Georgia State University made a surprise announcement today about the future of its collegiate radio station, WRAS-FM. The 100,000 watt student run station will soon begin sharing the airwaves with Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB).
Along with the new partnership, comes a daytime format shift. From 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., the station will broadcast GPB programming, which will focus on news and information. However, from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., the station will remain to be programmed by the university’s students. Album 88, the student run portion of the station, will still be available in the daytime hours via online streaming.
Since its establishment in 1971, the collegiate station has been known for two things: its eclectic taste in musical programming and its 100,000 watt transmission signal (one of the strongest in the nation). According to an article published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the daytime format shift came as a total shock to Album 88 staff and listeners. On Tuesday afternoon, the station’s Facebook page posted this statement:
“WRAS management and staff have had no part in the decision made by the university regarding our partnership with GPB. As a completely student-run/managed station, the administration of GSU acted unilaterally in making this decision. A statement from the staff on the matter will be made public soon.”
Conversely, GPB is celebrating the new partnership, as it will mark the debut of the organization in the Atlanta radio market. The new partnership will also serve as an opportunity for GPB to compete with WABE in the news and information broadcast genre.
Are you an avid Album 88 listener? What do you think of this sudden, surprising format pivot?