University Radio Bath
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|Broadcast area||University of Bath - Local AM & Online (URB Online)|
|Owner||University of Bath Students' Union|
University Radio Bath (commonly referred to as 1449AM URB) is the award-winning student-run radio station from the University of Bath, England. It is the only radio station broadcasting from the City of Bath.
University Radio Bath is run entirely by volunteers, all students studying at the University of Bath. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day throughout the year, although live broadcasts tend to only be during semester time. The schedule is made up of a variety of shows including entertainment, news, speech, drama and specialist music. With a new intake of students each academic year, the station's output can change significantly.
URB 963, launched on 16 May 1973. It was one of the first University radio stations built in the UK to broadcast on Medium Wave on an induction loop system across the campus. The station was built and designed by students Jonathon White (Electrical Engineering) and Stephen Ainger (Physics) and launched by BBC Radio 1's Annie Nightingale and Pete Bradey. The first anniversary was hosted by the BBC Radio 1 Roadshow with Alan Freeman (DJ) in the Students' Union. In 1994 and 2003, URB also broadcast under short-term Restricted Service Licences across the city of Bath on the FM band. In 1995, Torch FM 106.2 used URB studios and presenters to provide a citywide radio service for the European Youth Olympics in Bath.
The station was originally broadcast from a landing in the Electrical Engineering Department and carried by induction loops in all of the campus residences. A year after launch the station moved the current studios in Norwood house but still retained the induction loop transmitters, which were updated and expanded as new residences were built on campus. Over the years loudspeakers playing URB were added to the campus laundrettes and the students' union coffee shop. In summer 1994 renovations to the Westwood blocks severed the wires to the loops there and after that URB 963 could only be heard in Eastwood, Wessex and Norwood. On 8 February 2001 at 14:49 1449AM URB launched as a low powered AM service covering the whole campus and the remaining induction loops on 963 were switched off. The addition of online and mobile streaming has also given the station a significant boost.
In 1987, three URB presenters (Graham Hutkins, Ben Ramsden & Andrew Wiseman) broadcast a special 24-hour show, raising money for local charities.
In September 2014 the radio station was renamed University Radio Bath.
In March 2008, presenters broadcast 60 hours of continuous live shows to raise money for the charity Hearing Aid and the station hosted the National Student Radio Conference on behalf of the Student Radio Association the conference between 17 and 19 March featured talks from a variety of speakers from the world of radio including BBC Radio 1's Greg James.
In April 2012, Bastille performed an acoustic session from URB's studios.
In March 2014, BBC Radio 1's Scott Mills presented the Student Radio Chart Show live from URB with Jamie Lee and Bev Lung as a prize provided by Radio 1 for the station winning Best Student Radio Chart Show at the Student Radio Chart Show 2013. The show was executively produced by Matt Reed and BBC Radio 1's Chris Sawyer and featured an interview with Bradley Simpson of The Vamps. The show was also the first ever Student Radio Chart Show to be fully visualised.
In May 2014, URB won their first Radio Academy Awards for Best Technical Innovation at the 2014 Awards. The station won bronze for Head of Online, Jonty Usborne's Responsive Radio and Unified Station Management Application.
URB has a set of 3 studios in the heart of the newly built Student Centre and an office; Studio 1 - the main broadcast studio, Studio 2 - a DJ studio/radio-with-pictures suite, and finally Studio 3 - a production studio and news room.
The station broadcasts live shows from throughout the day and into the night, with shows ranging from daytime entertainment shows to specialist music. When there's not a live presenter in the studio, an interactive "non-stop" system fills in the gaps. URB also informs the campus with hourly news bulletins from the Sky News Centre. Additionally, every evening URB programmes talk-based or specialist shows.
URB has sister stations at other universities in the area:
40th Anniversary Celebrations
In 2013, URB celebrated its 40th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the current committee, in association with the University of Bath Alumni Office and the Students' Union organised a reunion event for 2 February 2013 with many alumni reviving their old shows.
In addition to a reunion dinner, the URB schedule for the weekend will reflect 40 years of broadcasting as former members will be encouraged to revive their old shows on-air.