More Photos Below:
The ECOM as the start of the year consisted of: Patty Kurlychek-General Manager, Marty Peshka-Operations Director; Chris Watson-Program Director; Doug Maine-Business Manager; Tina Podlodowski-Director of Development; John Ramsey-Chief Engineer
Department heads included: Paul Robertson - Music Director; Joanne Bilotta - Classical Director; Sharon Burchfiel - Sales Director; Leora Sparapani - Program Guide Editor; Anne Minicozzi -Traffic Director; Lisa Nash, Andy Winters - News Directors, Dale Maine - Production Director.
The staff list, taken from the June Program Guide, consisted of Bob Ames, Mary Anderson, Lauren Aronstamm, Rich Aubin, Jeff Becker, Pat Beckford, Jeff Blanchette, Brooks Blanchard, Sharon Burchfiel, Carolyn Carlson, Michael Clare, Tina Colada, Mike Crispino, Dave Demaw, Vijay Dixit, Marissa Donza, Jim Douglas, and GM Evica. Mort Fega, Felix, Jim Fifield, Greg Fontaine, Peter Frederikson, Tom Goehring, Diane Goldsmith, Donna Goodwin, Hector Hannibal, Susan Heske, Ruth Howell, Margaret Johnson, Wayne Jones, Bill Kaplan, Dan King, Keri Kucmeroski, Martial LaRoche, Marsha Lasker, Leo Matos, Jim McGivern, Rob Meehan, Peter Michaelson, Eric Miller, Joyville Morris, John Mueter, Reynolds Onderdonk, Jackie Peart, John Ramsey, Alison Rasmussen, Brad Regaglia, Wally Remes, Mark Rinas, Maurice Robertson, Mike Rojek, Billy Samboy, Jeff Segla, Dottie Shami, TJ Smith, Gene Solon, Roger Stauss, Ken Steen, Rod Steier, Andy Taylor, Sue Terry, Joe Terzo, Craig Tryon, Vic Vince, Chris Watson, Terry Weichand, Steve Williams, Tim Wolf, Dave Yudkin, Andy Zeldin and Paul Zulpa.
The “Notes from the General Manager” article in the February Guide, Patty Kurlychek wrote about the issue of FCC deregulation, lamenting the fact that the requirements that restrict the number of commercials per hour, that require commercial stations to broadcast news and public affairs programming, and that require stations to conduct formal studies to “ascertain” the needs of their communities (so that they could air programming addressing these needs) would soon be a thing of the past.
Radio deregulation was the subject of many station meetings, and the ECOM was determined to continue WWUH’s tradition of alternative excellence. WWUH should be a place where listeners could turn to hear programming that was truly alternative.
The history of WWUH would not be complete without mentioning the impact that two unique books had on the future of the station. The books were “Playing In The FM Band” by Stephen Post and “Sex and Broadcasting” by Lorenzo Milam.
John Ramsey recalled:
“Post wrote about being General Manager of WBAI in
“Sex and Broadcasting” had the phrase “A Handbook for Community Radio” on its cover and it certainly served that purpose at WWUH. The author had founded many community radio stations on the west coast in the sixties, and was considered by many an expert on alternative programming. Some WWUH volunteers who had been doing what they thought were alternative shows for a number of years on WWUH were shocked to find that they only recognized a few of the “Best Alternative Recordings of All Time” listed in the book While some of the things outlined in the book seemed outlandish, I think that everyone who read the book looked at the station and at their programs in a new light.
By the end of the year, we had to photocopy all three hundred pages of Milam’s book since the original was so worn from being passed around between staffers. Together, these two volumes helping many volunteers realize how an alternative station really can become a major part of a community and that individual programmers could make a difference.
Keep in mind that not all members of the staff took the time to read either of these books, or agreed with the ideas expressed in these books. There is no doubt in my mind that these books were controversial, and that they had a dramatic impact on the future of WWUH. They were the subject of many discussions at the station since there were still some people on the staff who thought that WWUH’s primary purpose was to train students in the art of broadcasting. Others thought that WWUH should give some of the commercial stations a “run for their money” by offering the same type of programming found on the commercial stations but without any commercials.”
The station’s renewed commitment to serving the public manifested itself in part through the station’s presentation of a number of specialty show in the 8-9 pm, Monday through Friday time slot. These programs included: Insight by Jackie Peart , Con Salsa, a Latin show with Billie Samboy, Women In Your Ear, produced by a local Women’s Collective, Sharon Burchfiel’s Artist’s Corner, Assassination Journal with George Michael Evica and Geetanjali, Indian Music with Vijay Dixit. The drama of Sherlock Holmes rounded out the weekday evening lineup.
Community affairs programming was a priority in 1980, and an emphasis put on issues not covered by the mainstream media.
One such issue was the danger posed to all of humanity by nuclear weapons. WWUH had a long and proud history of airing programming aired at informing the public about nuclear issues, a subject that affected everyone in one way or another but that the mainstream media seemed blind to. The syndicated series "Shadows of the Nuclear Age" was run during the fall in the noontime Public Affairs hour. This program was acquired from the Pacifica Archive and dealt with a variety of related issues, including the Pentagon’s scramble to develop “first strike” nuclear weapon systems such as the Trident submarine and the MX missile...
The station featured a seven days of Women's programming in July, in conjunction with the UH Woman's Collective.
The fall 12 noon - 12:30 weekday public affairs lineup was as follows: Monday-Sherlock Holmes (syndicated from the BBC), Tuesday-"Frog Hollow Review" (a locally produced poetry show), Wednesday-Assassination Journal, Thursday-West Indian Public Affairs (locally produced), and Friday-Astrology Almanac with Alphee Lavoie and Carol Voeth. The evening slots saw the addition of "Gay Spirit" on Thursday nights and a Spanish Public Affairs show called "Latin Affairs".
The ECOM met with Rob Meehan in September 1980 to discuss his ideas for a radio show. They liked his proposal and agreed that a half hour show about Gay and Lesbian issues would make a welcome addition to the station's Public Affairs line up.
Mary Anderson, a student from the state of
Weekend specialty shows included Poesis and Modulacao Cultural, both on Saturday afternoon.
The artists featured on the Midweek Spotlight series on the Midday Fuse show in January and February included Hartfield and the North; Sammla Mammas Manna, Pekka Pohjola, Yochk ‘o Seffer and Alan Holdsworth, Jan Akkerman, Gary Boyle and John Abercrombie.
From the January 4, 1980 minutes: "A folk show may be substituted for FM In Bed from 6-9 am.”
The program “Conversations,” produced by Roger Stauss and Mike Crispino, featured interviews with guitarist Pat Metheny and Alto and Flute player Frank Strozier in February.
Mbira, a program of world music hosted by Tim Wolk, aired on Sunday afternoons at 4:30.
