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CUR1350 (formerly known as Cambridge University Radio) is a student-run radio station at the University of Cambridgemarker. The station broadcasts on a mediumwave frequency of 1350 kHz and online, from a studio located in the basement of a house owned by Churchill Collegemarker. CUR1350 is a member of the Student Radio Association.

In 2007 CUR1350 won Best Station 2007 at the Student Radio Awards.


In 1979 , the student-run Cambridge University Broadcasting Society founded a radio station. Despite successfully applying for a number of short-term FM licenses, the station lacked a way of continuously broadcasting to the University's students, and so struggled to achieve widespread popularity.

In 1992 the station was granted permission to install induction loops around the Cambridge colleges of New Hallmarker and Churchillmarker, allowing residents to listen to CUR945 (as it was then known) over a short-range, mono, mediumwave broadcast. The widespread growth of the Internet, along with many colleges installing high-speed Ethernet connections in student rooms, prompted the station to launch a simultaneous webcast in 1998 . This allowed students from throughout the University to listen to the station whenever they were near a computer. In 2004, the internet audio webcasts were upgraded, and in 2005 an enhanced online player was launched.

However, in 2002 the station successfully applied for a long-term, low-powered AM license Broadcasting today on 1350 kHz, the station is now known as CUR1350.

In 2006, CUR1350 launched a project to install a cable service to multiple sites across the University of Cambridgemarker and ARUmarker. Dubbed "CURintheBAR" the station is distributed via the universities' LAN network to receiving units positioned in student bars and cafes where it is relayed over loudspeakers.

CUR1350 is financially self-sufficient via on-air and on-line advertising and sponsorship. Profits are invested back into the station to improve the service for listeners and the experience for station members. The station receives no funding from either university or any student union.

Current broadcasts

CUR1350 currently broadcasts continuously, with an automated playout system filling the intervals between live broadcasts. During termtime, much of the station's output is live between the hours of 8am and 1am. Programmes are produced and presented by undergraduate and postgraduate students at both the University of Cambridgemarker and the Cambridge campus of Anglia Ruskin Universitymarker. A majority of programmes are specialist music shows (e.g. drum and bass, indie rock, UK garage), though others are aimed at a wider audience (e.g. their breakfast show, theatre/film review show, or local news coverage).

In 2004 the station won four awards in the annual Student Radio Awards. The presenter Val Mellon (now heard on the national DAB station Core -- see below) won a gold award for Best Entertainment Show, as well as a bronze award for Best Female. A further gold award was presented to the station for Technical Achievement, in recognition of the station's platform-independent webcast system. A silver award was also given to the station for Best Sports Programming, in respect of the station's live coverage of the annual Oxford vs. Cambridge rugby union Varsity match. Sports coverage also earned the station a silver award in 2003, for their annual coverage of the May Bumps -- an inter-collegiate rowing competition held on the River Cammarker.

In 2005 CUR1350 was nominated for 4 awards, the 2005 awards seeing twice as many competing entries as the previous year. The nominations for CUR1350 were: Technical Achievement - for the wireless internet link for the Bumps 2005 tannoy, Sports Broadcasting (Ed Bolton) - for The Sports Show including interviews with Chris Eubank, Specialist Music (Samuel Green) - for "Kol Cambridge" the UK's only broadcast Israeli/Jewish radio show, Station of the Year.

In 2007, CUR1350 was nominated for a station-record of nine Student Radio Awards, making it the most nominated station of 2007. These were for Best Technical Innovation, three for Best Entertainment Programme (Charles Lyon's Weekend Breakfast, Jaine Sykes' Rock Paper Scissors and Ella Belsham and Alex-James Painter's Morning Glory), Best Specialist Music Programme (Tobias Bown's Volume 11), Newcomer of the Year (Jaine Sykes), two for Best Female Presenter (Katherine Godfrey and Jaine Sykes), and Station of the Year. 2007 was a successful year for CUR1350 as it scooped a Bronze SRA for Best Entertainment Programme with Charles Lyon's Weekend Breakfast and a Gold SRA for Katherine Godfrey in the Best Female category. CUR1350 also won Gold for Station of the Year for the first time in its 29 year history.

