The University of Memphis radio station, WUMR FM 91.7, could transform if a deal with the station, The Daily Memphian
, and Crosstown Concourse is approved by the university board.
The station would become a new nonprofit radio station, broadcasting from a new home at Crosstown. The tower will remain at the U of M, it would still feature student talent, and it would still be found at 91.7. But the all-jazz outlet would expand its music, culture and news content to have “broad appeal to the U of M student body and the wider Memphis community.”
The station would have news programming from The Daily Memphian
. The station would also have the capability to broadcast concerts from the Green Room at Crosstown Arts, Crosstown Theater, and the U of M’s Scheidt Family Music Center.
The station would also “work with arts, music, and other cultural organizations throughout the city as the station will strive to give voice not just to the three partner entities but to a wide array of people and organizations in Memphis.”
“The visibility of Crosstown Concourse will be tremendous for our radio station and will provide an even more professional work experience for our students,” said U of M president David Rudd.
The spirit of collaboration and community found at Crosstown and the Memphis community at large will inform the new station, said Dr. Todd Richardson, president of Crosstown Redevelopment Cooperative.
“Three entities come together to create a true Memphis musical and cultural experience,” Richardson said. “At the heart of it will be local DJs bringing their unique and diverse voices to a world-wide 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.”
Eric Barnes, president and executive editor of The Daily Memphian
, said the station “is a natural extension of The Daily Memphian
partnership with the U of M’s Institute for Public Service Journalism as well as our internship program, which includes students from the U of M’s journalism school getting real-world work experience in our newsroom.”
Pat Mitchell-Worley, executive director of Stax Music Academy, would serve as a board member of the new WUMR.
“It was on the Memphis airwaves that artists from Elvis, B.B. King, and Big Star to the Bar-Kays, Wendy Moten, and Yo Gotti connected with large groups of local fans,” said Mitchell-Worley. “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.”