Best Radio Station for More Than Music

91.1-FM WRUW

Few cities boast a radio station as brilliant and diverse as WRUW, the campus radio station of Case Western Reserve University. While "college radio" is often heard as a synonym for "amateur hour," WRUW is professionally run and powerful — now at a boisterous 15,000 watts. Passion is what makes the station exceptional: The all-volunteer programmers do it for love of music, and their zeal and expertise make WRUW not just an antidote to playlist-driven commercial radio, but a life-changing education. Many long-running shows have attained classic status (jazz programs Bird Calls and Down by the Cuyahoga, the eclectic Diversified Inc., and the folk show Roll Away the Dew). Many other shows have attained must-listen status, like the On the One funk excursion and Across the Broad, a survey of pop music from Australia and New Zealand. WRUW also hosts exceptional talk shows, including the only local broadcast of Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! and Defend Cleveland, a thoughtful local-sports monologue with the pseudonymous Mike James. It could be the best remaining argument in favor of free radio.