Vanderbilt Alumni Draft Letter to VSC Board, 'Strongly Urge the Board Not to Sell the WRVU Broadcast License'



A bit of news today from the Save WRVU camp: A group of 25 alumni have signed on to a letter to Vanderbilt Student Communications board chair Mark Wollaeger, urging that the board not sell WRVU's broadcast license, which it announced earlier this month is a possibility. In the letter, the alumni sound some notes that will sound familiar to fans of the station:

... WRVU DJ’s are the only student media operatives who interact directly with the public, when listeners call in to talk, or request music (even from prison, as many of those who have manned the phones can attest). For many years, the station has been (and continues to be) the home of award-winning programs showcasing material unavailable on any other broadcast station in the Nashville metro area — for example, bluegrass, Indian music, or LGBT-themed news and commentary. In short, WRVU represents the university community to Nashville and its surroundings.

But then they touch on another aspect — the audience. Wollaeger has said WRVU's audience is very small. That doesn't matter, say the alumni, and never has:

However, WRVU has never been defined by its specific audience volume. Instead, the focus has been on offering quality, professional programming to students for them to enjoy and involve themselves with. Never once has Vanderbilt University or VSC presented the standard of audience size, on-campus or off, to the WRVU executive staff as being of critical importance; to do so now would be to change expectations for the station without giving it an opportunity to meet those new expectations. Measures recorded by Arbitron and other statistical media-monitoring services must be understood with respect to the significant bias inherent in monitoring non-commercial radio, which has been reported by these companies in the past.

Potentially an interesting twist here, though the main thrust VSC's argument from the beginning has been about money — which the alumni letter also gets into. Go read it here.

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