WUMR To Becomes Part Of New Memphis Community Nonprofit
The deal is pending approval by the University of Memphis’ Board of Trustees on December 4. Upon completion of the deal, the station will evolve to a broader lineup of news, music and cultural programming including concerts from the Green Room at Crosstown Arts, Crosstown Theater and the UofM’s Scheidt Family Music Center. UoM students will continue to be involved in the station upon its move to the new Crosstown Concourse studios.
University of Memphis’ WUMR FM 91.7, which began broadcasting in 1974, will be transforming as part of an anticipated newly created nonprofit radio company, in cooperation with Crosstown Concourse and The Daily Memphian, pending approval at the UofM Board of Trustees meeting on Dec. 4.
“Pending Board of Trustees approval, it is with much anticipated excitement that our campus radio station, WUMR, will be joining forces with outstanding community and campus partners in Crosstown Concourse and The Daily Memphian,” said UofM President M. David Rudd. “The visibility of Crosstown Concourse will be tremendous for our radio station and will provide an even more professional work experience for our students.
“The Daily Memphian began a successful partnership with the UofM creating the Institute for Public Service Reporting on our campus for our students in July 2018, and the WUMR partnership makes a University of Memphis degree in the College of Communication and Fine Arts even more valuable.”
Upon approval by the UofM Board of Trustees and the FCC, the new community radio station will welcome continued participation by UofM students and will be housed at Crosstown Concourse, with the tower remaining on the UofM campus. The frequency modulation will remain 91.7.
As a previously all-jazz outlet in the Memphis metro area, WUMR will expand its music, culture and news content to have broad appeal to the UofM student body and the wider Memphis community.
“I am delighted that this new partnership and its expanded programming will create further opportunities for our students and the wider Memphis community to engage with the station,” said Dr. Anne Hogan, dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts.
In addition to news programming from The Daily Memphian, the new radio station at Crosstown Concourse will be surrounded by, and integrated with, all the arts, music and cultural activity that occurs daily, from composition and production to education and performance. The station will also have the capability to broadcast concerts from the Green Room at Crosstown Arts, Crosstown Theater and the UofM’s Scheidt Family Music Center. Additionally, the station will work with arts, music and other cultural organizations throughout the city as the station will strive to give voice to a wide array of people and organizations in Memphis.
“Memphis’ culture and artistic endeavors have always thrived on collaboration and community, which is also the foundation and ongoing fuel for Crosstown Concourse,” said Dr. Todd Richardson, president of Crosstown Redevelopment Cooperative. “It’s with that spirit that this new radio station is formed. Three entities come together to create a true Memphis musical and cultural experience. At the heart of it will be local DJs bringing their unique and diverse voices to a worldwide audience. Crosstown will serve as the hub, while the University of Memphis will extend the organization’s resources to include students, professors and guests. The Daily Memphian will provide regular news, information and interviews to round out a true community resource for the Memphis area and beyond.”
“The Daily Memphian looks forward to providing high-quality, locally focused news to the station,” said Eric Barnes, CEO of The Daily Memphian. “This is a natural extension of The Daily Memphian’s partnership with the UofM’s Institute for Public Service Reporting as well as our internship program, which includes students from the UofM’s journalism school getting real-world work experience in our newsroom. The Daily Memphian has been committed to giving voice to, and covering, a broad and diverse range of Memphians. This partnership furthers that goal.”
“It was on the Memphis airwaves that artists from Elvis, B.B. King and Big Star to the BarKays, Wendy Moten and Yo Gotti connected with large groups of local fans,” said Pat Mitchell-Worley, executive director of Stax Music Academy and board member of the new radio partnership. “Radio in Memphis has always been about community. With diverse listener-powered programming, the new WUMR will continue the tradition of serving savvy music lovers from local curators exploring how artists and songs relate to one another. Expect legacy and new art from diverse genres. Expect to celebrate Memphis sounds alongside independent international music moving the world.”