Now Broadcasting Live, 97.1 The Prowl
Posted on September 16, 2016 by Emily Rodrick
The University of South Alabama’s first student-operated radio station, 97.1 The Prowl, launched its low-power FM station today with the flip of a switch.
Previously available only on the internet, the entire radio station is student-operated, from its programming to its directors. 97.1 The Prowl is playing nonstop music until Sept. 26 when student shows return. There are seven programs that will air Monday through Friday, starting at 7 a.m., with student Caitlin Penter hosting Lets CommuniCAIT.
“This is one of the biggest things to happen to the campus of South Alabama. It is equal to the founding of the football team,” said Dr. James Aucoin, professor and chair of communication. “It will create community. It will create enthusiasm among the student body. It will give the University and students the ability to communicate better. For our department, this fits well with our curriculum.”
Former student Jason Cooper started internet-only Jag Radio in 2010. It was renamed The Prowl in May 2013. The University filed an application for a low-power FM permit with the Federal Communications Commission in November 2013, and the FCC approved a construction permit in February 2014 to build the station.
“This is an historic moment for the department and the University. It’s nice to see the culmination of one student’s idea six years ago transform a program,” said Faculty Advisor Heather Leigh Stanley.
“It’s a big opportunity for us to be recognized for the work we put into our shows and this station,” said Operations Manager Adam Shubert. “This launch is something that past students have laid the foundation for, and we are excited that we could take their work and grow it into this.”
Aucoin indicated 97.1 The Prowl will not be limited just to the communication department. It is open to all currently enrolled students, regardless of major.
“It will provide opportunities for students interested in broadcasting, but it will also provide opportunities for students across campus interested in student media that is exciting and interesting and fun,” Aucoin said. “The students in our department who are studying broadcasting, will get hands-on training operating a studio and having an audience listen to their work. Beyond that, it will be a means of communication for everyone on campus. Other departments will be involved in providing programming.”
97.1 The Prowl is located in the Communication Building on the main campus. The station is also available online and through the TuneIn app. It will soon be available on The Buzz: The University of South Alabama app. Both apps are available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
The Prowl's signal, at least initially, may be intermittently interrupted as the station works through engineering issues.
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