According to a report on Billboard.com, iHeartRadio, an online streaming service with a companion smart phone app owned by Clear Channel communications, Rice Radio (formerly KTRU) is one of 14 college radio station being added to the streaming platform in an effort to broaden the company's radio offerings.
iHeartRadio streams all Clear Channel stations and offers users the ability to mix and match stations and songs in a streaming format.
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Terrestrial college radio has been hard-hit by declining listenership in recent years, with many schools considering selling their broadcast licenses or simply shutting down their stations due to financial pressures.
Hogan says he is aware of the situation and, while that wasn't what motivated this decision, he hopes the opportunity for national distribution helps educational broadcasters become more prominent.
"If this has the unintended consequence of making people more aware of college stations and the diversity they provide that's great," he said. "Hopefully it helps bring more interest and awareness to the stations."
College radio stations are free to send requests to be added to the platform to colleges@iHeartRadio.com. Other stations in this first batch include:
Appalachian State's WASU - Rock, North Carolina Connecticut College's WCNI - Block Programming, Connecticut Dartmouth College's WFRD - Modern Rock, New Hampshire Denison University's WDUB - Block Programming, Ohio DePaul University's Radio DePaul - Block Programming, Illinois Emerson College's WERS - Adult Alternative, Massachusetts Flagler College's WFCF - Block Programming, Florida Green River College's KGRG - Alternative Rock, Washington State Ithaca College's WICB - Modern Rock, New York Seton Hall University's WSOU - Hard Rock/Metal, New Jersey Stanford University's KZSU- Block Programming, California Temple University's WHIP - Block Programming, Pennsylvania College of Wooster's WCWS - Block Programming, Ohio
The terrestrial station KTRU was purchased by the University of Houston last year amid protests from students, alumni and listeners. A bid to stop the move fell short leaving Rice radio to broadcast strictly on the web. Being added in the initial offering of iHeartRadio for colleges is the equivalent of being offered a spot in a major conference in college sports and while it may be cold comfort to those who wanted to keep the station alive locally, the move to streaming has been happening rapidly over the last couple years and this is certainly good for those who were fans of the former KTRU.