ever since high school, and has influenced the discovery of new music for me for years.

xdog May 30, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Give’m hell, Ed.

don_shell May 30, 2014 at 6:16 pm

Thanks, Ed, for your continued attention to this outrage. I think the good guys may have won this one. Why do they need 4 more weeks to prepare, when they’ve been scheming behind everyone’s backs about this for at least the last 2 years? And if I were Teya Ryan, I really think I’d find another line of work. The 214K we’re paying her every year is not being put to good use. Being able to turn GPB – which should be as controversial as mom and apple pie – into a sleaze-ridden cesspool (Chip Rogers, this GSU mess) is a talent that should not be rewarded.

Ed May 30, 2014 at 7:01 pm

<3 you both

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