The Whigs Cancel GPB In-Studio After Pressure From #SaveWRAS

Georgia Public Broadcasting may have commandeered the WRAS 88.5 airwaves as planned, but the organization is still facing protests from those involved in the Save WRAS movement, which formed in opposition to GPB’s controversial takeover of Georgia State University’s student-run radio station.

Former Athens band The Whigs were scheduled to deliver an in-studio performance on GPB airwaves today at 12:30 p.m., but as Creative Loafing notes, the group canceled the appearance after receiving “hundreds of emails and Facebook messages” informing them of the situation and urging them to reconsider, according to Save WRAS organizer Mikey Johnson.

From Johnson’s note on the Save WRAS Facebook page:

I actually won a spot for the live performance via AJC and went down to GPB (with my SAVE WRAS shirt on under a button-up) to stage a silent protest. While waiting in the lobby, I saw the band’s van outside and The Whigs were inside it. They were supposed to play at 12:30. This was at 12:35 and they hadn’t even loaded in yet. I approached the van and they rolled down the window. I asked them if they were going to play and I was told that they were probably going to cancel. I introduced myself and told them I was with Save WRAS. They were extremely nice and I could tell this whole thing had blind-sided them. They did not want to be in the middle of a controversy and did not want to hurt any relations with either side. I was told that they had received “hundreds” of emails and Facebook messages. Some of it angry (tsk-tsk, behave y’all). They do support public radio, but they support college radio even more! In the end, I offered them some gas money for their troubles and they gracefully declined.

It’s not clear whether this will have any real impact on GPB’s plans for the station—it currently broadcasts NPR and other public radio programming, much of which is already available in Atlanta via WABE, from 5 a.m.–7 p.m., leaving only the nighttime hours to the students—but it does show that opposition forces haven’t yet gone quietly, and aren’t likely to do so anytime soon.


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