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.
“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.