November 21, 2011

WVBR Plans to Launch Online Radio Stream

Print More

WVBR will launch a new online radio stream geared toward Cornell students when classes resume in the spring, according to a Powerpoint presentation obtained by The Sun. The stream is part of an effort to expand and revamp digital content and is set to go live on Jan. 23.

The Powerpoint presentation outlines plans for the second stream, dubbed “WVBR ‘2,’” and in several places compares the radio station to Slope Media Group. The slide show, compiled by a WVBR staff member, was forwarded to the WVBR email list.

David DyTang ’12, general manager of WVBR, confirmed the contents of the slide show Monday night, including the intended Jan. 23 unveiling.

According to DyTang, the new stream will be live, but will not correspond to an FM radio station. In contrast to WVBR’s current online stream, which is identical to the 93.5 FM on-air broadcast, the second stream will not be subject to Federal Communications Commission regulations. This model — an online-only live stream — is currently used by Slope Media Group.

“We are now truly a media conglomerate, and Slope looks like a bigger joke than it already is,” the WVBR Powerpoint states.

The Powerpoint addresses the issue of competition between WVBR and Slope Media. The first slide reads: “Slope Media Group: Who are they? A group with 17,000 … a year … starting next year.”

Despite a subsequent slide titled “Reasons We’ve Been Losing Recruits to Slope,” WVBR News Director Drew Endick ’14 said the second stream is not a move against Slope Media.

“The focus of the second stream is not anything against Slope — it is to expand our organization,” Endick said. “This isn’t really to fight against them; it’s to expand our company and to provide students on campus [with] an opportunity to get involved in an established media company that really has a plan for the future.”

DyTang said the additional stream would create opportunities for students to get more time on the air.

“The overarching purpose of this new stream is to expand our capabilities and options for students who are interested in training and learning more about media,” DyTang said.

Though WVBR’s typical audience is the Ithaca and Tompkins County communities, Endick said, the new stream will appeal more to the Cornell student body.

“You guys will see what it is on launch,” Endick said Monday night.

The Powerpoint was sent out after the Student Assembly approved Slope Media Group’s application for byline funding on Oct. 20. The S.A. Appropriations Committee granted Slope Media $1.25 per student from the Student Activity Fee, raising its funding from $13,000 to about $17,000 annually, The Sun reported in October.

Benjamin Kling ’13, web director for WVBR, said Monday that the development would definitely encourage WVBR to take a more aggressive approach toward recruitment.

“I would say our main focus in competition [with Slope Media] is to attract students,” Kling said.Slope Media Group President Ariella Weintraub ’12 declined to comment.

While Nischay Rege ’12, WVBR program director, said DJ recruitment at WVBR had been successful this semester, he expressed concern with the S.A.’s assertion that there was a lack of educational opportunity in broadcast media for Cornell students and how the S.A. comment could affect recruitment.

“If such a statement were accepted, that would almost deny the existence of WVBR,” Rege said Monday night.

Despite competition between the two organizations for student recruitment, Endick said Monday that the development of a second online stream had been in the works before the S.A. approved byline funding for Slope Media.

“The Powerpoint itself was a proposal from one of the WVBR staff members,” Endick said. “I think what you see in the Powerpoint is not reflective of what the goal of this project is ultimately going to be.”

Original Author: Rebecca Harris