Atlanta, GA, June 2, 2014 – Students struggling to maintain control of programming at Georgia State University’s radio station WRAS (Album 88) were joined today by an alumni group which seeks to cancel the recently-announced contract giving Georgia Public Broadcasting the right to air talk radio programs for 14 hours each day using WRAS’s signal. Album 88 Alumni announced its formation as a non-profit corporation with the goal of keeping GSU students in control of all programs broadcast on WRAS, which operates at 88.5 on the FM dial.
“Our main goal is the same as GSU President Mark Becker’s,” said Album 88 Alumni president Zachary Lancaster. “We want to give GSU students who work at WRAS the best possible opportunities to learn about radio, music production and broadcasting. But we believe giving most of the daily broadcast hours to GPB will reduce, not expand, the opportunities for students to learn. For 43 years, Album 88 has represented a unique format in Atlanta, which GSU’s contract with GPB would silence and replace with talk radio content in a market already saturated with such programming.”
Album 88 Alumni’s first action this morning was to request a meeting with GSU President Mark Becker to voice concerns about the contract with GPB and seek its cancellation. “We want to make certain he hears and understands the voices of hundreds of WRAS alumni and thousands of WRAS listeners who are calling the contract a bad deal for students and listeners of WRAS. The small number of GPB internships mentioned in the contract should have been offered to GSU students with no strings attached, and not in exchange for access to WRAS’s broadcast signal,” said Lancaster.
Album 88 Alumni will also consider alternate means to cancel the contract between GSU and GPB, if the request for a meeting with President Becker does not result in a satisfactory conclusion.
Addressing the recent announcement from GSU and GPB that implementation of the agreement will be delayed until June 29, Lancaster commented, “We welcome the administration’s indication that the contract is being reconsidered. The petition at change.org that calls for the contract to be cancelled currently has more than 11,000 signatures, which goes to show how important the student-run format is for the Atlanta community at large.”
Album 88 Alumni’s board of directors includes former staffers and department managers of the station from every decade of its 43-year history. In addition to board president Zachary Lancaster, board members include: Lee Morin, Esq. (Secretary), Victoria Rey (Treasurer), Jez de Wolff (a former General Manager of WRAS), Gail Harris, and Reid Laurens.
Album 88 Alumni will file an application with the IRS to gain status as a 501(c)(3) corporation, which would mean donations it receives would be tax-deductible for donors. Donations will be used for support of WRAS initiatives not funded by GSU; marketing for the #SaveWRAS movement; to preserve the history of WRAS; and to create events where WRAS alumni and current students who work at WRAS can come together for networking and mentoring.
About Album 88 Alumni: Album 88 Alumni (A88A) seeks to preserve student-controlled radio programming at Georgia State University’s WRAS-Atlanta 88.5 FM (Album 88) by serving as an advocate for the nation’s first 100,000-watt student-run college radio station, strengthening the bond between alumni and current students for their benefit and providing an association for former Album 88 staff everywhere.