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Ithaca College Participates in National Celebration of College Radio

ITHACA, NY — To increase awareness of the important contributions that college radio stations make to America’s airwaves, College Radio Day will be celebrated on Tuesday, Oct. 11. Among the hundreds of participating stations nationwide will be Ithaca College’s two student-operated radio outlets — 92 WICB and VIC Radio. In 2009, Ithaca College was ranked #1 in the nation by Princeton Review for having the best college radio.

College Radio Day was conceived of by the general managers of the student stations at William Paterson University and Saint Xavier University to promote the notion that college radio is one of the last remaining bastions of creative radio programming, free from the constrictions of having to be commercially viable.

Operating out of the Roy H. Park School of Communications, 92 WICB and VIC Radio give students the opportunity to put classroom theory into practice.

“With nearly 250 students from all areas of the college participating, our stations provide hands-on opportunities in all aspects of radio station operations, and they offer unique programming that is simply not available on commercial stations,” said Chris Wheatley, manager of radio operations for the Park School.

Established in 1947, WICB can be heard at 91.7 FM and on the Internet and features the region’s only modern rock format, along with a daily jazz program and weekend specialty shows ranging from Broadway to the Beatles to Hip-Hop. It broadcasts regular news and public affairs programming as well as live coverage of Ithaca College sports.

Among other honors, WICB won the inaugural Woodie Award for best college radio station from mtvU and was named “Best Public Radio Station” and “Best Local Radio Station” in the “Ithaca Times” readers’ poll. It has also won national awards for its news and sports programs from Associated Collegiate Press and College Broadcasters Inc.

VIC (Voice of Ithaca College) Radio began as an AM carrier-current station in 1957, switched to FM cable transmission in the 1970s and began streaming on the Internet in 1997. Its format consists of infectious indie-pop — with specialty programming ranging from 60s hits to metal — along with news and sports.

This past year VIC celebrated the 25th anniversary of its annual 50-Hour Marathon, which has raised thousands of dollars for local charities including Ithaca Community Harvest, Tompkins Community Action Emergency Food Pantry and AIDSWork of Tompkins County.

At 9:45 a.m. on Oct. 11, both stations will air a special feature, “College Radio in 2011: Its Past, Present & Future.” The program looks at the role of college radio as well as the impact of technology and the changing listening habits of radio audiences.

“While industry opportunities are less plentiful than they once were, experiences gained through work on our stations teach skills that are transferable to other fields,” noted Wheatley. “Learning to work on a deadline, present oneself professionally, promote a brand, conceive and create projects and solve problems creatively are among the many benefits for students.”

Both stations have free apps for listening on the Web that can be downloaded from iTunes. For more information on 92 WICB and VIC Radio, visit www.wicb.org and www.vicradio.org or contact Chris Wheatley at (607) 274-3142 or wheatley@ithaca.edu.

For more information on College Radio Day, visit www.collegeradioday.com#!/.



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