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UIS faculty member receives grant to study community radio

April 27, 2006

SPRINGFIELD – Jim Grubbs, associate professor of Communication at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has received a research grant from the National Association of Broadcasters, one of only six awarded nationally this year in the organization's Grants for Research in Broadcasting program.

Grubbs' grant proposal was titled "Identifying Factors for Success in Rural Community Radio" and his grant will be used to support work in that area.

Related sites

UIS Communication Program
National Association of Broadcasters

2006 NAB Broadcast Research Grants

He explained, "The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and its predecessors have had a profound effect on small-market radio, especially rural, unranked stations with a market size of less than 50,000.  Many small stations in markets that are geographically close to medium or major markets have been purchased solely to gain an in-road into the larger market, even though no frequency assignments are available.  As a result there is a loss of local voice for listeners in the affected markets."

Grubbs added that in spite of this trend, some rural-market, locally owned stations continue to thrive; his research will seek to identify the economic and programming approaches that help these stations succeed. Grubbs plans to identify and study four of Illinois' most successful unranked stations in-depth, conducting interviews with key personnel and monitoring on-air programming. The data collected will be archived at UIS' Brookens Library and made available to other researchers and broadcasters.

Grubbs said that while his research is limited to Illinois, the techniques he will employ are designed to facilitate investigation in other geographical regions.

The competitive annual NAB grants program is designed to stimulate interest in broadcast research among academic scholars. NAB has awarded more than 300 research grants approaching $1 million since the program’s inception in 1967.

For more information, contact Grubbs at 206-7365.

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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