UT's radio station in need of money to stay on air

(WBIR - Knoxville) WUTK-FM 90.3 "The Rock" has been rockin' on airwaves since 1982.

The University of Tennessee radio station gives 75 students every semester the opportunity to sit behind the microphone, or wherever else their interest lies, and get real world experience.

"The radio station here at UT allows us to be on the radio. Not a lot of colleges do that and I think it gives us some first hand experience. It really gives us a step above everybody else," said UT senior Jack Lowery.

It seems many are taking notice of what's going on inside WUTK's booth. For the past eight years, the student-run radio station has been named Knoxville's Best Radio Station by the Metro Pulse. It's even received national honors. In 2011, WUTK was named the Most Improved College Radio Station in North America by College Music Journal. It was also one of the "TOP 10" for the 2011 mtvU Woodie Award for College Radio.

"This radio station just flat out rocks," said Lowery.

But in order for WUTK to continue rocking, it's in need of money to the tune of $15,000.

The radio station's general manager and program director, Benny Smith, said the current transmitter, which allows the students to be heard across the city, can break down any day due to age and weather elements.

"We're not supported financially by UT, so what we have to do is go out and find that money ourselves. So what we're doing is challenging our listeners, telling them, 'Hey, you want us to stay on the air, we need your help. Write us a check," said Smith. "[WUTK] means a lot to me in a lot of ways because I know a lot of success stories from this station."

But if the radio station can't raise the $15,000 it needs, success stories of students could soon fade.

"I think if the radio station went down it would be a pretty big issue," said Lowery.

For information on how to donate to WUTK, go to http://wutkradio.com/.


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