KTRU Debate: Rice Says Internet Radio Better Than 50K Watts

The ongoing debate over the University of Houston's decision to buy Rice's KTRU station and use it for classical music has had its moments, to be sure.

Several of them have been provided by Linda Thrane, Rice's V-P for public affairs.

Among her arguments:

1. Internet radio is soooo much better than a huge 50,000-watt station.
That might seem counterintuitive -- any swinging dick with the right software can have an Internet station, while 50,000-watt stations are a lot less common.

But you just don't understand: "[A] 50,000-watt signal has geographic limits, while the Internet is global," she wrote in the Rice Thresher. She's right!! That "blog" your dotty aunt has of cat pictures, the one she hasn't updated in two years? It's global, baby!!

2. People who listen to KTRU have tons of spare money to throw around.
"Yes, there will be a few people in cars who will not be able to tune in, but the ability to use mobile devices to access the Internet in cars is increasing steadily," she notes. Using mobile devices to access the internet in flying cars can't be far behind!

3. Condescension is wonderful!
"As one alumnus who helped found KTRU nearly 40 years ago observed, it is sad to see the tower go, but technology marches on. Our students can be part of the exciting possibilities ahead - in fact, they can make KTRU one of the best online stations in the country if they put their wonderful minds to it." Oh, you adorable widdle students with your protests and all -- you have wonderful minds!!

4. Your "wonderful minds" are nothing but scared little reactionary things.
Thrane also tweeted (See? She's "hip"?) this: "Change is hard, sometimes harder for young fols than for us older, wiser heads. Routines are comforting. Jumping over the fence is more fun." See also Point No. 3, about condescension.

5. Just because we pulled this deal off behind closed doors doesn't mean we operate behind closed doors.
"Occasionally, though, there are issues that demand higher levels of confidentiality, and one of those was the process for marketing and negotiating the sale of the radio license....Discomfort over the inability to consult more broadly was eased somewhat by the fact that the discussions were not about shutting down KTRU, but rather about selling the radio frequency." Well, as long as you were eased, that's what counts.

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