The University of Tennessee's radio station, 90.3 The Rock, was recognized by MTV this past week as one of the top ten most listened to college radio stations.
This recognition allowed WUTK to receive both national and worldwide exposure, as the station was featured on both mtvU and mtvu.com all week by hosting "College Radio Countdown".
"I was excited and proud to hear the great news, especially coming from an entity like MTV/mtvU/Viacom, because they have a top notch research department," Benny Smith, General Manager of WUTK, said. "We work very hard down here at WUTK so receiving validation like that from MTV is gratifying."
"College Radio Countdown" is a compilation of ten songs that represent what is popular at UT, and The Rock included a gamut of songs ranging from Cage the Elephant to M.I.A. to Carolina Chocolate Drops.
The station was also asked to submit five music videos not already featured on the current MTV playlist.
"We don't call ourselves 'Local Music's Best Friend' for nothing," Smith said. "We sent in videos by all local bands: The Theorists, Lil' Iffy, The Black Cadillacs, Senryu, and Nashville's Moon Taxi. We believe our local music scene is as good as any in the country."
Over the past few months, members from the music department have been heavily involved in the making of music videos, mostly for local bands.
This involvement includes footage that was sent to MTV. Each of these videos will be featured one day this week on mtvu.tubmlr.com, once again gaining nationwide exposure.
Any and all exposure is huge for The Rock, as they are a financially self-supporting station, and accomplishments such as this allows people to see their donations are being put to good use.
The Rock has been voted Knoxville's best radio station for the past seven years and was acknowledged by the CMJ as the 'Most Improved' station last year.
A recent article by Mike Darling in Men's Health listed WUTK as one of the twenty coolest college radio stations, highlighting The Rock as a great source for both new and forgotten music.
Public recognition helps bring an interest to the listeners that will hopefully bring them to donate to the station.
Through these donations, The Rock can continue to grow and provide students with a solid foundation of electronic media experience.
Many UT students devote themselves to The Rock to work on their basic vocal delivery and production skills, which will help give them a boost in their careers.
"The Rock is one of America's top college stations because we have always tried to bring truly new music to Knoxville," Drew Keller, Funk and Soul Director for WUTK, said. "Not only has our format had a tremendous influence on the commercial radio front here in Knoxville, but we've also provided both a culture experience to our listeners and a training ground for electronic media students who decide they want to be a part of the station."