WRAS alums form nonprofit to save station

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt October 27, 2014
Photo from a Facebook page created to promote the boycott of the GPB takeover of WRAS. /File

Photo from a Facebook page created to promote the boycott of the GPB takeover of WRAS. /File

The fight to over Georgia State University’s FM station isn’t over. 

Georgia Public Broadcasting took over WRAS 88.5 FM on June 29, and GPB programming accounts for 14 hours of each week day, from 5 am to 7 pm, Monday through Friday. Prior to the announcement by GSU, the station consisted entirely of student programming. Now the station’s student-run daytime programming is available online via Tune In Radio, and on HD radio receivers. 

The deal has been under fire since it was first announced back in May, and several generations of station alumni created the Album 88 Alumni group to continue pursuing the restoration of student control of the station. Today the Album 88 Alumni group reached a new milestone, announcing that they had achieved 501 (c) (3) nonprofit status retroactive to the group’s founding in May of 2014. 

This means that contributions to the Album 88 Alumni effort are tax deductible. According to board member and spokesperson Reid Laurens, the nonprofit status also means the group can run public service announcements on radio stations. 

Decaturish asked if that meant the group would try to run the PSA’s on 88.5. 

“Certainly that’s popped into my mind,” he said, but added that those decisions would be in the hands of the station’s new management. He also said the group might try to run the PSA’s on the rival nonprofit radio station, WABE. 

Laurens said the group is not going to give up fighting for a return of student control to the station. 

“Our position is the station needs to be controlled by the students 24 hours a day,” Laurens said. 

Lee Morin, the Album 88 Alumni corporate secretary, said via press release that the group’s new nonprofit status “validates our mission.” 

“The timing is perfect, as Album 88 Alumni prepares for a big push this winter to continue to educate, inform, and engage every possible remedy to preserve the college radio tradition, and return full control of WRAS Album 88’s signal to the students of Georgia State University, who fund its operation,” Morin said in the press release. 

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

  • 5 stone

    This is good news. I support the fight to return 88.5 to the students of GSU full time, every day.

  • underscorex

    I wish them luck.

    I don’t like their odds, but I wish them luck. I’m a dual-alumni of GSU, and they have
    lost any hope of donations from me – between the debacle that is the football team and the completely underhanded way that WRAS was stolen out from under the students’ noses, I’m done with ’em at LEAST until Becker is gone.

    • atlfc

      The football team is fine. People who know anything about college football know this. They are only in their fifth year and they are already competing at the FBS level (that is super quick) They’ve sent five players to the NFL. Bill Curry was a bad initial hire but the current coach (Trent Miles) is slowly turning things around and they will start winning games next season. I’ve made more new friends and networked through football games then I ever did as a student (01-05).

      • underscorex

        The only reason they’re in FBS is because the Sun Belt thinks that GSU is their entry into the Atlanta TV market. The program itself is a massive joke that has been mismanaged from the start.

        By comparison, look at how Mercer down in Macon started up their football program. Small steps, slow growth, and they’re selling out games against evenly-matched opponents, not punching above their weight by playing Alabama.

        • atlfc

          The media market was a small part of the equation. The FBS move was spurred on by all the conference realignments that took place in the last three years. That was the single biggest factor. The window of opportunity to move up was very small and GSU had to take it. Also go check out the 2015 conference recruiting standings and notice who is ranked fifth (ahead of Ga Southern). Their potential as a program is ridiculous. Go talk to high school coaches and players and they would disagree with you. Again, Curry (who mismanaged everything with the program) was a terrible initial hire but Miles has been a great hire. And save me this Mercer crap. They are a private school in the sticks. FBS football is NEVER coming to Macon. They know what they are and they are fine with it.

          • underscorex

            The absolute best case scenario for Georgia State is midcard mediocrity. They’re never going to be UGA. They’re never even going to be Louisville. Maybe, MAYBE once the new facility goes in on top of The Ted, students might give a damn, but right now? They’re having to literally give away money to get more than a hundred people to show up. They are one of the five worst programs in FBS. If they win the Sun Belt by 2020 I will return to this thread, track you down, and give you fifty bucks.

            And the entire POINT of Mercer was that they knew exactly what their potential is. Small school in a town where there isn’t much else – the entire town is supporting the program now. Atlanta as a city is never going to see GSU as the “home team” because so few people are FROM Atlanta – they come here with their existing Clemson or Auburn or Florida or UGA association.

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