This morning I got an e-mail from Dave Game the founder of the Corning Community College radio station WCEB that it had lost it’s license. I have written about WCEB before and the ideas I had for making it a viable option for the Corning Community. Sure it was low powered but it had potential well at least I thought so. I thought it so much that I sent an e-mail to the President of CCC with my ideas of what could be done to make WCEB a great local community radio station and a learning tool for the students. So in this hard time for the local radio station especially in the Corning/Elmira market where most of the radio stations are all on hard times I raise my glass to you WCEB the radio station that started the carriers of many of the radio personalties in what was one of the best markets to start a radio carrier. Here is a copy of the e-mail I sent the President of Corning Community College.
As a former student of Corning Community College and former announcer on WCEB it was sad to see that the college hasn’t renewed the license for WCEB. I was the program director of WCEB in 1986 and 1987. I always thought that the station was never used to it’s full potential for the college and the Corning radio community.
WCEB is one of only a handful of Class D licensed radio stations in the United States.
In Corning there are 13 stations licensed to Corning including WCEB. 7 of the licenses are for repeaters for stations outside of the Corning area. Of the 6 remaining stations 3 of them are in financial trouble and are cutting back on local programing and personnel. The remaining 2 just play bubble gum top 40 music and are programed by people outside the Corning area.
The Corning radio market use to be a great place for up and coming radio personnel to get there feet wet in the broadcasting field. But since deregulation of radio and TV the big corporations have bought up most of the stations in the area and cut back on station personnel in favor of satellite fed shows or making the station automated and getting rid of the human factor in broadcasting.
I have always thought that WCEB should be run as a business for the school and not as a student club. It should be used as a teaching tool as well as a way to promote the college and to give back to the Corning community. I have always felt that if I was given a chance to run WCEB again I could make it a viable concern. It is already licensed as non-commercial so making it a public radio station would not be hard. As a format I would make it a hybrid of WXPN in Philadelphia and FreeForm radio such as WFMU as well as brodcasting CCC sports events and other community shows. In my 5 year plan the college would provide funding for the station with grant money as we rebuild the station, we would have fund drives 2 times a year starting in the 2nd or 3rd year and slowly start cutting the college funding from our budget. For personel we would start with a manager/program director/announcer/board operator and a part time certified radio engineer to maintain and take care of the equipment as well as marketing manager. To fill out the air shiifts we would take volunteers from the comunity and college. As well as have internship positions hopfully filled by CCC students.
I have more ideas about this and feel that it is an idea that Corning Community College should think about as a way to educate your students and as a way to give back to the Corning community.
Update: The deletion of the license by the FCC was also mentioned in this weeks North East Radio Watch by Scott Fybush