When Arista Records mailed a notice to non-commercial stations in October stating that they would be charged $300 per year for promotional copies, station management went wild! They felt that WWUH should not have to pay since Arista, and other record labels, were getting free airplay and that once Arista got away with this, other companies would soon follow and station's like WWUH would be unable to afford to pay for records they were currently getting for free. The ECOM saw this major threat to college radio.
Calls to Arista management were made to explain the fact that stations like WWUH would not be able to afford the cost of what amounted to a subscription for promotional copies but these calls did little to change Arista’s new policy.
The ECOM decided to discuss the situation with other stations in similar positions, and after many phone calls and networking the decision was made to "boycott" of Arista products: As long as the company insisted to charging a fee for promotional service, the stations participating in the action would not play any Arista recordings, new or old. Husker Du, Patty Smith, Carly Simon were just a few of the artists who's music would not be heard on WWUH or any of the other dozen or so stations that were participating in the “boycott”. WWUH got great coverage in local and national media on this boycott. Shortly after word got out, we got a call from the Connecticut States Attorney's Office. WWUH was advised in no uncertain terms to cease and desist. While individuals may participate in a boycott, organizations may not join together to do so as it would be a violation of anti-trust and fair trade laws. WWUH was told to distance itself from the boycott immediately. It was also informed that this was a courtesy call since the Attorney General's task is to enforce these laws, not warn people about them.
General Manager Patty Kurlychek met with University General Council Charles Condon and a representative of the University's law firm about the Arista boycott situation and found out that there was nothing that WWUH could do other than back out of the boycott movement and hope that Arista wouldn’t press charges! We then issued a statement saying that we were undertaking unilateral action only.
The unilateral action we took against Artista nevertheless worked, and they dropped their promotional service fee.
When the production studio renovation was completed in January of 1980, several weeks were spent training the staff. The new studio was built around a sturdy wooden console topped with Formica. Room was provided for guests, who when seated, would face the producer, facilitating an interview setting. A stereo mixer was installed to allow up to six mikes to be used at once, and the phone system was tied into the board so that callers could be incorporated into the programming.
Along with the FY79/80 Budget and Financial Forecast, Business Manager Doug Maine wrote:
"Marathon '79 brought us clear evidence that we are filling a need in
"We seek therefore to enlarge our operations, especially our commitments to Community Affairs, Jazz and Classical programming and technical excellence. The vibrancy and responsiveness our staff and management will ensure the continued dynamic performance that has come to be expected of WWUH"
In February, the station's
The Don Pullen concert was arranged by Sharon Birchfiel, who had submitted a successful application for a "Meet the Composer" grant. I kind of remember having a decent turnout for that one. Mr. Pullen played solo piano, wore bells around one or both ankles for percussive effect and performed two sets of single set-long pieces,
The minutes of meetings clearly show that the ECOM was concerned about the rising cost of putting on a
UH President Trachtenberg, a long time WWUH supporter, sent the station a letter in February complaining that UH was not mentioned on our T-shirts and bumper stickers. While some members of the staff felt that the university should pay for the articles if they wanted their name on them along with “ours”, the ECOM decided that this was a reasonable request and decided to comply.
The Annual WWUH Staff Banquet was held Friday, May 2 at Farmington Woods. The guest speaker was Joe Celli, the director of
Wayne Mulligan (VP WDRC) and Lee Steele (Chief Engineer, WRCH) were special guests at the event.
Arrangements were made for local station WRCH to donate a used Collins exciter to the station. Since the exciter unit serves as the very heart of a FM transmitter, having a second unit was a very good thing.) This unit was sent back to Collins to be rebuilt and was used to replace the problematic Wilkinson unit which the station had purchased in 1971. This gave us a redundancy in exciters.
The rebuilding of the production studio was a valuable experience for the engineering staff as no one on the staff had ever built a broadcast studio before.
When the engineering staff completed the production studio rebuild in early1980, they had a short time to relax a little before tackling the air studio renovation. They found relaxation in the form of a live concert series that was broadcast from
In an effort to improve the quality of the remote broadcasts over other years, discussions were held prior to the start of the season and recommendations were solicited from the staff on how to make the broadcasts better. Just about everyone agreed that the party atmosphere at the remote site in past years detracted from the quality of the broadcast and interfered with the ability of the remote crew to do a professional job. Therefore, the ECOM set up strict guidelines for on-site volunteers, including no drinking. The station's remote staff started the season determined to produce as professionally sounding programming as possible.
The dedicated phone lines connecting the concert site at
The success of
Since space had always been a problem in the air studio, the decision was made to remove the two walls that formed the "news booth" in the middle of the studio. The booth was used only occasionally for news, and had become the catchall of miscellaneous junk. Removal of the walls would mean an increase in usable studio space of approx. 40 percent, making the studio square instead of L shaped. The university Operations and Maintenance department did the demolition job, as well as the installation of new carpet, ceiling tiles, ductwork and electrical wiring. The four pane sound proof window from the booth was salvaged and moved in to the front wall of the air studio, allowing the operator on duty to have a view of the hall for the first time. Operations Director Andy Winters convinced his uncle to install new carpeting on the walls for free, and fortunately the carpenter who did the production counter work for free volunteered to do the same thing in the air studio since he was a friend of engineer Paul Zulpa’s.
All programming during the renovation was done out of the production studio.
Air Studio construction was bogged down by delays in the work being done by the campus Operations department during the summer, and dragged into the fall semester. Frustration with Operations reached a climax when the station received their bill for carpeting the 100 square feet of the new air studio for $4700! A quick check revealed that this was the bill for carpeting the Suisman Lounge.
The station's 12th Anniversary picnic was held on July 13th, and featured live performances on the Gengras lawn by Northern Rhythms, Billy and the Buttons, The Anglion Audio Theater and the Sue Terry Jazz Band. The entire day was broadcast live from the outside stage.
September brought the students back to the campus, and with them several technically inclined volunteers willing to help with the Air Studio project. Freshmen Dave Viveiros, Dave Gardiner and Dan Steeves all joined the Engineering Department, and all three were quickly put to work helping with the wiring of the new studio. In fact, these new recruits accomplished most of the studio wiring. Both Dave G. and Dave V. remained actively involved with the WWUH Engineering Department for over ten years.
Work on the air studio was finally completed in early October 1980. Staff reaction to the new studio was uniformly positive. The new studio offered the following features: lots of room for guests, handicapped accessibility, 3 different types of dimmable lighting, much more room for record storage, a new board, and fully documented wiring. In addition, the fact that there was now a window from the studio that looked out at the door added a lot to the facility.
It's interesting to note that all of the station's rock and jazz recordings could fit on a 12 by 7 foot wall in the air studio in 1980. Our small bluegrass and urban library was housed in the production studio, and the classical records we got from WTIC were housed in a room of their own down the hall.
Ever since the transmitter had been moved to
The first cassette deck was installed in the air studio at the request of the staff. This made it possible for us to play the large amount of new and local music we received on cassette.
