Tuesday, January 2, 2007

A Summary of the Three Proposals

Three organizations have expressed an interest in taking over WREK's main signal during all or part of the broadcast day. Student broadcasts would be relegated to an HD Radio "subchannel" which could only be heard using a $200+ HD Radio Receiver.

The details of the proposals have been described in The Technique (Georgia Tech's student newspaper), The Whistle (Georgia Tech's Faculty/Staff Newsletter), and Creative Loafing, an Atlanta weekly newspaper. To summarize, the three proposals are as follows:
  1. The Georgia Tech Athletic Association (GTAA) is proposing to somehow convert WREK from noncommercial to commercial operation. It would then be used to broadcast Georgia Tech athletic events; revenue from the commercial operation would go to the GTAA. This proposal was first reported in The Technique in a September 29th article, "WREK examines new proposals". Further details are provided in Creative Loafing in an Oct. 11 article "WREK faces proposal to go commercial" and in The Whistle in a Nov. 17 article "Athletics makes its pitch to student radio".
  2. Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) is proposing to "lease" WREK's main signal for 6 hours a day during the morning (6-9AM) and evening (3-6PM) "drive time" for NPR programming. This proposal is also described in the Sept. 29th Technique article and the Oct. 11 CL article.
  3. Public Broadcasting Atlanta (PBA) is proposing to lease" WREK's main signal 14 hours a day, from 5AM-7PM for NPR and other programming. PBA operates WABE, the public radio and TV stations in Atlanta, but is not affiliated with GPB. PBA's proposal is described in a Nov. 17, 2006 article in the Technique, "PBA inquires about managing WREK".
A common feature of each of these proposals is that WREK's signal would be upgraded to "HD Radio", which allows an FM signal to broadcast both its conventional main signal, which any FM radio can receive, and also one or more subchannels, which can be received with an HD radio receiver. Student broadcasts would be placed on one of these subchannels.

The next post discusses the planned response of the Tech Administration to these proposals.

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