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20 Killer Stations You Should Tune Into for College Radio Day

by Staff Writers

October 4, 2011

College radio stations are more than just venues for students to hone their on-air skills. They also prove amazing sources for music that you can’t hear anywhere else, can help you stay in the loop about new bands and even learn more about the local music scene. Unfortunately, many college stations are battling to stay on air, and some have already been pushed out by major stations sold or relegated to broadcasting online only. It’s clear that college radio is in crisis, and without major support from the public many stations may not last.

One way listeners can show their support is by celebrating College Radio Day on October 11th. Students, community members, and people from all over the world can tune in to college stations on air and online to show the value of college radio. If your community has an active college radio scene, give it a listen or check out one of our selections for standout college radio. Whatever you do, show your support for college radio this October to ensure college stations stay on-air for years to come.

  1. CJLO, Concordia University

    Concordia University’s college station, found at 1690 AM in Montreal, is a volunteer-run, nonprofit station that was formed by the merger of two other college stations in 1998. Listeners will find a wide range of musical styles represented on the station as well as some engaging talk radio. The station streams live 7 days a week and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including “Station of the Year” at the 2010 CMJ College Day Awards.

  2. KAOS, Evergreen State College

    Coming out of Olympia, Washington, KOAS 89.3 FM is a hybrid college-community station and provides broadcasting education any students at Evergreen or members of the community who want to learn. KOAS is live over the air and on the web, and offers up an exciting mix of musical styles and talk radio. The station is famous for an early appearance by the band Nirvana in 1987 as well as a solo appearance by Kurt Cobain in 1990. Today, the station maintains its dedication to independent music, and a full 80% of the music broadcast must come from sources other than major labels.

  3. WICB, Ithaca College

    WICB was first established in 1947, operating from a Quonset hurt in downtown Ithaca. The station has since expanded and offers alternative music and news programming to the greater Ithaca area 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The station has been the recipient of numerous awards over the past decade including the Ithaca Times’ “Best Radio Station” award, mtvU’s Woodie for Best College Radio Station, and the number one spot in the Princeton Review for college radio stations.

  4. WERS, Emerson College

    WERS is one of two radio stations on Emerson College’s Boston campus, and while student-run is professionally managed. Those on the east coast can listen to 88.9 FM for shows that feature over 20 different kinds of music, as well as news, interviews, and live performances. WERS has been ranked the #1 college station by the Princeton Review over multiple years and is one of the most highly-rated college radio stations in the U.S. Those who want to listen to WERS can also find it on iTunes radio under the “eclectic” category.

  5. KZSU, Stanford University

    Owned and operated by Stanford, KZSU 90.1 FM got its start way back in 1947 as an AM station that broadcast only in the evenings. Today, the station broadcasts to a much wider audience in the San Francisco area, but still pays homage to its rich history, including notable DJs like actor Adam West, journalist Daniel Pearl, and inventor Ray Dolby. The station broadcasts simultaneously on the web, so listeners can tune in to music, sports and news no matter where they are in the world.

  6. KZSC, UC Santa Cruz

    The University’s of California, Santa Cruz’s station, KZSC 88.1 FM, serves as a training ground for students and community members who want to get into broadcasting. The station is committed to providing access to alternative viewpoints and styles of music, and features over 60 different shows, talk radio hours, and public affairs programs, all of which listeners throughout California’s central coast can tune into or stream live over the station’s website. KZSC made the Princeton Review‘s list of top campus stations in 2003 and was chosen as the #1 radio station for six years in a row by Metro Santa Cruz readers.

  7. WSBU, St. Bonaventure University

    WSBU, otherwise known as Rock Radio 88.3 The Buzz, is an entirely student-run station based out of Allegheny, New York. The station plays a wide variety of music, focusing on alternative rock during the week and hip-hop and classic rock on the weekends, as well as offering news, sports, and talk radio. The station has a long history of notable alumni and regularly makes lists of top college stations. Listeners can find WSBU on the airwaves, or through their website to help support them on College Radio Day.

  8. WBRU, Brown University

    WBRU 95.5 FM holds the distinction of being the first student owned and operated campus radio station in the U.S. Founded in Providence in 1936, the station was originally called the Brown Network and was run out of a college dorm room. Over the years, WBRU has seen quite a bit of expansion and today listeners can enjoy modern, alternative and indie rock offerings from the station throughout New England and online. Rolling Stone named WBRU the best radio station in the country in a medium size market three years in a row, and the station has won numerous other accolades as well.

  9. KUOM, University of Minnesota

    Perhaps better known to listeners as 770 Radio K or Real College Radio, KUOM 770 AM broadcasts to greater Minneapolis both on air and via the web. In 2010, the station was named Best Radio Station in the Twin Cities and KUOM has received praise from Pitchfork Media as well for its quality programming. The station broadcasts a wide variety of music as well as sports and news coverage.