Wilde Wayne Jones, host of Rock and Roll Memory Machine was interviewed by Dickey Robinson on WRCQ in January.
The Hartford Hellions offered to pay line charges in order for us to carry their games. According to the minutes of the ECOM meeting where this was discussed, this idea was turned down by the ECOM as "not alternative".
The station sponsored a pub night in October with Trudy Silver's jazz band. The event was well attended by students and community members alike and netted $110 for the station. During these pub nights, station announcers took turns making announcements from stage, and T-shirts and albums were given away.
Community ascertainment was done during the summer for the license renewal, which was due at the Commission on December 1. Ascertainment procedures required that volunteers make hundreds of phone calls at random to households in our listening area to ascertain the ten most pressing problems facing the community. These surveys were required by the F.C.C., and we had to make a showing on our license renewal application describing how we were addressing the issues on the air. The major problems identified were, in order, crime, education, and integrity in politics, housing costs and the environment.
The University had given the station a loan in the mid 70s, to be paid back at an interest free rate of $500 a year. The payment term was renegotiated to go through '83.
Leora Sparapani brought lots of creativity and color to the monthly program guide during her term as Guide Editor. The staff loved working with her since she was always willing to lend a hand with writing or layout of articles.
Joanne Bilotta, a community volunteer, was Classical Director for the first part of the year. Jeff Blanchette, a student of the Hartt School of Music, followed her. Both of them worked hard coordinating the classical department, keeping the massive classical library organized, and making sure that the classical listings were submitted to the Program Guide on time each month.
"Astrology Almanac" aired for the first time in November in the Friday noon slot. The 30-minute live show featured astrological discussions, readings and answers to telephoned-in listener questions. Audience response was quite good, although a number of staffers questioned the validity of the program. There were also questions about whether this show belonged in a pubic affairs slot.
At the September 9 ECOM meeting, several staff members presented a proposal to combine the "Midday Fuse" and "Afternoon Roll" slots into one show to make room for a new 12 noon - 1 pm Public Affairs hour. The first 20 minutes of this new slot would be devoted to local news, followed by 10 minutes of specials like "In The Public Interest" and "Star date". The 12:30 - 1 pm slot would be reserved for locally produced public affairs shows.
The proposal also included the creation of a new afternoon music show; to be called Synthesis was warmly received by the staff. Although this new show would take the place of both Midday Fuse and Afternoon Roll, most of the staff thought it was worth it. The ECOM hoped the Synthesis should emphasize fusion and world music, and other styles of music that weren't being played elsewhere in our schedule. In essence, it was to be "the alternative's alternative".
The original hosts for Synthesis were Mark Rinas on Monday, John Ramsey on Tuesday, Michael Claire on Wednesday, and Carole Brosseau on Fridays. Thursday was initially an open slot reserved for student hosts. The new show first aired on November 3, 1980.
WWUH had always shied away from religious programs. The consensus was that there were a number of other radio stations in the area that aired religious programming, so such programming was not “alternative”. There was also the feeling over the years that religion was a personal thing, and that as such WWUH would not broadcast regular religious programs. Note that over the years a number of religious “specials” were aired, these were one time shows presented as part of a community celebration of such events as Quanza, Three Kings Day, etc.
A new Christian music show was proposed by a member of the community, and accepted with the understanding that the host would not be allowed to preach. While listener reaction was very favorable, it wasn't long before the host started making religious commentaries on the air. He was reminded several times that he sound “let the music” speak for him, but his commentaries quickly started sounding like sermons. As a result, he was called into an ECOM meeting. When he refused to stop preaching, his show was cancelled and his membership was revoked.
Metropolitan Opera broadcasts started on December 6 and ran through April 21. A strike that was settled just before the airdate might have forced the broadcast of recorded Operas for a good part of the season. We received the opera through a pair of stereo telephone lines from the satellite down link at CPTV. Although the Opera was available on several other stations that were audible in Hartford, many listeners preferred our strong stereo signal to the mono signal of WFCR in Amherst or the weak, noisy signal of Connecticut Public Radio's Middlefield transmitter.
In the fall, we received a call from Elton John’s manager. Elton was in town for show at the
When word got out to the staff that we had turned down an interview with Elton John, some though that we crazy. There were divided opinions as to what we should have done with the interview. Some folks thought that we should have done the interview and made someone play it on the air, while others thought that we should have taped it as a courtesy but not air it. But, according to the minutes of a Sept.18 general meeting, most of the staff agreed with the decision not to compromise our programming principals, even for a famous artist such as Mr. John, was the correct one. However, we did receive fallout from the decision from various record company reps in the weeks following the incident although quietly a number of record reps said that they had a new respect for WWUH’s independence.
Several staff members returned from the annual National Student Broadcaster's Convention with the feeling that WWUH was "light years ahead" of the other stations in attendance. Most of the other stations seemed quite commercial, and used commercial programming gimmicks on the air. Many stations didn't seem to realize that they had a commitment to the community off campus as well as on.
Program Guide subscriptions numbered about 650, with 1,000 additional guides distributed around the area by Jim Douglas. Wendy Weichand was appointed Guide Editor in June.
Volunteer Carol Brosseau, who spent months reorganizing both the rock and jazz libraries, was appointed acting Director of Development in November.
Carol immediately went to work making plans for
The T Shirt was tan without logo but front and back printed. Lowercase call letters on front, drawing on back of old radio with different programming bubbles coming out of it.
The decision making process about the color and design of the yearly T-shirt was always interesting when left to the staff and this year’s discussion of the several different designs submitted for the 1981 shirt was no different. The staff had voted 35 to 8 in favor of a black shirt over an orange shirt after a lengthy and somewhat heated debate. The shirt offered in
Underwriters on the books as of November were: Capitol Record Shop (Wed. Gothics and Friday Morning Jazz), Fantasy Factory (Friday Gothics), India Assoc. of Greater Hartford (Geetanjali), Wagon Shed Restaurant (Monday Night Rub), Fisherman's Marker and Golden Realty (Cultura e Vida).
Marissa Donza, class of ’81 wrote:
“My very first radio stow was hosting FM On Toast in the Spring of ’80. At that time those slots were very free-form but shortly after I started, one by one, every “Toast” turned into a morning Folk show. So Tuesday stuck out like a sore thumb – or reather – “the middle finger” that it was . . . loud and raunchy and fileld with the rebellious punk music of the day; Elvix Costello, the Ramones, the Sex Pistols. Well, one particularly frustinging morning after about two months of fielding request from folk fans who obviously weren’t listening, I christened my slot “The Folk-Off” show during a break! Rob Banks, program Director, who happened to get into the office early that day, came into the studio and nervously told me that I couldn’t call my show that – too offensive or something. But it stuck, it captured the spirit of the show and the folk announcers were great sports throughout the duration of the show”.
Dave Gardiner recounted another story from 1980:
“I can remember being at a staff meeting and someone complaining about waking up to AC/DC at 6 am; over in the corner Marissa Donza was hiding her head saying “Was that me?”
