MERCED, CA — The University of California, Merced, may be one step closer to having a student-run radio station on campus, thanks to a donation from the Jane and Marc Nathanson Family Foundation.
The $6,000 gift gave UC Merced the seed funding needed to submit a non-commercial FM station license application with the Federal Communications Commission in October. The Nathanson Family Foundation’s contribution helped cover the professional fees associated with preparing the FCC application.
“The FCC will only award one license in the Merced region, so the selection process will be highly competitive,” said Christian Ayeni, vice president and co-founder of the campus Radio Club and junior at UC Merced. “To have the chance of being awarded the sole license, we needed professional assistance in preparing the application. We are thankful for this generous gift.”
The Nathanson family has a deep history in broadcasting. Don Paul Nathanson first published Radio Showmanship Magazine in 1940 and bought his first radio station in Wyoming in 1952.
His son, Marc Nathanson, founded Falcon Communications, the nation’s 10th largest cable television operator, at the age of 28. In 1999, he sold the company to Charter Communications and remains vice chairman of the company’s board. He is also chairman of Mapleton Investments, LLC, Mapleton Capital Management and Mapleton Communications.
Marc’s son, Adam, is the founder and president of Mapleton Communications. That company operates 40 radio stations in small and midsized markets across the Western United States, including Radio Merced’s five stations.
Ayeni said the Nathanson family and Radio Merced have been very supportive of UC Merced and its goal to start a radio station.
“We believe in radio and training young men and women in this field. An FM station at UC Merced is a great way to accomplish this goal,” stated Adam Nathanson.
Ayeni anticipates receiving a decision about the campus radio station’s licensing later this year. In the meantime, the Radio Club and service learning class continue to concentrate on designing the physical and operational architectures needed to get the station up and running.