The Scope, Ryerson’s campus radio station, has been hard at work since it was approved for an AM radio license in December. The team anticipates a January 2016 launch date and is hosting a promotional event at the Student Centre with live performances from local musicians to celebrate World Radio Day on Feb. 13.
The station has already been broadcasting online since 2013. The 1280 AM channel will broadcast 126 hours of weekly programming, including spoken word and local music, according to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
Elissa Matthews, The Scope’s program director, says the station values the importance of supporting local music and emerging artists.
“Toronto is vibrant and filled with music,” she says. “We are kind of spoiled when it comes to how easy it is to find really great, local musicians to work with and to cover and to play on our station.”
The Scope has strong ties to journalism and media production students but anybody within Toronto’s community can also volunteer and participate in the programming.
“By no means is it limited to people who are enrolled in media because everyone has a hobby,” says Jacky Tuinstra Harrison, the Scope’s station manager. “If you’re a business student and you have a weird bowling hobby and you want to talk about that, come and see us.”
Tuinstra Harrison says training is available to those who don’t have broadcast or radio experience. She also says The Scope plans to hire staff members to support the developing volunteer program.
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The newly granted radio license requires The Scope to provide more programming than it currently offers and the station hopes to add food-related stories, independent sports content and conservation news.
The Scope’s funding comes partially from a $10.35 levy included in students’ tuition fees. The station will also apply for various grants and seek advertising once it goes to air, says Matthews. The funds are slated for the purchase of an AM transmitter, antenna and broadcast boards.