Many Atlantans (including myself) will agree that there is a substantial target market of radio listeners who would prefer the choice to hear daytime NPR programs rather than umpteen hours of entry level classical music and that the introduction of this programming would fill a longstanding hole in Atlanta's radio market. While we welcome the arrival of daytime NPR programming to the Metro area, we believe that taking over Georgia State's radio station 88.5 WRAS, known as "Album 88", in order to facilitate this would be a critical error. In addition, the way in which Georgia State made this deal showed a complete lack of respect for the students who run WRAS. None of the station's management, DJs, or other staff were consulted or informed by GSU administration about a GPB at any point in time. Those involved with WRAS had absolutely no idea a takeover was emminent and only learned about the deal after local news media had reported on the story.
An Atlanta institution,WRAS has been on the air for almost 45 years. However, its legacy is far greater than that of a mere college radio station. WRAS is an emblem of Atlanta's cultural legacy: past, present, and future. A world-renowned outlet for local voices, remarkably diverse music, and undiscovered talent, 88.5 FM was instrumental in helping launch the careers of famed local groups such as R.E.M. in the 1980s, Outkast in the 1990s, and Deerhunter in the 2000s.
It's no secret that Atlanta's radio market has degenerated into a homogenized glop over the past 10 years thanks to companies like Clearchannel desperately targeting only the lowest common denominator of listeners as commercial radio becomes less and less profitable in the modern world. However, in a radio market as notoriously awful as ours, having a truly unique voice on the airwaves such as WRAS, a station that remains untainted by corporate interests and steadfast in its mission to be a source of musical exploration for Atlanta, is honestly a godsend.
We ask that Georgia State University reconsider its deal with Georgia Public Broadcasting that would, in June 2014, eliminate all original student-made daytime content on celebrated Atlanta college radio station WRAS in exchange for a GPB simulcast of nationally syndicated NPR programming. Album 88 is a historic part of Atlanta culture, and as such, GSU needs to put their greed aside and fufill their obligation to preserve the integrity of this landmark station.
Who to contact (GPB):
GPB In the Atlanta area: 404.685.2400 GPB Outside Atlanta: 800.222.6006
Teya Ryan, President & CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Olive, Chief Operating Officer, email@example.com
Elizabeth Laprade, Chief Financial Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Brienza, Vice President—News & Sports,email@example.com
Bert Huffman, Vice President - Development and Marketing, firstname.lastname@example.org
Who to contact (Georgia State University):
Douglass Covey, Vice President of Student Affairs - 404-413-1500
Rebecca Stout, Dean of Students - 404-413-1515
GSU Alumni Office - 404-413-2190
Use the hashtag #savewras to spead the word.
Let your voice be heard!