Some of the major news stories in 1980 were: Ronald Reagan elected president in Republican sweep (Nov. 4); six US embassy aides escape from Iran with Canadian help (Jan. 29); US breaks diplomatic ties with Iran (April 7); Eight US servicemen are killed and five are injured as helicopter and cargo plane collide in abortive desert raid to rescue American hostages in Teheran (April 25). Background: Iran Hostage Crisis; Iraqi troops hold 90 square miles of Iran after invasion; 8-year Iran-Iraq War begins (Sept. 19); F.B.I.'s undercover operation "Abscam" (for Arab scam) implicates public officials (Feb. 2); US Supreme Court upholds limits on federal aid for abortions (June 30).
At the start of the year the ECOM consisted of: Patty Kurlychek - General Manager, Andy Winters - Operations Director; Dale Maine, Acting Business Manager, Doug Maine - Community Affairs Directors, Tina Podlowski -Director of Development; Sue Terry-Program Director; John Ramsey-Chief Engineer.
Other managers included Paul Robertson, Marissa Donza, Teri Kuchmeroski as Music Director, Brian Killany as Scheduler, Jeff Blanchette, Rob Meehan-Classical Director; Wendy Weichand as Guide Editor, Gary Brenner, Tracy Leuteritz-Traffic Director; Mary Anderson-News Director and Daniel Steeves-Production Director.
Candidates for the spring ECOM elections were given the opportunity to speak about their platforms at an April Meeting.
For the second time in four years, there were two candidates planning on running for the position of General Manager, both very qualified, both with substantial staff support. General Manager candidate Dale Maine said that he wanted to see an emphasis put on public affairs programming. He wanted to improve communication with President Trachtenberg and the Administration and work for a conclusion to the WTIC classical library situation. He also wanted to work towards the purchase of a new transmitter in '82 or '83.
Tina Podlodowski, who was also running for General Manager, said that she was very disillusioned with the staff of the station. She felt that the staff tended to forget that the ECOM was made up of students who were still learning the job of management and that they weren't professionals and that they did need advice. She urged the staff to get more involved, to attend more meetings, and to look beyond just their own shows to the greater good of the station. She then surprised everyone and announced that she was withdrawing her petition to run for G.M. because of another campus job offer!
Operations Director candidate Andy Winters said that he was very committed to the station. He looked forward to a second year as Operations Director and wanted to work towards increasing the station's coverage and influence in the community.
Sue Terry, who was running for the position of Program Director, said that radio had been an influential part of her life for years and that she felt that her years listening to and participating in WWUH would give her some insight into the P.D. job. Expansion of the public affairs programming was an important concern, and she hoped to help dispel some of the staff apathy by motivating people.
John Ramsey, who was running again for the position of Chief Engineer, said that he would be thrilled to be elected for another term, and he assured the staff that even with his new full time employment at WCCC, his first priority would always be WWUH.
Doug Kimelman, candidate for the Director of Development position, spoke of expanding our already excellent Public Affairs show line up. Community ascertainment would be used as a guide to create new shows addressing the needs of the listening area.
The election resulted in the following appointments: Dale Maine-General Manager, Andy Winters-Operations Director, Sue Terry-Program Director, John Ramsey-Chief Engineer, and Doug Kimelman -Director of Community Affairs. There were 13 voting members present at the election meeting out of 16 qualified members.
As General Manager, Dale Maine brought to the table a huge commitment to the station along with a down to earth approach to management and practically infinite patience. These were just some of the traits that made him a successful leader.
Andy Winter’s outgoing personality, organizational skills and energy made him an idea Operations Director.
Sue Terry’s compassionate personality and musical knowledge made her an excellent Program Director. She could talk to anyone about anything and she quickly gained the respect of the staff.
Doug Maine knew how important the station’s Public Affairs programming was to the local community and his commitment to journalistic excellence and balanced programming are just some of the things that made 1981 an excellent year for public affairs programming on WWUH.
The re-election of John Ramsey meant that he could continue with his plan for improving the station’s technical facilities.
Paul Robertson was appointed Music Director in May, but he resigned in August. Marissa Donza was then appointed Music Director. Both of them had their hands full coping with the ever increasing amount of new releases arriving at the station, and dealing with the frustrating problems that have always seemed to face us such as keeping the library in order, returning phone calls promptly, and dealing with the record theft situation.
Program Director Sue Terry resigned from the Program Director position in September.
Station Manger Dale Maine continued a dialog with University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg started by Patty Kurlycheck a year earlier about getting non-students at WWUH the vote. In an exchange of letters with SJT, Dale explored the president’s thoughts about giving active community volunteers at WWUH a vote in station elections. Despite his best efforts, Dale was unable to get Trachtenberg to agree. While the president was not against community volunteers participating in WWUH he felt that the leadership of the station (and control thereof) should remain in the hands of students “as a benefit” of being a student.
Andy Winters was a good fit for the Operations Director position He had good managerial skills and was someone who could get things done. When he resigned at the end of the school year in June Chris Watson took over and immediately went to work. Chris was also ideally suited to the OD job, he could troubleshoot problems quickly, whether they were technical or procedural, and he was particularly adept at helping to improve staff moral.
Wendy Weichand was appointed Guide Editor and lent a professional touch to the production of the Guide. The cover of the January issue of the Program Guide was dedicated in the memory of John Lennon who has been murdered on December 8th. The issue featured the lyrics of the song “Imagine” on the cover, and Wendy wrote a eulogy that was featured inside.
The January issue of the Guide included excerpts from Lorenzo Milam’s book “Sex and Broadcasting. Subjects included “How to Terrorize Your Local Broadcaster” which explained how to get commercial broadcasters to be more responsive to their local communities by looking in their public file and “Using the Fairness Doctrine to get on the air”. Another article, written by volunteer Dan King, was entitled “Who Owns Broadcasting?” The article focused on the broadcasting industry, and the deregulation being considered by Congress.
WWUH was voted BEST RADIO STATION in the Hartford Advocate in September. This was the first time that the Advocate had a “Best Of” section and was a triumph for the station. In fact, WWUH won “Best Radio Station”, as opposed to “Best College Station,” a category that the Advocate do not have in 1981. The title provided no distinction between commercial and college station so we were in the running along with the large commercial stations in the area. We were given advance notice of the award, allowing us time to place a quarter page ad in the BEST OF issue thanking the readers for voting us number one and promoting our alternative programming.
We heard that our winning the “Best Station” award angered a number of the commercial stations, including those who were regular Advocate advertisers. As a result, the Advocate created a “Best College Station” category to go along with the “Best Radio Station” category.
