Documentary by Lander Radio Professor to be Featured in World College Radio Day
Wednesday, Nov 02, 2016

Paul CrutcherAn audio documentary by XLR general manager and Lander radio professor Paul Crutcher will be part of a one-hour simulcast this Friday, Nov. 4, to over 400 stations worldwide as part of College Radio Day.

The 22-minute feature by Crutcher will be accompanied by interviews with musician Sean Lennon (son of John Lennon, of The Beatles), Nikki Silva from National Public Radio (NPR), Lee Loughnane of the band Chicago, and more.

The hour-long celebration can be heard this Friday at 2 p.m. online.

Titled “The Soul of College Radio,” Crutcher’s documentary includes interviews from people in various fields who had worked in college radio stations. “I initially pitched the documentary idea to Rob Quicke (founder of College Radio Day) during a College Broadcaster, Inc. (CBI) convention two years ago in Seattle,” Crutcher said. “Many of the people in the industry have returned to manage the stations where they worked as a student, and I just wanted to find out what made these people tick.”

With the green light from Quicke, Crutcher arrived at the next CBI convention with microphone and recorder in hand. “Some of the smartest people in college radio were at the convention, so I took advantage of the opportunity,” said Crutcher, who conducted interviews on the spot.

The common threads found in the interviews were not surprising to Crutcher, who felt that the industry was actually a community or fraternity, of sorts.

“Most of the people I talked with – and this holds true today – came from varied backgrounds with varied tastes but didn't feel as if they fit in anywhere else,” he said. “That was exactly how I felt with my first radio job with WLKL, the radio station for Lake Land College in Illinois. We all had different tastes in music, and the management would give us a half-hour to play just about anything we wanted. I barely knew how to cue a record at the time but knew I was hooked on this medium. To this day, I remain good friends with just about everyone I worked with in college radio, and I found that to be a common theme as well.”

That variety in announcers is something Crutcher sees today at the station he manages, XLR at Lander. “The variety of our announcing crew is far from being limited to mass communications majors,” he said. “We have chemistry and nursing majors and more working for us. Just as I did, these students are finding a place to belong.”

Quicke and his team liked what they heard from Crutcher. “At the time I and my team heard Paul’s documentary, we were struggling for a name for our overall College Radio Day program. His work was so good and so well produced that we borrowed from the title and called our celebration ‘Igniting the Soul of College Radio,’” he said.