The Fayetteville Flyer today celebrates KXUA, the student run radio station at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. It’s about to turn 10. And as far as the folks at the Flyer are concerned, it’s another reason “Fayetteville rules.”
Little Rock, of course, has something comparable, but crucially different — KABF, also 88.3 FM, the local community radio station (full disclosure: I’ve got a “friend” who’s had a show for more years than he can count). It’s been similarly focused, but at least in recent years, skews considerably older, with a focus mostly on genres like blues, jazz and bluegrass. Too, the Hispanic block, which usually takes anywhere from two to four prime time hours during the week, is crucial in a city without a dedicated Hispanic radio station, but at the expense of the diversity for which the station’s long been known.
More bitching: I’m still smarting over the cancellation of the Greatest Radio Show in the History of Arkansas Radio.
The crucial difference, of course, besides a steady promise of infrastructure and what I imagine is probably limited financial support from the university, is that KXUA can always count on a steady stream of young folk to keep things fresh. I’m pretty sure the youngest person with a show on KABF is about to turn 29. Which is not a sign that the station discriminates against the youth*. I’s probably as simple as it doesn’t really recruit.
So, here you go, recruitment: Young folks, go get a radio show. It ain’t hard. There’s generally turnover.
*Lest I get branded as an ageist, I’ll say that some of the station’s finest shows come courtesy of the middle-aged and elderly. But there’s gotta be a mix.