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Eindhoven gets a new radio station, focused exclusively on students, university staff and the international community. The station is an initiative of prof. Jean-Paul Linnartz of TU/e. E52 will start a content cooperation with the station, because of the similarities in target audience and content.

The Dutch telecom and media authorities, Agentschap Telecom and the Commissariaat van de Media, respectively, have recently issued a broadcast license for the station. Linnartz: “Eindhoven is unique because of its world-class innovation and its large population of students and foreign workers in the high-tech industry. We will target this audience with an attractive dedicated format.”

Today’s digital technology provides many opportunities for new ways of making a radio program. The idea is to extensively rely on social media, the cloud and studio automation software. The vision is to make presenting a radio show as easy as posting a message on Facebook.

Jean-Paul Linnartz
Jean-Paul Linnartz

Jean-Paul Linnartz, professor in the Signal Processing Systems group of the faculty of Electrical Engineering started testing such ideas in 2015 with a team of former radio colleagues who previously worked with regional broadcasters in the Netherlands and in Belgium. The Meuse-Rhine Euroregion and the Province of Limburg sponsored this to try out the innovative ideas for “the inverted Studio”, that is, to run a radio station in the cloud, while the radio team is mainly on the move, uploading their programs or news clips from their office, from home, from a pub, basically from anywhere imaginable. The concept has partly been borrowed from the 3TU (currently 4TU) Education Innovation ambition of an “inverted classroom”, in which teachers spend less time in lecturing but devote more time to direct interaction with students.

Many universities have their own radio station, mostly run by students. RWTH Aachen has its Hochschulradio covering the city of Aachen. In Leuven, SCROPIO is an alternative student FM radio station. Most UK and US universities have their own college radio station. While TU Eindhoven pioneered in the 1990’s with one of the first streaming internet radio stations, Eindhoven does not have a student radio station on campus. This new station will differ from a typical college station, as it targets a broader international community in Eindhoven.

Yet, the team is scouting for students who are willing to join in creating an appealing program for Dutch and international students. Linnartz: “The initiative is not only looking for enthusiastic program hosts or DJs but also for people who want to experiment with a new radio format, who like to create dedicated scripts and apps to get radio items on air via the cloud or who like to use their data analytics algorithms to tweak the playlist in real time. Moreover, the team is establishing contacts with, for instance, several student organisations.”