An expanded broadcast partnership between WXXI Public Broadcasting Council and WRUR University of Rochester will enlarge the broadcast audience, give listeners more options, and offer University students new learning opportunities.
Under the new agreement, WXXI-AM 1370 and WRUR-FM 88.5 will enhance their working partnership by sharing programming and resources while still offering an original mix of locally hosted shows.
With more professional guidance from WXXI, students at WRUR ("Different Radio") have learned how to better manage the station and host shows, while finding a balance between news programming such as National Public Radio (NPR) and musical programming that will suit a diverse audience of listeners.
Norm Silverstein, president of WXXI said: "This long-term partnership will allow us to continue improving WRUR and provide programming that will enrich the Greater Rochester listening audience. It is our goal to make WRUR the most intelligent and most distinctive choice in the region. Both in news and music programming, we will continue to make "Different Radio."
C. Mike Lindsey, WRUR station general manager and junior in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering, said the partnership has helped immensely with the development of station management and has also improved the quality of programming. Prior to the partnership, he said, the station worked strictly with free-form air time, which meant that students were able to broadcast any type of musical blend.
"I firmly believe that you need some kind of structure to manage a professional radio station," Lindsey said. "This collaboration has allowed us to do so much more and has opened up many new opportunities."
The station is now considered AAA format—a mixture of music that Lindsey calls "what college students like that their parents would dig as well."
Additionally, WXXI will provide an experienced staff member to work as an advisor to the radio station staff, offer a broadcasting course to University students, create internship and employment opportunities, and offer technical assistance, giving the students the tools needed to enhance the quality of the radio station.
"I am excited that the dedicated student leaders at WRUR will now have increased opportunities for learning and professional expertise to assist in enhancing the quality of the radio station," said Anne-Marie Algier, director of Wilson Commons and Student Activities.
Meanwhile more listeners will be able to appreciate the enhanced quality and more efficiently managed station. With the relocation of the WRUR broadcast antenna to WXXI's Pinnacle Hill broadcast tower, a point in the new agreement, listernship for the WRUR-FM 88.5 will expand to a 50 mile radius south of Rochester covering areas such as, Canandaigua, Dansville and Mt. Morris. Radio listeners in these areas will be able to enjoy shows like NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered on an FM station for the first time during their daily commute and tune into an eclectic blend of music.