A Letter to Georgia State University regarding WRAS Album 88



Unless you've been living in a hole (or outside of Atlanta), you probably know that the iconic Georgia State University radio station Album 88 WRAS is in danger. A couple of months ago, it was announced that Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) would be taking over WRAS between the hours of 5:00 AM and 7:00 PM and the college students would broadcast online during those hours. 

Naturally, people all over Atlanta are upset about this, especially given that most of the programming GPB plans to play is either already on the air on WABE 90.1 (Atlanta's NPR station) or available to stream online. This takeover was supposed to happen on June 2nd but was delayed to June 29th. So in a last-ditch effort to stop this, the Save WRAS Facebook page asked people to:

Email the following individuals demanding the GPB contract be canceled in favor of the stronger Album 88 Alumni proposal:
Mark Becker 
GSU President
MBecker@gsu.edu

Douglass Covey
GSU VP Student Affairs
DCovey@gsu.edu

Teya Ryan
GPB CEO
TRyan@gpb.org

Please cc WRAStrong@gmail.com with all your correspondence.

Please Tweet, FB, Instagram and email friends to support the Album 88 Alumni proposal to keep WRAS-Atlanta student-run and over the airwaves. Use #SaveWRAS & #WRAStrong

So I composed a letter, and I thought I would share it with you here. 


Dear Mark Becker, Douglass Covey, and Teya Ryan:
 
My name is Sara Crawford. I am a 29-year-old singer/songwriter and author living in Marietta. I never attended Georgia State University, but Album 88 WRAS was a very big part of my college experience. I remember all of the times I drove to my classes at Kennesaw State University, listening to the exciting new music on Album 88. In a landscape of bland commercial radio stations in Atlanta that play the same 50 songs over and over again, Album 88 is extremely refreshing. It is the only radio station a metro Atlanta resident can turn to to hear new music, a wide variety of music, local music from fellow Georgians, and a student-run iconic radio station that has lasted 40 years. 
 
As someone who has been active in the Atlanta music scene, there is a special place in my heart for Album 88. I will never forget how it felt to turn on the Georgia Music Show and hear my song "Cyclone" on the radio for the very first time. It's getting harder and harder for independent musicians to get their music out there, and without stations like Album 88, it would be so much more difficult. This station has been an integral part of the whole music scene in Atlanta. It has helped launch many different careers throughout the past four decades--both of musicians and radio personalities alike. 
 
I have discovered SO many bands on Album 88. Bands like Stars, Dark Dark Dark, Faces on Film, Laura Reed and Deep Pocket, Freelance Whales...I could go on. These bands have meant the world to me. They have been there for me in difficult times. There is a certain kind of magic when you are driving around as an adolescent, having a really horrible day, and you hear that perfect song at the perfect time on the radio. That never happens on 105.7 or 94.1 or 98.5 or any of the other stations in Atlanta because every time I turn them on, it's that same song from 1999 that we've all heard 1800 times and has no meaning anymore.
 
Sure, there are a lot of other outlets for music these days. Spotify, Last FM, Pandora. And I use these sometimes. But there is still a place for analog radio--especially in the car. I can't tell you how many memories I have of driving around listening to Album 88 or driving out of town and listening until it fades away (which usually takes a while). 
 
I understand that this deal would still allow GSU students to play music at night time on Album 88 and stream online. However, this is not enough. The prime radio times are the commute to and from work, and WRAS should be available during those times! The online streaming is great, but when Album 88 is only available online, it is in direct competition with Spotify, Pandora, etc. and will lose listeners. 
 
Furthermore, WE ALREADY HAVE an outlet for NEWS and NPR in ATLANTA. 90.1 WABE is a great radio station that I listen to often. It is my understanding that a lot of the programming you are planning to play on GPB/WRAS is ALREADY BEING PLAYED on 90.1. We don't need two radio stations playing the exact same thing in Atlanta! No one wants this. 
 
Lastly, I truly believe that Album 88 WRAS as it stands right now is much more beneficial for students who want to learn about radio, be a part of an iconic radio station, and participate in everything that makes the Atlanta music scene great. Shouldn't you be doing what is best for the students of Georgia State University? If you took a poll, I guarantee you 99.9% of Georgia State Students would not be in favor of this plan. 
 
If you take away WRAS, you are taking away one of the most special things about Atlanta culture. You are taking away the last remaining decent outlet for new music in Atlanta radio. You are depriving Atlanta residents from being able to discover new, independent bands, and you are depriving the musicians of one precious outlet to reach people with their music. Please cancel the contract.
 
The Album 88 Alumni have created a well-written proposal that would be a much better compromise and a much better solution for the future of WRAS. Please read it and re-consider. http://savewras.com/proposal/
 
Thank you,
 
Sara Crawford


Please e-mail, tweet, FB, instagram, all of the above! Use the hashtag #SaveWRAS and #WRAStrong

It's not too late!

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