The University of Memphis’ WUMR FM 91.7 is anticipating a partnership with Crosstown Concourse and The Daily Memphian. The partnership is pending approval at the UofM board of trustees meeting Dec. 4.
David M. Rudd, UofM President, said in a press release, the partnership will help to boost the popularity for the station as well as providing work for students who seek a career in radio.
“Pending board of trustees approval, it is with much-anticipated excitement that our campus radio station, WUMR, will be joining forces with outstanding community and campus partners in Crosstown Concourse and The Daily Memphian,” Rudd said. “The visibility of Crosstown Concourse will be tremendous for our radio station and will provide an even more professional work experience for our students.”
Eric Barnes, CEO of The Daily Memphian, said the local paper is enthusiastic about the partnership.
“The Daily Memphian looks forward to providing high-quality, locally focused news to the station,” Barnes said. “This is a natural extension of The Daily Memphian’s partnership with the UofM’s Institute for Public Service Journalism as well as our internship program, which includes students from the UofM’s journalism school getting real-world work experience in our newsroom. The Daily Memphian has been committed to giving voice to, and covering, a broad and diverse range of Memphians. This partnership furthers that goal.”
Todd Richardson, president of Crosstown Redevelopment Cooperative, said the new partnerships coincides with Crosstown’s present course of community interaction.
“Memphis’ culture and artistic endeavors have always thrived on collaboration and community, which is also the foundation and ongoing fuel for Crosstown Concourse,” Richardson said. “It’s with that spirit that this new radio station is formed. Three entities come together to create a true Memphis musical and cultural experience. At the heart of it will be local DJs bringing their unique and diverse voices to a worldwide 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.”
Richardson said that as a former professor at the UofM, he wants to see the university thrive and that this partnership is a great step forward.
“Having been a professor here for so long, I’ve always wanted the University of Memphis at Crosstown with some involvement there,” Richardson said. “For this to come to fruition and be such a significant part is pretty great. I also am excited about all of the different things related to music that are happening at Crosstown. There’s a production component, a recording studio, the Crosstown theater and an education component. It seems like the ingredients to something special to me.”
Anne Hogan, Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts, said she is thrilled with the new partnership and believes it will allow students to excel in their career.
“I am delighted that this new partnership and its expanded programming will create further opportunities for our students and the wider Memphis community to engage with the station,” Hogan said. “From the students’ perspective, they’re going to be involved in a radio station that is in part a university station but more than that. I think it’s going to be an incredible opportunity even for students’ careers by just having that experience.”
The three partner deal will impose several changes to WUMR. The longtime jazz centered radio station will now be opened up to a broader spectrum of music to reach a wider variety of listeners. In addition, The Daily Memphian will be adding news updates as well as weather reports.
If the anticipated partnership is approved, the new WUMR is expected to begin broadcasting in spring 2020.