VSC: VULTURE CULTURE
As you are aware, shameless vultures, aka the Chris Carroll led VSC, are in agreement with WPLN, Nashville Public Radio, with the primary purpose of wringing cash assets from the formally student-run and student-operated organization, WRVU. Why? To pay for Chris Carroll and his ‘adult’ staff salary bloat – a pathetic, VSC-led, petty cash-grab at the expense of a student-run asset serving the public. When there is a few bucks to skim, there is no level certain types will stoop to turn a quick buck, even if it is on the backs of students and the public good. The most galling part? The administration of a purported top-tier university such as Vanderbilt is watching dead-eyed as this embarrassing and shameful act has unfolded under their noses and on their own campus. [Psssst! Vanderbilt, void sale of WRVU! ]
SO WHERE ARE WE NOW?
Things seem to be quiet as of late. A little too quiet?
VSC and WPLN/WFCL are in a lease agreement only. That is to say, in order for the full license transfer to occur, several hurdles have to be overcome by the VSC and WPLN/WFCL.
1) WPLN/WFCL has to pay the VSC $3.5 million
2) Any license transfer requires an open FCC mandated 30 Day Public Comment period where Vanderbilt students and Nashville Community can comment on the travesty that is the sale of WRVU.
Regardless of what you have been led to believe, no WRVU license transfer can occur without the above being successfully completed.
It has been 9 months since the announced agreement and none of these hurdles have been met. This could mean that WPLN is having a tough time meeting the terms of the agreement, or it could mean that the VSC and WPLN are waiting for the outcry to dissipate.
One thing is certain:
The listening public and Vanderbilt students are taking the hit on this one.
-Vanderbilt student DJ involvement is down and ‘Dead Air’ is up [See below].
-The Vanderbilt/Nashville bond that WRVU provided is severed entirely thanks to Chris Carroll and his VSC.
-Much of WFCL, the classical music format station that is occupying WRVU’s 91.1 signal, is canned. Broadcasts are piped in from other NPR affiliates and NOT generated locally. How is this serving the public?
-Nearly a year into WFCL’s run, the listener-ship numbers have not been particularly impressive, further calling into question: How is this serving the public?
-The empty promises of the VSC remain largely unfulfilled.
-The VSC justifications for such an affront to all sense of common decency remain limp at best.
The proposed sale of WRVU to WPLN is not serving the benefit of anyone, least of all Vanderbilt students and the Nashville Community.
WE RECOMMEND THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS:
1) When this comment period begins, the Nashville community has the opportunity to comment on whether the transfer is good or bad for the affected community. This comment period could start tomorrow, or it could be this spring. Stay with us. We will let you know when it begins.
2) Contribute to the WRVU Friend and Family Fund. Donate. Get friends and family to donate. Go HERE to donate.
Why is this important? Although resistance to the, frankly, idiotic sale of WRVU has been loud and universal, we have no idea how the FCC will weigh their decision of granting the license transfer. License transfers such as this one proposed by the VSC are VERY Rare. Why? Because it is batshit stupid to sell off a priceless asset such as damn-near impossible to obtain asset such as WRVU’s on-air band width.
It is critical that YOU STAY WITH US, and yes, we are watching the situation very closely.
INSULT TO INJURY
Since the new “reboot” semester of WRVU, Chris Carroll can’t help but further turn the screws on those who might make the most of what remains left after the grave onslaught Chris Carroll has exacted on WRVU, a once proud and independent student organization.
1) The tie between the Nashville community and Vanderbilt students has been completely severed as Chris Carroll has unilaterally blocked community DJ applications. Most haven’t bothered reapplying since it is clear they are not welcomed.
2) WRVU is often ‘dead air’ (auto-rotation DJ HAL). [see below for more analysis]
3) Chris Carroll’s led VSC is doling out vague threats by mandating that “editorializing on air” (read: censoring student WRVU DJs) as a policy violation that “may result in permanent suspension”.
4) All student DJs must use a 24/7 “in-studio webcam and agree to be broadcast on the webcam video stream”. (read: Chris Carroll’s surveillance ‘Panoptic Prison’ to further stamp out whatever vestiges of independent thought and spirit are left in the participating students to guarantee a nice and docile ‘compliance’.
With the much reduced audience that WRVU has without an on-air license, you know that few are listening, but you are guaranteed that someone is always “watching”. Good times to be a student at Vanderbilt.
Mandatory surveillance? Vague mandates on ‘editorializing’? It is then no shocker that WRVU ‘dead air’ is up over 400% since WRVU has gone online only.
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY
The proposed sale of WRVU to WPLN is not serving anyone well, least of all Vanderbilt students and the Nashville Community. This sale can be stopped. That is why we need you to donate. Can you help bring WRVU back to the students and to Nashville? With your help, we can. If you think student/community radio is important, not just in Nashville, but everywhere, than you want to help save WRVU, if nothing else to send a signal to future vulture’s to say “Not so Fast!”. Please press this button.
Here are the incredible tallies for ‘dead-air’ (DJ Hal) taken at a random date. These sort of numbers are typical of most other weeks. As of a typical week 10/28/11 at 3pm:
Sun: 1-10a, 11a-1p, 5-6p, 11p-12a (13 hours)
Mon: 12a-6a, 7a-12p, 3-4p, 8-9p, 11p-12a (14 hours)
Tu: 12-8a, 9a-12p, 1-2p, 4-5p, 11p-12a (14 hours)
Weds: 12a-1p, 3-4p, 8-9p, 11p-12a (16 hours)
Thu: 12a-6a, 8a-12p, 3-5p, 11p-12a (13 hours)
Fri: 12a-9a, 10-11a, 12a-2p (12 hours)
Sa: 12a-12p, 1-3p, 6-10p, 11p-12a (19 hours)
101 hours of automation (60% automation in a given week, daily range 50% to 79%)
The 79% is SATURDAY!!!! Unbelievable!
Here’s the most recent schedule I could find for comparison, Spring 2009
25 hours of automation in 1 week (14% automation)
Here’s the Spring 2001 schedule:
27 hours off air, 21 of which was between 3-6am (16% off the air).