The Managing Partner of media brokerage powerhouse Patrick Communications read a story we penned about The University of Tennessee’s radio station needing some $15K to stay afloat, in the form of a new tower and possible transmitter. He quickly ponied up $5K toward that effort and is inviting others to do the same: “As a UT grad, I just pledged $5,000 toward its new transmitter for UTK. Thanks for letting me know the need.”
He added, “Today (10/1) is College Radio Day. College radio is what gave many in our business our first opportunity to be in radio. As a graduate of UT, it distressed me to hear about the technical needs of WUTK. Your story made me pick up the phone and talk with Dean Mike Wirth at the College. Like hopefully others who graduated from UT, I made a donation to help with the expenses of upgrading the station. Thanks for letting all of us UT communications grads know of the need to help protect college radio.”
The station says they get no funding from UT: “90.3 The Rock, also known as UT’s College of Rock WUTK, is an independent, non-commercial college radio station owned by the University of Tennessee and operated by the UT Department of Journalism and Electronic Media. The station is not funded through the University of Tennessee and relies on donations and community support for expensive repairs and equipment like this. The radio station’s transmitter tower sits atop Andy Holt Tower where time, weather, and other elements have damaged the tower, and the tower is in dire need of repair and replacement work. Currently, WUTK operates at just over 800 Watts and stream worldwide, but repairs to the tower would allow the radio station to raise the power allowing WUTK to be heard over an even larger coverage area. These needed repairs would allow the hard work of the students operating, broadcasting, and learning at the station to be heard by more people in the area and garner a larger support base. The transmitter repairs would also allow for 90.3 WUTK to support even more community events.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Kudos to Mr. Patrick for helping to keep the institution of college radio alive. Nothing shows up better on a resume than experience in real-world radio—be it commercial or non-commercial. A degree is great, but showing experience at the station level during a college career means the applicant really does like the medium and is not just looking for a paycheck.