91.1 MHz, Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT.
A Short History of WSHU
from the unidentifed newspaper article, possible the campus newspaper. The date iwritten s apparently 74/75.
Sacred Heart University Radio, WSHU, began its broadcast operation during the latter part of 1963. Esxcept for its earliest years and this last summer the station has been marred by the uncertainity of its character, a lack of direction in its staff and a feeling of dispair as to whether anyone or anybody cared if Sacred Heart University had a radio station, a prestige item that many Universities seek today, but fail in finding an available frequency.
The Diocese of Bridgeport's desire to have an outlet for its numerous activities and the University's intereest to explore the new area of college radio led to the development of WSSHU. Under the engineering leadership of Clifford Fraser and the managerial skills of Abe Najammy, the station began broadcasting fully in 1965 with a staff of Sacred Heart and Notre Dame students.
Signing on at 11:00 a.m. and off at 7:00 p.m., the station presented a mised variety of programs that included:: Navy Band Showcase, The Classics, The Sacred Heart Hour, etc. Though unacceptable by today's standards, these programs fit the character and identity of the University and the Diocese.
The station flourished under the control of Abe Najammy who had an understanding of the staff's needs as well as the University's. Economically, the station fared well with a tremendous amount of financial help coming from the Diocese of Bridgeport.
The station's initial move forward was soon blunted by the resignation of Mr. Najammy because of poor health. Lacking the financial resources needed to h ire a new station manager, the Diocese and the University placed the burden on Clifford Fraser. This began a period of station history that continued until 1972.
This period was a time where funds were lacking for the most meager purchase, a time when those up above cared not what you did, as long as you stayed within very strict guidelines. The result was a stagnant period, when outdated programming and equipment was the order of the day. Even rock was not allowed on the station until 1969.
The summer of '72 brought together: Ray Hasselman, then news director; Carl Rossi, program director (class of '73) and George Lombardi, chief engineer (class of '73). They resolved that the sation could not continue in its chaotic situation.
The appointment of Robert5 Kidera as the new president of the University facilitated their plans for developing the station. By January first of 1973, the station was under the complete control of the University, with Frank Luongo, a former history professor, as the new general manager.
Under the overall management of Frank Luongo and the internal management of Ray Hasselman, Carl Rossi and George Lombardi, the station moved forward. Yet the movement forward was soon blunted by conflicts between the students and the University's management over the direction and purpose of the station. Eventually, a strike actiona was taken by students in February, 1973.
From the strike, there resulted a Committee for Radio Station WSHU. The members included: two staff members, Dennis MacDonald and Ray Hasselman, Dean of Students, John Croffy, two faculty, Leland Roberts and Miss Roberta Staples and student Government Representative Sharon O'Bryne. The first outcome of the committee was a new management structure for the station. It placed the students in control of most of the station's operation except for budget and representing the station at large in the community. Questions to be resolved by this year's committee are ones of purpose, direction and audience to be served. Frank Luongo soon resinged from the University.
This pas summer showed the results of the strike and the forming of the new management structure. Under the leadership of rtay Hasselman, as the elected station manager, his assistant Lynn McNamara and Dennis MacDonald as the Director of Development and Personnel, the staff of twelve pulled itself together and developed the best summer of programming ever heard on WSHU. This was accomplished despite failing equiment and the lack of the general manager.
The programming day lasted from 8:15 in the morniong until 2:30 a.m. the next morning, five days a week. On Saturday the day lasted from 12:00 noon until 2:30 a.m. and on Sundays from 7:00 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Programming included everything: classics, folk rock, free form, rock, numerous specialty rock shows centering and developing one theme such as country music or British blues and rock and roll, poetry, recorded plays, jazz, talk and much more.
WSHU at some point in its schedule offers someting for everyone. It is the station's desire to serve the University which means the students, (as varied as they are), the faculty, night school students, administrators, and the community outside, which supports the University. The station, the staff felt will not and hopefully never will be another rock station of the dial, but a polace where freedom is present, experimentation is the rule, and the proof that a college radio directed by students doesn't have to be another ordinary rock station.
The future looks good for WSHU. Its fall schedule goes into affect on October first. Theer is a sizable number of freshmen interested in working on the station. A power increase and new antenna will greatly improve its coverage area. the final and perhaps the most important thing of the new school year for the station is the appointment of Dr. Donald Coonly as general manager. Dr. Coonly is also head of the Audio Visual and numerous other things but all agree that his talents will add greatly to WSHU.