Nationally, 1981 was a year that saw a renewed interest on the part of the FCC in indecency. The ECOM studied the issues carefully and decided that our Public Affairs programs fell under the F.C.C.'s exemption for programs of a "scientific, medical, legal, etc." nature. The consensus was that "Dirty" words presented as part of a responsibly presented news or public affairs program should pose no problem for us both because they were exempt from the law and because they were easily justified. Entertainment show announcers were urged by the ECOM to be careful of musical lyrics containing the "seven dirty words". Songs where such words were easily recognized should not be played when children were likely to be in the audience, which the ECOM defined as between the hours of 6 and 12 midnight. No WWUH announcer was allowed to say the words on the air.
The ECOM was always concerned about commercialism on the air and as a result the station’s underwriting policy was modified in August eliminating the line describing of the business. Underwriting announcements, given twice an hour, would contain the name of the business and the street address, city and state. The multitude of different underwriting rates for different shows and time slots were also eliminated and replaced them with a single, flat $10 per hour fee. It was felt that even with the extra low rates overnight ($2 per hour) based on experience few people would be interested in underwriting those shows.
The station’s Community Affairs Department kept up the tradition of excellence by presenting a series of special programs in 1981.
The political situation in
About 90 minutes into the show the spokesman was asked the following question by Dr. Evica: “Has the US State Department ruled out the murder of one or more of the
Later in the year, Professor Evica moderated another in-studio forum, this on the safety of the nuclear power plants in
The program focused on the alarming number of plant incidents that had been reported to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the last few years, and the fact that the plants had received unprecedented reprimands and fines from the NRC for safety violations at both Millstone and their sister Connecticut Yankee atomic power plant in Haddam.
Toward the end of the program, the NU engineer referred to the reactor containment dome as being the “first and only line” of defense should the reactor experience a “worst case” loss of coolant accident, which he said would result in a build up of highly radioactive steam to a pressure in excess of 2,000 pounds per square inch inside the dome. He was asked by one of the reactor safety experts if the dome had ever been tested to this pressure, and the NU spokesman said in a condescending voice “of course, we can’t do that”. Surprised by the flippant answer, Dr. Evica asked if any pressurization testing had ever been performed on the dome at the plant. NU engineer confirmed that pressure tests were routinely conducted, and that the dome had been tested to a pressure of 20 pounds per square inch. When challenged as to why they only tested the dome to 1/100th of what would be experienced in an actual accident, the NU spokesman replied “because we don’t want to damage the dome”! Realizing how bad that sounded, both NU employees got up and walked out of the studio while the show as on the air live leaving the remaining participant’s, and more than a few listeners, dumbfounded.
Like most cities in the northeast,
Volunteer John Merino also produced a five-part, locally produced forum on Housing Issues which aired in November. He was joined by co-hosts Abigail Sullivan from the Hartford Courant, Mary
The ECOM turned down an offer from
The station sponsored a Woman's Radio Conference on March 21, attended by 14 people from the community who came to learn more about WWUH and the Hartford Woman's Radio Collective, based at the station.
General Manager Dale Maine tried something very different on the Thursday at noon slot. He was the host of a new program called "The Editorial Page". The program focused on a single issue of public interest each week and followed a call-in format. Many of the callers asked about various aspects of WWUH operations.
The ECOM considered a proposal to expand the weekday evening public affairs slot to two hours from one. The proposal would have had Public Affairs from 8-10 pm, Accent on Jazz from 10 pm - 2 am, and Gothics from 2 am - 6 am. This was found to be unacceptable for several reasons, including the loss of the All Night Show, a prime training ground for new announcers, the difficulty of finding Jazz hosts who could do the new shift, and the difficulty of finding Gothic announcers who wanted to come in at 2 am to do a four hour show.
“In The Public Interest” was the name of a 3-minute commentary that the station had received for free for years from the Fund for Peace in
Doug Zimmerman, Community Affairs Director wrote in the April Guide:
“The environment, energy, unemployment, education, transportation, the concerns of the elderly and handicapped—these are important issues that touch us in one way or another, issues that alternative community radio (WWUH) should address.”
The summer saw WWUH continue the tradition of live broadcasts from
The station, along with the host of the program "Son Burst" and the Inter-varsity Christian Fellowship, sponsored a concert featuring the band Abraham and Moses, on January 24 in Lincoln Theater.
Record theft had always been a problem in college radio, and WWUH was no exception. The extent of the problem was very hard to measure since it was impossible to find a difference between a misfiled recording and one that was stolen. On more than one accession a volunteer would release a verbal tirade at a General Meeting about a missing album only to be told by another staff member that the album had just been found misfiled in the library!
The ECOM had done research on the subject to see what other stations were doing to combat record theft: Not surprisingly, they found that the problem was indeed universal, and that there was a wide range of things other stations had done to deal with it.
Some stations thought that theft was inevitable and that it was the price that was paid when using a volunteer staff! Other stations felt that the problem was directly related to staff moral. The idea was that a better trained and motivated the staff, with people involved in doing more than “just their shows”, would be the less likely they would steal. Some pundits even went so far as to say that if a record was stolen, it just proved that that recording was too popular for an alternative station like WWUH to play.
The ECOM realized that they had to walk a fine line when dealing with the problem since it was assumed that only a small percentage of the staff was responsible for the losses. Accusations and drastic measures would only serve to poison the atmosphere and would not deter those who were set on stealing. There were as many proposed "solutions" to the problems as there were explanations of why it occurred. Some stations locked up each genre’s library, and announcers would have to sign out a key at the college’s public safety office at the start of their show. Other stations required that all announcers log an inventory or count of the records at the beginning and end of their shifts, something that was unpractical at WWUH since we had over 20,000 recordings.
The ECOM discussed the record theft issue at a staff meeting. They reviewed some of the steps other stations had done to address the problem and asked for staff ideas. Suggestions included our hiring of a full-time librarian to "check out" the records, and idea that was unpractical to say the least, installing a retail store type "point of purchase" alarm which would cost thousands of dollars and allowing staff to borrow albums as they pleased!
In the meeting the ECOM stressed to the staff that the fact of the matter was that once a record was lost, it was gone for good. The thief was depriving not only the staff of the record but was stealing it from future listeners. Nearly everyone present at the meeting thought those caught stealing should be punished severely, with expulsion from the station as a minimum punishment, but some felt that having them arrested was too strict. The ECOM chose to be very careful in dealing with the subject with the volunteer staff: often they felt that they were "preaching to the converted" when discussing the subject at staff meetings. Obviously, only a small percentage of the staff would ever consider stealing from the station.
Various methods were tried over the years in order to minimize the problem and/or catch those responsible. These methods included: peer pressure (asking other staffers to keep their eyes open), ensuring that all of the station recordings were clearly marked, surprise spot checks of announcers leaving the building, before and after inventories of the new bins and surveillance cameras in the hallways. Late in the year, the station’s staff voted to make mandatory arrest the station policy for persons caught stealing from the station and in the years ahead two staff members would be arrested for record theft.
