21 October 2002
Campus radio station begins new era
One of the oldest university radio stations in Britain has begun broadcasting to all of its students for the first time in its 27-year history. The construction of an AM transmitter at the University of Sussex means the patchy reception that has plagued University Radio Falmer (URF) should become a thing of the past.
Potentially tens of thousands of students across Falmer should be able to tune in easily. Student Jonathan Pascoe, station manager, is clearly excited by the new transmitter's switch-on: "There's a real buzz in URF now because finally, after years of groundwork, we can actually get on with the job of broadcasting a great radio station."
As if problems of transmission weren't enough for the entirely student-run radio station, in 2000 their studios were broken into and thousands of pounds worth of equipment stolen. The end result was that for the last few years URF has concentrated on re-equipping the station rather than broadcasting.
The station has already been nominated in this year's Student Radio Association awards, while past students who have worked in URF have gone onto Juice FM, Virgin Radio and the BBC.
Getting to this point has been a hard slog for Jonathan and his team. "It's been like a full-time job. First we had to raise all the money for the transmitter, from the University and others, and then we had to get it all up and running in the space of a week. It's all been worth it, though!"
Over 70 fresher students have turned up to try their hand in front or behind the mike, and Jonathan has high hopes for the new recruits and for a stronger news and music output: "We really think that URF will finally achieve what it was always supposed to do - to build a real community on campus and be the best station in Britain."
Notes for editors
URF broadcasts on 1431AM. Programme and station information can be found on www.urfonline.com.
Press Office contacts: Benedict Brook or Alison Field, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, B.J.Brook@sussex.ac.uk or A.Field@sussex.ac.uk.
University Radio Falmer contact: Jonathan Pascoe, Station Manager, Tel. 07799 667376 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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