Bummer of the week: Future of Chicago radio station WLUW in question
On July 13, devoted listeners to and volunteers of Chicago's WLUW-FM (88.7) were shocked to read Robert Feder's article in the Sun-Times detailing Loyola University's move to reclaim the station for curriculum-based purposes. Since 2002, Loyola had outsourced managing and fund-raising efforts for the station to WBEZ-FM (91.5), installing two full-time paid managers, Craig Kois and Shawn Campbell, who have now been let go by the university. Kois, integral in maintaining the station's integrity through fundraising since the WBEZ deal, had also been teaching at Loyola's communications department, but was recently informed he will no longer be as of this fall. Before WBEZ came along and amped the station's community initiative, WLUW mostly played Chicago house music. Since then, the station has become known for its co-mingling of students and community volunteers, and the music broadcasted is a heterogeneous mix of indie rock, reggae, hip-hop, punk, dance, jazz '' you name it '' as well as numerous talk shows. The station has been eerily broadcasting business-as-usual since the announcement, and volunteers are unaware when or if the station's free format programming will be nixed. Some WLUW devotees have already launched a non-profit organization to launch a new station predicated on Congress' approval of low-power stations; they have a myspace page and recently held a fundraising concert at the Double Door. Anyone else interested in urging Loyola not to change WLUW's format is encouraged to send a cordial e-mail to John Pelissero, Loyola's Vice Provost of Academic Affairs (email@example.com).