First, how on earth could Rice think that announcing the sale of KTRU a week and a half before students returned, after never mentioning that a sale of the station was even being considered, would generate anything but enormous buckets of ill will?!?!
Second, did they learn nothing from the Cactus Café debacle?
Third, does Rice, located in the middle of the dining out capital of America, really want to sell their radio station to fund another campus dining option? I mean come on, people, at least claim you were trying to raise funds for some fancy scientific instrument or something.
OK, let’s get constructive.
Rice, by selling KTRU, will squander an incredibly valuable teaching tool. If they felt the resource was not being fully utilized, why didn’t they ask the students and alumni who love KTRU to come up with a plan to make it worth keeping around? A few scenarios I can imagine:
1. Get more students involved. Rice has the Jones School full of MBA candidates who would no doubt give up a semi-useful body part to be able to put ‘managed a college radio station’s business office’ on their résumés. Get them to develop a business plan.
2. Get those b-school students on the air. Think any of them would like an excuse to introduce themselves to local and regional captains of industry to create a business news and interview show? How hard can it be to compete with KUHF’s business news?
3. Collaborate. You will need to find funding, and the big foundations around town love a good collaboration. KUHF, while its license is held by the University of Houston, does not operate with anywhere near the same level of student involvement or leadership as KTRU.
Create opportunities for UH and University of St. Thomas students to participate in KTRU. Why just those two schools? Well, just those two for a start, both because they are geographically close to you, and because they would help you tap into great funding sources. Texas Southern University already has KTSU, but you might still benefit from involving their students, now or in the future. Your signal is stronger, and they are wired to the community.
I could go on, but I’m not in the thick of it, and I’m guessing the KTRU community has already gone into overdrive with ideas.
It would be incredibly sad to lose KTRU. It was such a beacon for so many of us. I can remember hearing The Dishes Girls with Glasses, name-checking the library at Rice, and convincing my mother that the Rice library was exactly the place I needed to go to study.
I wanna get a library card
I wanna hang around at Rice
I wanna meet those nuclear physicists