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Bright Spots For College Radio And Indie Music

Ksua-radioThough seldom discussed on most music industry blogs, college radio is an important part of the landscape for indie music acts. Though some stations are seeing hard times, others are thriving and music is often a key element in their success. Here are three stations that have made music news in 2013.

Boston Phoenix Closes, WTBU Seizes the Day

Alt newsweeklies are also important to indie musicians so the shuttering of the Boston Phoenix was bad news. However students involved with Boston University's WTBU Radio saw an opportunity in the empty Boston Phoenix newspaper boxes scattered around the city.

So they started a zine and began distributing them via Boston Phoenix boxes.

"'We have always promoted the alternative scene in Boston, but as a radio station, we focused on doing that through music,' said WTBU General Manager and junior Deanna Archetto...When designing the zine, Archetto says the goal was to then draw on WTBU's strength, largely its 'punk aesthetic,' to create content that is 'in-your-face, informative, honest and fun.'"

Hard to say how long this can last but it's nice to see old school tactics being revived.

Check out the first issue here.

Kbeach Radio Launches at Cal State Long Beach

As Radio Survivor's Jennifer Waits noted, 2012 was a "Mixed Bag for College Radio." These days most things music-related are a mix of good and bad but 2013 has seen at least one high point with the launch of Kbeach FM at Cal State Long Beach.

The station has been online only till now:

"Among the dignitaries in attendance was station founder Mike Soultanian, who was presented with the KBeach founder’s award. He spoke of KBeach’s humble beginnings in his dorm room in 1995. 'When we started, there was no way to get onto FM or AM,' Soultanian said of the online approach. 'It wasn’t about listenership, it was about learning how to do radio.'"

Kbeach launched with a Soulection show by alum Joe Kay.

KSUA Wins mtvU Woodie for Best College Station

KSUA at the University of Alaska Fairbanks recently won the College Radio Woodie in the 2013 mtvU Woodie Awards.

Informed during SXSW that they were one of the final five contestants, KSUA staffers started prepping for an mtvU interview:

"KSUA general manager Rebecca File said they were fixing their hair and checking each other’s teeth in the reflection of their sunglasses, trying to look presentable. Then an mtvU film crew popped up and asked, 'How does it feel to win an mtvU Woodie Award for best college radio station?'"

I bet it feels pretty darn good. Congratulations!

mtvU is planning a visit to Fairbanks to tape a College Radio Countdown at KSUA.

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Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at All World Dance: Videos and maintains Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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