College radio stations have long given a microphone to local musicians and DJs looking for an audience (and people who wanna talk about stuff), but like many awesome campus institutions, they're endangered by the swinging budget ax. Over the past few years, more than a dozen student-run stations across the country have been sold by their universities, usually to NPR or religious broadcasters, and in the shift, the plug has been pulled on some wonderfully weird programming.
Kids just want their radio back. Today is the inaugural College Radio Day, a national party on the airwaves with about 350 stations joining in with special programming--live music, interviews and giveaways. The goal is to encourage people to tune into their local college radio stations, and hopefully program them permanently into their dials.
"It's time to support creative programming and truly independent content and music you can't find anywhere else," reads the College Radio Day Facebook page. "It's time to start giving back to the stations that help break the bands you love."
This morning, George Rosales of the KUCI show George Had a Hat ("Bitchin' radio from behind the Orange Curtain") urged listeners to support the long-running station. "We do not play Top 40 or mainstream music or even what they play on KROQ, a radio station out here that used to be cool," he said. "We want to help out independent music, independent labels, independent bands . . . and just play something new or something you've never heard before."
The "official app" of College Radio Day is RadioFlag, a radio search engine that lets listeners search their interests, stream stations live and connect with other listeners, all from their iPhone, Android or online. The OC-based tech company launched on the UC Irvine campus in April.
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