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Station overhaul will expand BSR's Web presence

Aided by $14,000 from the Undergraduate Finance Board and a comparable sum from alums, Brown Student Radio is in the process of improving its Web presence and revamping its space in Faunce House.

"We want to be a 24-hour radio station," BSR General Manger Jason Sigal '07 told The Herald.

The station currently broadcasts at 88.1 FM from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily on a signal rented from the Wheeler School. The station programming is also broadcast online at Bsrlive.com.

"People all over the world tune into BSR online and are disappointed that we don't broadcast during the day," added BSR Station Manager Joshua Siegle '07. "With these changes we can."

According to Siegle and Sigal, changes include the purchase of a new analog digital mixing board that will replace a 40-year old model currently used by the station. Other upgrades will include broadcast-ready microphones, new CD players that can play mp3 CDs and new turntable cartridges and mixers to serve the station's hip-hop DJs.

UFB's allocation of $14,000 will only cover the cost of the new mixing board.

"We went to the UFB a couple of weeks ago and requested the funds for the new mixer," Siegle said. "The new mixing board is really the crux of the new station."

The mixing board "will be used by hundreds of people each year, 24 hours a day," Sigal said.

According to BSR, the station update is part of a "capital project" to buy new equipment and reconfigure the station's setup. This reshuffling will focus on converting the former editing studio into a second broadcast studio to be used to train new station members and to record BSR programming. "One of our goals is to teach people radio," Sigal said.

The station overhaul will be overseen by community member Jim Moses, who serves as technical manager for the music department. Moses' experience in radio - he has worked at National Public Radio affiliates WRNI in Providence and WBUR in Boston - makes him an ideal candidate to serve as technical overseer for the BSR station overhaul, Sigal said.

In addition to the money UFB allocated for the new mixing board, funds from UFB will also support Moses' involvement in the project.

Sigal said Moses' purpose is "to make sure that we have a strong plan."

"We don't have a lot of time," Sigal added, "and we don't want to find out that we did it the wrong way."

In addition to UFB's financial support, BSR is also making use of donations from alums, Siegle said. One alum, Jeremiah Hubeny '67, pledged to match all donations the station received in 2006 up to $15,000. This pledge led BSR to initiate a fundraising campaign over the summer that solicited donations from Brown alums - and Brown radio alums in particular - to be matched dollar for dollar by Hubeny.

To date, the station has raised about $7,000 from the campaign. With Hubeny's pledge, the total amount of money raised is about $14,000. The fundraising period dictated by University policy has ended for this fiscal year.

Most of the raised money has already been put to use. Sigal said roughly $5,000 had been used to automate some BSR programming and to buy servers for the station's Web archive, which contains all of BSR's recorded programming and can be streamed over the Internet at any time. Another $8,000 will fund the station reconfiguration. In particular, it will fund the purchase of necessary equipment and furniture.

Most of the station reconfiguration will be implemented over break, Sigal said.

Sigal will work with Moses, Michael Hernandez-Stern '08 and Paul McCarthy '01.5 for the overhaul.

"We are also hoping to have money left over to redo the Web site," Sigal said.

All of these changes together will allow BSR to have "better programming and more of it," Sigal said. He added that the changes will allow for more "live programming for the Web."




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