The University of Memphis announced earlier this month that they will potentially be changing the renowned WUMR radio station.
Ann Hogan, Dean of Communications and Fine Arts, announced in a press release that the UofM, The Daily Memphian and Crosstown concourse will establish a partnership to run the new station.
While this news has been well received by some, there are those that do not like the potential change. The question of what will happen to those currently working at the station is currently unanswered as the UofM has yet to announce their plans.
Caleb Suggs, WUMR student volunteer, said the future status of volunteers and the WUMR crew are currently unknown.
“Right now it’s unknown what will happen to the current WUMR volunteer the status of their programs,” Suggs said. “Though from a logistical stand point, it’s likely we’ll lose a chunk of the current crew due to changes in location, scheduling, WUMR staff and the jazz formatting.”
Suggs said the main issue will be whether or not the new station will change the current jazz formatting.
“The real fight and deal -breaker is going to be about keeping the jazz format the way it is now,” Suggs said. “It’s where WUMR has gained its heart, soul and place in out community and around the world. By changing the format, WUMR will be in direct competition with other more-established broadcasters in the area, and it may not survive.”
Bryant Dacus, sports director for WUMR, said the change is a shame due to the history of WUMR.
“I’m not a jazz fan personally but WUMR is on of eight jazz stations in the country,” Dacus said. “So there are a lot of people in Memphis who rely on this station for jazz and to completely take it away is sad.”
Dacus said the potential change will affect students as they will now have to commute to an off-campus site.
“It definitely affects students, especially if they move it to Crosstown Concourse just because of the location,” Dacus said, “We have a perfectly good radio studio where it is right now. If they kept it there and kept something with Crosstown and the Daily Memphian I think it would work perfectly. They say student involvement is a big issue but if you move it to a different location I just don’t see how that would improve student involvement.”
Malvin Massey, WUMR’s General Manager, said he is retiring due the change to the station.
“It was just one of my options, I can retire and get my benefits and everything and still work for an outside entity,” Massey said. “If the new owners decide that they would like me involved and we can keep the jazz theme going then I probably would do that, but right now we won’t know until the final decision is made in December.”
The final vote on the change to WUMR and what will become of the existing staff will take place on Dec. 4.