GSU says it will pursue another FM signal for WRAS, gives 8 weekend hours back to students

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Georgia State University today said it will actively pursue another FM signal for Album 88/WRAS-FM after relinquishing its primary 88.5 signal to Georgia Public Broadcasting for starting Sunday.

And the WRAS students negotiated this morning an extra eight hours on weekends back. Instead of 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, GPB will handle only 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

GPB will continue to operate WRAS's FM signal from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.

So GPB will now control 90 hours a week instead of 98.

Reportedly, the students tried to get back some weekdays hours as well but failed.

"It's great they were able to get something back," said Zach Lancaster, who runs the WRAS Alumni group. "But this amounts to placation. If the students had gotten back any of the drive-time slots, that would have been fine. That's where the influence comes from. Not having drive-time hours during the week really damages their ability as a station to fulfill its mission and goal."

According to a university press release, "Georgia State has hired engineers and other media consultants to pursue an alternative translator frequency for Album 88.... The university will continue to restore Album 88 to its FM analog presence in Atlanta." This was an idea posed by a newly created WRAS alumni group. Whether it's feasible is a whole different story.

And the alumni group would prefer to give the translator to GPB since that type of signal is far weaker than the 100,000-watt signal WRAS currently has that covers a bulk of metro Atlanta extending out up to 100 miles in all directions. A translator may only reach 20 to 30 miles.

But of course, GPB wants the WRAS signal because it's so powerful and would effectively compete with WABE-FM's 90.1 signal.

GPB has not released a final schedule yet and doesn't plan to until Monday.