  10. WKDU, Drexel University

    Located in Philadelphia, PA, WKDU 91.7 FM is completely owned and operated by Drexel students and staff. The station got its start in 1970, and since grown and expanded due to several generous donations. WKDU’s musical format is free-form, so listeners can expect to hear a wide variety of styles throughout any given day, though the station is especially well-known for its Saturday reggae programming. The recipient of numerous awards, WKDU was the 2010 CMJ Station of the Year.

  11. WCRX, Columbia College

    WCRX 88.1 FM was brought to Columbia College in 1982 from the neighboring University of Illinois, Chicago. The station is home to news, sports and community affairs broadcasts as well as a wide assortment of music from metal to meringue. All programming at the station is run by students and staff at Columbia College, and WCRX has had many notable alumni throughout its history, including many DJs who have moved on to major stations.

  12. WLUW, Loyola University

    Broadcasting to Chicago and the northern suburbs, Loyola’s WLUW 88.7 has been in operation since the mid-1970s and today features programming that offers a wide range of music, community, news, and specialty shows. Throughout it’s history, the station has gotten interviews with some pretty big names in music history, including Chris Keer of the Pet Shop Boys, Curt Smith from Tears for Fears, and Donny Osmond. Listeners can hear all that WLUW has to offer by tuning in over their radio or visiting the station’s website for a live feed of what’s playing.

  13. WSYC, Shippensburg University

    Shippensburg University is home to WSYC 88.7 FM. The station was founded in 1975 and today is dedicated to showcasing new bands and artists that aren’t usually played on major stations. WSYC’s programming features a variety of shows formed around select musical genres, news and talk. The station is also known as the Red Raider Radio Network for the broadcasting it does of the school’s football and basketball games.

  14. KEXP, University of Washington, Seattle

    Started by a group of undergrads in 1971, Seattle’s KEXP 90.3 FM specializes in showcasing alternative and indie rock but listeners will also find programming that highlights genres like blues, hip hop and alternative country. Additionally, KEXP is sometimes home to live, on-air performances. Listeners can access KEXP through FM radio, on the internet, or over Intelsat’s Galaxy 18 satellite. The station is also simulcast in New York through Radio Liberation in an effort to expose New York listeners to a greater variety of independent music.

  15. KWVA, University of Oregon

    Heard all over the Eugene, Oregon metro area, KWVA 88.1 FM plays a varied mix of music, talk shows, news, and sports. The station is wholly student operated and owned, though community members can contribute to DJing. The station has been around 1993 but was a continuation of student radio movements on campus that began in the 1970′s. Those interested in hearing what KWVA has to offer can listen over the web or on the radio.

  16. Osprey Radio, University of North Florida

    Osprey Radio, founded in 1993, is a student-run station funded both by UNF’s student government and local sponsorships. The station is dedicated to helping UNF students learn more about radio and broadcasting, and all students are welcome to take part in the station’s operation. The bulk of Osprey Radio’s programming focuses on college and indie rock but DJs are encouraged to play other styles of music that interest them as well. Currently, the station is only available online, but UNF is working on getting the permits and funding to move to FM radio as well.

  17. WGRE, DePauw University

    Serving the larger Greencastle, Indiana area, WGRE 91.5 FM is a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year college radio station. Established in 1949, the station today employs over 200 student DJs. The station plays a wide range of music, though focuses largely on alternative offerings. Other programming includes news and sports shows. WGRE has been ranked as one of the top stations in the country by mtvU and the Princeton Review and honored by the Indiana Broadcasters Association, Society of Professional Journalists, and the Indiana Associated Press.

  18. WPUB, Pace University

    Listeners can check out this New York, New York station at any hour of the day, made especially easy with their online access. WPUB plays a wide variety of music, often asks for student volunteers to share their favorite music through their own shows. In addition to playing music, listeners will find a wealth of talk radio and interviews on the station.

  19. WSOU, Seton Hall University

    WSOU 89.5 FM, also known as Seton Hall’s Pirate Radio, is based out of this New Jersey college’s South Orange campus. Started in 1948, WSOU was the first college owned FM station in New Jersey. The station focuses on playing modern rock featuring genres like heavy metal, punk, emo, hardcore and post-hardcore as well as other types of rock-based music. Listeners will find a number of specialty shows as well, focusing on genres like punk, Christian metal, and emo. Additionally, the station features community, sports, and news programming. Those interested in seeing what WSOU has to offer can check it out on the radio or online.

  20. Radio DePaul, DePaul University

    This Chicago, Illinois station through DePaul university can’t get an FM license due to high number of stations in Chicago, but that hasn’t stopped them from putting together some great content online. The students working at this station play a wide range of music as well as offering talk programs, news, and sports.

Happy listening!

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