Today, college radio stations around the country will broadcast something a little different for an hour: another college radio station. Through a partnership with the College Radio Day organization, WRAS Atlanta and at least 47 college radio stations, there will be a wide-ranging simulcast in a move called We Are WRAS, showcasing a public affairs program that highlights the legacy, history and music of WRAS over the years.
The broadcast is a protest against Georgia State University’s decision to turn WRAS, or Album 88, over to Georgia Public Broadcasting. The move, which will take effect June 30, will have WRAS broadcasting National Public Radio from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Student programming would be confined predominantly to an online broadcast, featured on the radio only between the hours of 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. In response, students and alumni have organized aid groups, concerts and protests.
WRAS has been broadcasted by Georgia State students since 1971, and was the first college run radio station to hold a 100,000 watt signal. The station features a regular rotation of new music, from indie rock to electronic to hip hop and everything in between, and also hosts specialty shows focusing on genres such as post-punk, hip hop, folk and local music. WRAS has proved pivotal in getting many now-famous artists from Georgia noticed on a larger scale, such as Outkast, Deerhunter and R.E.M.
“I am very, very disheartened by the situation,” Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox said in an interview with 11Alive Atlanta. “I really wish that Georgia Public Radio would recognize the harm that they could be doing to the culture in this town.”
A list of stations engaging in today’s simulcast at 10 a.m. PST and 1 p.m. EST can be found here, and more information on the situation can be found at savewras.com, on Facebook and Twitter.