The ECOM remained concerned about a university "media advisory board" that was being discussed on campus. WWUH had always operated with a great deal of freedom and autonomy from the student government association which they had split from in the early seventies in an effort to ensure the station’s independence. Some media advisory boards at other colleges had been disasters and it was not unusual for these organizations, which tended to specialize campus issues, not to recognize the importance of stations like WWUH since they were used to dealing with media outlets whose only audience was on campus.
At a general staff meeting in April, it was agreed that we would no longer give tickets away for or promote shows at a local rock club due to the club’s mistreatment of patrons, which was documented fully in an Advocate article, and witnessed by many WWUH volunteers.
A rebuttal was submitted to the Hartford Courant for a March 13 article they ran about Connecticut Public Radio dropping their local news shows. They quoted CPR General Manager as saying that they were the only station in the state playing Classical music.
The Met Opera was aired from Dec 5 - April 17. The introduction of the first broadcast of the season must have used the word “Texaco” at least a dozen times in five minutes and many staff members and listeners found this blatant commercialism objectionable. Letters of complaint were sent to Texaco and the Met Opera because of the promotional nature of the wording of sponsorship announcements aired during the Saturday broadcasts. The wording was promptly changed.
A proposal from the staff to change the FM on Toast slot from rock to Folk was received favorably by both the ECOM and the much of the staff. Bill Domler and Joel Blument were already been doing morning FM on Toast shows so only three shows would need to be changed. This proposal was met with opposition from the rock staff since for many years the 6-9 am slot had featured primarily rock music. The ECOM decided to make the change but agreed to respect the existing rock shows in those slots. This meant that the change would be made on a show-by-show basis when the volunteer was no longer able to continue to do their show they would be replaced with someone who was willing to play folk and acoustic music.
The week’s musical events included the kickoff party with the new wave band Modern Look, an open house with Albert Otis Blues Band on Tuesday, and an end-of-marathon party with Sue Terry's Jazz Ensemble.
Andy Zelden once again came to the station's aid by helping to design
The statistics for
The fact that Mort Fega’s Focus on Jazz marathon totals was bettered by another show, Leora Sparapani's Friday Morning Jazz was widely discussed by the staff. Even though Leora bettered Mort’s total by only a bit, ($100 out of a total of $1369), many eyebrows were raised.
The first edition of the WWUH Operations Manual was presented to the ECOM by John Ramsey. The manual listed various topics and policies in alphabetical order for easy access and had been created to aid in station training and to serve as a reference manual for the staff.
Thanks to deregulation, the F.C.C. discontinued the issuance of the First Class License in August. The first class license was replaced by a lifetime General Class license, and rules were also changed to eliminate license requirement for a station's chief engineer. All operators, including the chief, were now required to have only the post card Restricted Permit! The Commission wanted to leave the determination of the qualification of an engineer "up to the marketplace"!
The license renewal came through on April 30th.
1981 was a busy year for WWUH engineering department. In April, John Ramsey accepted a full time job as Chief Engineer at WCCC in
New counters and equipment were installed in the News Studio during fall by the station’s Engineering staff, allowing the stations newscasts to be broadcast from the newsroom, and for the newsroom to be used to produce news stories for later airplay, including those involving telephone interviews.
The audio quality of the
The summer's successful concert season wouldn't' have been possible without the assistance of General Manager Dale Maine and engineer Dave Gardiner.
At a special election held in October, the following ECOM positions were filled: Andy Winters - Operations Director; Doug Kimmelman - Community Affairs; Lisa Polsky - Business Manager. There were only seven voting staff members.
A proposal was presented to the ECOM for a new public affairs show, called “The Shortwave Alternative”. The goal of the program was to provide the listening public with a glimpse of what the news sounded like when presented by the broadcast stations of other countries. This would be accomplished through the use of a special receiver to pick up, live, international shortwave broadcast stations and retransmitting them on the air. The ECOM gave the approval and the producer went to work contacting shortwave stations in other countries. The goal was to pick stations that represented a broad political spectrum of opinions, but at the same time he had to stick with stations with signals strong enough to be of broadcast quality. The list was quickly narrowed down to the BBC, Radio Moscow, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, KOL Israel, Radio South Africa, The Deutche Welle, Radio Havana
The FCC rules specifically stated that rebroadcasting the signals of foreign broadcasters was legal, and that no prior permission was required. However, since the Voice of America was a domestic station, we would have to receive written permission from them before we could retransmit their programming on WWUH.
In addition to writing to the VOA, letters were sent to the other eight stations as a courtesy informing them of our intent to rebroadcast their transmissions.
Seven of the stations responded with letters of encouragement. Some, like the BBC, has a list of rebroadcasting conditions, such as requiring their World News to be broadcast live, which was not a problem. The News Director at the North American Service of the CBC called informing us that the CBC was experiencing a strike by union workers, and that he could not approve a rebroadcast without the infinitesimal risk (his phrase) of it hampering the labor negotiations. The gentleman stressed how wonderful the idea was and how everyone there was thrilled that a station in the
Believe it or not, it was our own Voice of America that refused to grant us permission to rebroadcast their programming. They sent a single paragraph letter vaguely referring to some federal law that prohibited retransmission of VOA programming in the
The Shortwave Alternative aired on Thursday evenings at 8 pm for a number of years. Listener reaction was quite positive, although occasionally someone would complain about Radio Moscow being carried. These callers uniformly asked why we weren’t balancing the programming with our own Voice of America, and they were shocked to find out that doing so was illegal!
The ECOM approved the program and it appeared on the air in December.
The station once again manned a checkpoint at the March of Dimes Walkathon in the spring.
The syndicated program “Soundings,” produced by the National Humanities Council was aired on Tuesdays at noon. Some of the shows aired in May were “Education and the National Economy”, “Teaching Standards” and “Classroom Laboratories”
Significant International and national events in1981 included: US-Iran agreement frees 52 hostages held in Teheran since 1979 (Jan. 20); hostages welcomed back in US (Jan. 25). Background: Iran Hostage Crisis; Pope John Paul II wounded by gunman (May 14); Israel annexes the disputed Golan Heights territory (Dec. 14); Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat is assassinated by Islamic extremists during a military parade in Cairo (Oct. 6).; President Hilla Limann is overthrown in Ghana as Jerry J. Rawlings seizes power; Ronald Reagan takes oath as 40th President (Jan. 20); President Reagan wounded by gunman, with press secretary and two law-enforcement officers (March 30); US Supreme Court rules, 4–4, that former President Nixon and three top aides may be required to pay damages for wiretap of home telephone of former national security aide (June 22); Reagan nominates Judge Sandra Day O'Connor, 51, of Arizona, as first woman on US Supreme Court (July 7); Air controllers strike, disrupting flights (Aug. 3); government dismisses strikers (Aug. 11).
The ECOM consisted of Dale Maine-General Manager; Andy Winters - Operations Director; Doug Kimmelman - Community Affairs; Lisa Polsky - Business Manager; Jack Parmele-Acting Director of Development.