In 2009, CUR1350 received two nominations at the Student Radio Awards. These were for Best Student Radio Chart Show (Tobias Bown and Simon Ruggles) and for Best Event/Outside Broadcast for the May Bumps 2009.

Most of the technology used by CUR1350 is developed in-house (such as the automated playout system, computerised playout systems and audio routing in the studio) enabling the station to be built to specification. CUR1350 covers 35,000 university members in the University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University, and attracts 8,000 listeners each term / 1480 listeners each week. The station's listener base continues to grow.


Several of the station's members have subsequently achieved considerable success in the wider world of radio & television broadcasting. Notable examples include:

  • Spencer Kelly is presenter of the BBC TV programme Click Online and formerly presenter on Ocean FM broadcasting across Portsmouthmarker and Southamptonmarker.
  • Ellie Buchanan (aka Woodstock Taylor), another of the original founders of the Cambridge University Broadcasting Society, was a freelance BBC presenter for many years and now works as a singer and songwriter.
  • Simon Cooper, also one of the original founders of the society, was the Group Public Affairs Director of the GCap radio conglomerate before leaving to establish a public image consultancy firm.
  • David Clouter, another of the original founders and CUR's first ever presenter, spent 15 years in BBC National Radio and subsequently set up digital station TotalRock with the late Tommy Vance.
  • Chris Dearden is now a news reporter for BBC Wales, after a stint at BBC Essex, BBC London and BBC South East Today.
  • Jane Ellison, also one of the original founders of the Cambridge University Broadcasting Society, is now Commissioning Editor for General Factual Programmes at BBC Radio 4.
  • Matt Fincham is Assistant Producer of the Chris Moyles Show on BBC Radio 1.
  • Kevin Greening, a presenter on BBC Radio 1 throughout the latter half of the 1990s, went on to present on 102.2 Smooth FM, which broadcasts across Greater Londonmarker, until his untimely death aged 44 in December 2007.
  • Tony Johnson, who designed and built CUR's original transmission system in 1979, went on to work with Tim Berners Lee at Stanford Linear Accelerator Centermarker and in 1992 designed MidasWWW, one of the first ever web browsers. He continues to work on browser development at SLAC.
  • Bern Leckie, current Programme Controller of GCap's DAB stations Core and Chill.
  • Chris Mason is BBC Radio 5 Live's Political Reporter, having previously worked as a BBC Europe Correspondent, and before that as a reporter on BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour programme.
  • Val Mellon is a presenter on the national DAB station Core.
  • Anne Morrison worked as a director and producer on numerous factual and documentary BBC TV programmes. She became Head of Features in 1994 since when she has run a range of factual television and radio departments at the BBC. In 2006 she was appointed Controller, Network Production, BBC Television.
  • Rob Ousbey, Production Coordinator at national speech DAB station Oneword Radio
  • Colin Philpott, one of the original founders of the Cambridge University Broadcasting Society, is Director of the National Media Museummarker. He previously worked for the BBC where during his 24-year career he fulfilled a number of roles as reporter, producer, documentary maker and editorial manager. His last post before leaving the BBC was Head of BBC Yorkshire.
  • Matthew Price is now the BBC's New York Correspondent, having previously been a Middle East Correspondent.
  • Richard Straffon was the overnight presenter on Key 103 in Manchestermarker until April 2005, and is now the drivetime presenter on 97.6 Chiltern FM.

The station holds annual alumni days, on which former members are invited back to once again produce and present shows for listeners within the University.

Notes and references

  1. Student Radio Awards - 2007 - Winners. Student Radio Association. Retrieved on 2008-06-16.
  2. Ofcom Long-term RSL Licencees. Retrieved on 14/06/08
  3. University of Cambridge Societies Guide. Retrieved on 14/06/08
  4. Student Radio Awards - 2005 - Winners. Student Radio Association. Retrieved on 2008-06-16.
  5. Student Radio Awards - 2007 - Nominees. Student Radio Association. Retrieved on 2008-06-16.
  6. CUR1350 Listener Statistics Survey Data. Retrieved on 2008-06-16.

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