You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

WRAS in the hands of GPB despite Georgia State concessions

Completing a deal announced nearly two months ago, powerhouse Georgia Public Broadcasting will take control Sunday of Georgia State University’s student-led radio station, 88.5/WRAS-FM.

Exactly what it will sound like is anyone’s guess.

University officials pledged Friday to push for more daytime airtime for students who want to play music despite the station’s revamped “news and information” format. They additionally won more music programming hours for students over the weekend, despite a lingering bitterness over the university’s decision to keep students in the dark during initial negotiations.

“On one hand, this is a small concession toward what we wanted, but it’s far from what we asked,” said Georgia State graduate student Josh Martin, who just completed a term as WRAS’ program director and still works at the station.

Still, the last-minute talks seemed to be an attempt to appease angry supporters of what had been one of the top college radio stations in the nation. It also appeared to stall an announcement of the new station’s over-the-air schedule, despite the pending changeover.

GPB officials declined last week to release programming notes for the new WRAS until this coming Monday, despite completing the deal May 6.

Friday’s announcement also gave hope to those opposed to what’s officially been deemed a “partnership” despite control of the station being given to GPB, the state’s top public broadcaster. University alumni who prefer the station be student-led and musically driven proposed Wednesday to have separate FM frequencies for GPB and the university’s student disc jockeys.

Now, the university has hired engineers and other media consultants to pursue what’s officially called an “alternate translator frequency” for a daytime, student-run version of Album 88 — the station’s nickname. GPB will still control the station’s powerful 100,000-watt signal.

Starting Sunday, it will broadcast over the station’s daily 88.5 FM airspace from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Students will be given access to the remaining evening and overnight hours. The revised agreement also gives WRAS students eight additional hours of weekend broadcast time.

As in the original deal, students will be allowed to produce a weekly half-hour magazine radio program about music and culture. They will additionally gain new daily access to a GPB television broadcast studio facility between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., and they have been promised an online streaming webcast.

As a result of the deal, GPB gains its first dedicated FM station in the high-profile metro Atlanta market — despite having operated a statewide public radio network since the mid-1980s. In return, university officials have said the additional broadcast opportunities could open the door for students to work with Georgia’s film and television industry.

“GPB is excited to launch in Atlanta,” GPB said in a statement Friday. “We look forward to bringing Atlanta listeners news and information programming that will provide new insights and help us initiate conversations with Atlanta and the rest of the state. We’re very pleased to partner with Georgia State and look forward to maximizing the opportunities for the university and students.”

The takeover and subsequent protests have made news across the country, with supporters late last week organizing a national hourlong simulcast in honor of WRAS that aired on more than 55 stations in 25 states.

“We proved that WRAS is beloved by not just people in Atlanta, but by the entire country,” said Robert Quicke, an associate communications professor at William Paterson University in New Jersey and founder of the College Radio Day movement. “With that kind of extraordinary support, why would Georgia State throw that away?”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Georgia Politics

‘Back the Badge’ bill passes state Senate
‘Back the Badge’ bill passes state Senate

State Senators passed a bill Thursday designed to support the efforts of law enforcement officials in the state. Dubbed the “Back the Badge Act,” Senate Bill 160 increases punishment to individuals who commit certain crimes against public safety officers. House committee members changed the definition in the bill from peace officer to public...
8 tax breaks up in the air on final day of 2017 Georgia session
8 tax breaks up in the air on final day of 2017 Georgia session

The General Assembly heads into its 40th and final day of the 2017 session with taxes on its mind. Here are eight potential tax breaks that will be decided Thurday:State income tax cut. Both chambers have voted to lower the top state income tax rate, albeit to different levels. The big money would go to upper-income earners, but hey, a tax cut...
Day 40: Things to watch on final day of Georgia’s legislative session
Day 40: Things to watch on final day of Georgia’s legislative session

If the nasty missives the Georgia House and Senate launched at each other near midnight Tuesday are any indication, lawmakers are in for a riot of a final day Thursday. Sine Die, Latin for “without a day,” signals the last day of the annual legislative session, and the key question facing Georgia legislators is whether the leaders of the...
An 18-candidate debate shows how jumbled Georgia special election is
An 18-candidate debate shows how jumbled Georgia special election is

The vast field of candidates racing to represent Georgia’s 6th Congressional District kept the escalating feuds with each other largely beneath the surface and instead focused on a range of competing ideologies on tax overhauls and health policies Wednesday at the first major event featuring all 18 contenders. The leading Republican candidates...
Watchdog: Georgia bill lets cities take blighted land for developers
Watchdog: Georgia bill lets cities take blighted land for developers

Georgia voters are not fans of eminent domain — the condemnation of private property by government — especially when government officials do it to fatten their tax base. In 2006, Georgia voters sent as strong a message as you are likely to hear when 83 percent of them said government shouldn’t seize private property for economic...
More Stories