Department heads included Chuck Nonkin-News Director; Tracy Leuteritz - Traffic Director and Production Director; Teri Kucmeroski, Mike Scannel - Music Director; Rob Rosenthal, Assistant Music Director, Rob Meehan, Susan Mullis -Classical Director; Willie T. Young - Jazz Director; Laurel Aronstamm - Logging; Rob Rosenthal - Assistant Music Director.
Station staff included; Bob Ames, Laurel Aronstamm, Joan Balas, Jeff Becker, Maria Berry, Joel Blument, Jim Bolan, Tom Bowman, Carol Brousseau, Carol Voeth, Rich Brkich, Keith Brown, Craig Burton, Michael Clare, Bob Cody, Mark DeLorenzo, Vijay Dixit, Dave Demaw, Bill Domler, Marisa Donza, Eugene Dotson, John Drury, Steve Ent, Mort Fega, Lincoln Fuson, Dave Gardiner, Colin Gaynia, Donna Giddings, JJ Henrique, Kay Hopper, Fred Hull, Wayne Jones, Bruce Kampe, Ken Karpowitz, Lennell Kittlitz, Patty Kurlychek. Alphee Lavoy, Robert E. Lee, Jr, Tracy Leuteritz, Clyde Lucas, Dale Maine, Doug Maine, Rob Meehan, Jim Mercik, John Merino, Peter Michaelson, Kim Miller, Joyville Morris, Susan Mullis, Chuck Nonkin, Reynolds Onderdonk, Mike Panton, Jack Parmele, Jackie Peart, Lisa Polsky, John Ramsey, Brad Regaglia, Wally Reemes, Mark Rinas, Henrique Ribeiro, Maurice Robertson, Tim Rooney, Rob Rosenthal,, Michael Scannell, Linda Schnitzson, Marylin Swepson, Andy Taylor, Sue Terry, Vic Vince, Dave Viveiros, Will Young, Annette Walton, Chris Watson, Wendy Weichand, Terry Weichand, Andy Winters III, Tim Wolf, Paul Woodiel, Valarie Zars and Will Zachmann.
Andy Winters resigned from the Operations Director position in October and Mike Scannel was appointed Music Director in September.
The ECOM decided to discontinue the noontime local news program “In the Hartford Interest” because of lack of interest on the part of the staff. There weren’t enough people to do more than "rip and Read" and it was felt that doing that kind of news was not appropriate on WWUH. Although some staff members thought doing any kind of news was better than doing none at all but the ECOM felt that quality was important so the newscasts were terminated.
Doug Zimmerman, Community Affairs Director, resigned from the position in January citing "academic conflicts" as the reason. The ECOM was unable to persuade him to reconsider. The same month, Rob Meehan stepped down from the Classical Director position, and Susan Mullis stepped in to fill the position.
WWUH was featured prominently in a new UH recruitment film, which was screened at the station banquet in May. The film was supposed to represent “a day in the life of an average UH student” and opened with WWUH signing on and the announcer saying good morning to the campus. Opening footage of daybreak on campus was inter-cut with images of the WWUH morning host going about their duties. At the close of the video, WWUH was again featured as the announcer said “good night” and signed off.
Pressing problems facing the ECOM early in the year included completing the required Problems/Programs list for the Commission and finishing the rewrite of the Constitution started several years before.
Dale picked up the cause of getting community volunteers the vote at WWUH and again approached the university president with the idea. The President seemed to enjoy the discourse about the issue which took place mostly through a series of letters, but Dale was not able to get him to change his mind about allowing non-students to vote in station elections.
Willie T. Young, the station's jazz director, always wrote something interesting at the end of each play list that went out to dozens of jazz labels, and his July list was no exception:
"Summertime means short everything--clothes, tempers and messages from the WWUH Jazz Dept. The play list is longer than ever though, courtesy of all you wonderful folks. And, thanks to our hard-working crop, the listening public is getting a full dose of the music every day. Doctor's orders. I must remind everyone that, although we are listed as a college station, we have many community people working here. What this means is that we don't slow our operation down for the summer at all - au contraire, we're kicking hard full time. So, if you're holding back hot releases thinking that we're on some kind of vacation, I hereby endeavor to respectfully correct that particular assumption. We're always gasping for new material - let's not say our hand is out, let's just say our arms are open. And if you don't want to send records, could you please send an air conditioner?"
The July Jazz Playlist showed the following artists getting airplay: David Sanborn, The Crusaders, Sonny Rollins, Chuck Mangione, Dave Grusin and Dexter Gordon, among others.
Staff shortages continued to be a problem in April. The ECOM utilized ads in the campus newspaper and on-air announcements to recruit new volunteers. Serious thought was given to combining the Gothic Blimp Works and the All Night show into one slot, running from 1 am to 6 am since in theory it would be easier to fill.
At the April 18th election meeting, the two candidates for General Manager were asked a series of questions from the staff. First they were asked them to speak briefly about their views on the future of the woman's programming at WWUH and about Gay Spirit.
Dale Maine responded first and said that he felt Public Affairs programming was the station’s #1 priority. He felt that both of these programs were very worthwhile and that he was in favor of expanding Gay Spirit to a full hour.
Andy Winter, the other candidate, responded that he felt both shows were good. He stressed his commitment to Public Affairs programming in general.
When asked about what changes they would make if elected, Andy responded that he felt that there were a number of loose ends that needed to be cleared up such as the WTIC Classical contract and the antenna project. He promised that, if elected, he would work on those issues as well as the record theft situation, lack of student involvement and station promotion problems. Dale responded to the same question by saying that he saw the continued proper operation of the station as a big challenge due to the lack of volunteers both in management and on the air. He would work for an increase in Public Affairs programming, and would continue to development the station's financial base.
The question of whether non-student WWUH volunteers should get the vote was put to both candidates by the staff, and both Andy and Dale said that they would work towards getting the vote for our community volunteers.
Dale Maine was reelected General Manager, Lisa Polsky was elected Business Manager, and John Ramsey was reelected to the position of Chief Engineer. The campaign for the GM position had been an amicable one, and the station got “the best of both worlds” when Andy Winters was appointed acting Operations Director pending a special election. Dale and Andy were an excellent team, and they oversaw some major improvements at the station.
Dale Maine was reelected General Manager, Lisa Polsky was elected Business Manager, and John Ramsey was reelected to the position of Chief Engineer. The campaign for the GM position had been an amicable one, and the station got “the best of both worlds” when Andy Winters was appointed acting Operations Director pending a special election. Dale and Andy were an excellent team, and they oversaw some major improvements at the station.
Station management was aware of the many challenges facing non-commercial stations nationally and in an effort to participate in the process the decision was made to have the station join the National Federation of Community Broadcasters in April.
