U of Scranton radio audience booming

This bit of news is about a month old at this point, but many students returning to school now may have missed it over the summer. According to a University press release:

The listenership of WUSR, the radio voice of The University of Scranton, has increased 154 percent, and its cumulative listeners have almost doubled from 2003 to 2006, according to the Arbitron rating report. While WUSR is a college-owned and student-run radio station, a large percentage of its listeners are from the greater Scranton community.

The station’s CUME listeners (total number of different people who listened to the station for five minutes or more) increased from 5,500 to 10,500 between 2003 and 2006. Listenership (the number of listeners and the hours that the station is on-air) rose from 48,000 to 122,000 over the same period.

The university attributes the station’s growth to its 24-hour broadcasting, unique Latino programming, online streaming and wide broadcast range of 300 square miles

WUSR was the first radio station – including commercial stations – in northeastern Pennsylvania to offer online streaming in 2001.

Last year the station marked another first when it began broadcasting northeastern Pennsylvania’s only Latin American radio program. Also, through a collaboration between The University of Scranton and the Universidad del Valle de Atemajac (UNIVA), a Catholic university in Guadalajara, WUSR broadcasts a weekly hour-long talk radio program about Mexican politics, entertainment, news and music that is produced in Mexico. WUSR has 10 hours of Latino programming each week.

WUSR programming spans everything from a weekend polka show and British invasion programming to late night urban, hip hop and R&B.

The station is owned by The University of Scranton’s Board of Trustees and there are approximately 100 students on staff.

The Department of Communication has been instrumental in boosting the audience through Latino programming done in conjunction with our friends and colleagues at the Universidad del Valle de Atemajac (UNIVA) in Guadalajara, Mexico.

I represented the department on a visit to UNIVA with a U of S delegation in January 2006 to help lay the groundwork for joint projects between communication departments at Scranton and UNIVA.

Professor Kim Pavlick hosted guests from UNIVA in the department last summer and visited the university in the winter. She has coordinated the Latino radio project, which features a morning Spanish-language broadcast by students and faculty at UNIVA. She is also producing a radio documentary on northeastern Pennsylvania’s growing Hispanic population.

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This blog is maintained by Dr. Matthew M. Reavy as a service to journalism students at the University of Scranton.

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