New radio station WYXR's initial staff includes (from left) Shelby McCall, Robby Grant, and Jared Boyd.
WYXR, a new, non-commercial radio station will hit the air (and digital devices) here this fall in a partnership between Crosstown Concourse, The Daily Memphian
, and the University of Memphis.
The station’s radio home is at 91.7 FM and its call letters stand for “Your Crosstown Radio.” That’s where the station’s staff will produce and air its daily broadcasts. The station partners came together to reimagine the U of M’s WUMR station back in November.
The station will be led by executive director Robby Grant, who spent 15 years at advertising firm Archer Malmo after first starting his own online marketing company. Grant is also a staple on the Memphis music scene, touring widely and also as a member of Mellotron Variations.
“I’ve been wanting to help make a change with Memphis radio, specifically community radio, for a long time,” Grant said in a statement. “The fact that it has organically become real is exciting.
“We are going to amplify voices in Memphis and the Mid-South. By taking a freeform approach, we want to begin finding personalities and DJs who have their own tastes and things they’ve grown up loving and sharing with people.
"A freeform station allows those DJs to turn people onto music, whether it’s the music they’ve loved their whole lives or what they’ve heard this past week.”
Jared “Jay B.” Boyd will serve as WYXR’s program director. Boyd is a DJ, reporter with The Daily Memphian
, and host of NPR-syndicated radio program "Beale Street Caravan."
“Aside from the opportunity to be hands-on in cultivating new and emerging broadcast talent in the Mid-South, I’m most gratified by this radio partnership’s potential to truly reach people in the Mid-South area by virtue of being open and welcoming in nature,” Boyd said in a statement. “When you walk into Crosstown Concourse, it won’t be hidden. The nuts and bolts of the operation will be showcased behind glass right in the lobby of the Central Atrium. By design, this community-minded radio station will not just broadcast to its audience but live and breathe alongside it.”
Former WUMR staffer Shelby McCall, who works now with Entercom Memphis, has signed on as WYXR’s operations coordinator. The University of Memphis is also searching for an instructor for student radio. This position will facilitate student involvement with the station and also program and plan a second university-focused internet stream, on which students will broadcast news, sports, and music.
The station’s programming will be made up of volunteer contributions from regular content producers and special guests to achieve a freeform format, providing room for a rotating cast of local personalities and an educational ground for university students.
From left: Grant, Boyd, and McCall
The WYXR studio is now being built in the space once held by The OAM network, an independent podcast company. The new space will have a redesigned control room, production room, and live audio connections from Crosstown Theater, the Green Room at Crosstown Arts, and plans to simulcast event’s from the U of M’s new, $40 million Scheidt Family Music Center.
For more information or to volunteer, go to wyxr.org
. Initial programming will be posted on the site in the coming weeks.