A proposal to make the following change the weekday lineup as follows was voted down by the station's staff: 12 noon - 12:30 Public Affairs, 12:30 - 3 pm "Synthesis", 3 - 7 pm Classics, 7 - 9 Public Affairs, and 9-12 Jazz. This change would have cut 30 minutes from the noon public affairs slot, added an hour to the evening Public Affairs slot and cut 30 minutes from the Synthesis slot. One of the reasons the proposal wasn’t approved was the fact that there didn’t appear to be enough programming to fill the additional hour of public affairs.
Channel 3 visited the station in April to videotape the airing of the Gay Spirit program. The footage was used on a special they ran on Gay issues.
The station joined with the India Association of Greater Hartford and sponsored a seminar on immigration issues in May.
A twelve hour live broadcast of the New England Fiddle Contest was aired on May 29th. Advocate ads were used to attract listeners to the broadcast.
The staff picnic was held on July 11. Preston Reed and the Hash Brown Blues Band performed at the outdoor event.
In the fall, the results of the recruitment campaign were apparent. No less than 22 interested students attended the New Peoples Meeting held in September. Multiple training sessions were held and over a dozen new staff members were added to the rolls.
The September Rock Playlist, assembled by Rob Rosenthal, Assistant Music Director, listed the following artists in "heavy" airplay: Psychedelic Furs, Peter Gabriel, Lords of the
Jack Parmele was appointed Acting Director of Development in September, and he got to work immediately looking for artwork for the '83 t-shirt.
The two-minute commentary “Byline” was added to the schedule in September, to be alternated with “In the Public Interest” at noon. The goal was to offset the “progressive” viewpoints expressed in the “In the Public Interest” short feature with “Byline’s” views which were often conservative.
For the fourth year in a row, WWUH participated in the March of Dimes Walkathon on April 25. WWUH staffed a checkpoint at the corner of
Many on the staff thought it was a joke when GM Dale Maine listed is phone number on the station phone list as “529-WWUH”. However, it wasn’t a joke. His family had the phone number 529-9984 for close to twenty years prior to his becoming a UH student, and it was just a coincidence that the last four digits spelled WWUH on their telephone.
The business manager reported that the station spent $41,654 in FY 81/82. Income was reported as $47,014, with $17,000 from the University and $25,151 from
Budgets: Community Affairs-$1,800; Programming-$7,475; Development-$15,350; Business-$3,050; Operations-$2,700 and Engineering-$5,570.
Science Fiction writer Issac Aisimov's lectured on campus in October and the event was recorded and aired a few weeks later on “UH Presents”.
WWUH aired a special program produced by N.P.R. on labor and the economy. The segment was called "What's Wrong with the Economy" and it aired on December 4th from 10:30 - noon.
The formal ascertainment of community issues was completed in the fall of 1982 in time for the FCC deadline. It indicated that the people interviewed thought the major problems facing the area were: Inflation, Crime, Drug Abuse, Alcohol, Elderly and Housing. 375 persons were contacted for the survey, which was done by station volunteers.
Smoking was banned from the studio in December after the ECOM received a petition signed by thirty staff members. This proved controversial at first as a number of volunteers chose to ignore the ban.
The following are excerpts from a "State of the Station" report written by General Manager Dale Maine in late 1982:
"In the last two years, several things of note have occurred. In an overview, I would say that the station has become friendlier with its licensee, while maintaining its independence. From the first, (UH President) S.J. Trachtenberg was cordial . . . His only real complaint is that past managers have failed to keep him informed about the station's activities. I don't think he realized just how important it really is in the eyes of the F.C.C. that the licensee knows what goes on at the station. I have kept him informed, to a point. To the point that our problems are not taken out of proportion (or even noticed), so as to keep the station in our hands.
The "our" of course is the student and community member staff. Both parts of the station have become irreplaceable. The student involvement, as with many student activities, has gotten smaller and smaller; and yet, the students still control the management of the station.
In the last two years we have had the smallest management teams in the history of the station: General Manager and Chief Engineer alone for months at a time. This isn't to say others didn't help; we just didn't have people officially in office.
This, in part, led to one of the first problems of my first term; a former staff member who had returned to the station after a ten year absence, tried to tell the University that she could run the station better than we could. Fortunately, the University came and asked me . . . (and I made) the problem go away.
. As part of the growing bond with UH, we aired several special programs: an interview with (President) SJT about a speech he made about the future of education, a program with UH financial aid officers discussing Reaganomic cuts, and a live broadcast of a rally about financial aid.
Publicity is the one thing the station lacks. We never seem to make the news, when we do something good or even when we do something bad. There have been many special programs, etc. which we could and should have promoted. We don't look for listeners for money, we look for listener for listeners, and so we are indeed serving the public.
The F.C.C. may change the definition of why we are here; they have tampered with a lot of things in the last two years. Chief Operators need not hold an engineering license anymore. Non-commercial stations may promote any product or service they feel is in the public interest as long as they are not in any way receiving something in return.
"The University has had less money in recent years, so (the budget) from whence our money comes has been cut (to $15,000 from $17,000) and may be cut again.
"(The elimination of the News Department in January) was a controversial move, which I myself opposed, but there was a reason. We cannot do news unless we have a news department willing to put the time into doing it right. Rewriting copy, calling people for stories and background, and pronouncing names correctly are bare-bones necessities. Students, at this point, just don't seem to have the time to dedicate to hours required."
The Commission rules were changed to allow non-commercial station’s to run commercials for pay for non-profit organizations. We can do underwriting announcement as often as we like. Recommendation: never charge a fellow non-profit organization.”
The station’s engineering staff consisted of Rich Brkich, Dave Gardiner, Bob Lee, Dave Viveiros and John Ramsey.
On July 1, 1982, the entire $15,000 allocated to us from the university was spent on the purchase of a new transmitter! After careful consideration, a Harris 2,500 watt unit was chosen. While a station of our power would normally only require a 1,000-watt transmitter, the higher power unit was picked for several reasons: First, the additional power might be needed if and when the long sought after antenna height increase was authorized. Second, the 2,500-watt model was very common and available without any delay. Finally, Harris sells 10 of these units for every 1,000-watt unit sold: the higher power model was actually less expensive at the time of purchase.
While the RCA transmitter that had been in use since WWUH first went on the air in 1968 had been quite reliable, parts were getting harder and harder to come by. In addition, as the stations volunteer staff, listening audience and commitment to the community grew, so did concern over off airtime. A new transmitter would minimize down time. The decision to purchase the new unit was made partly because staff felt the station may never be in a financial position to do so in the foreseeable future. Its purchase also went right along with the plans to provide redundancy for all major systems at the station.
Transmitter delivery took place at 3:30 in the morning due to a mix up with the trucking company. As the ground was too wet for the use of a hand truck, the 700-pound transmitter was hand carried from the driveway to the building by the two movers and station engineers! Installation took several weeks as it required major rearrangement of the equipment configuration at the site. The new transmitter was first put on the air at 3:57 am on November 5, 1982. It operated 24 hours a day for nine years before experiencing its first failure!
In the spring, the sink was removed from the newsroom, and replaced by the old Fairchild board on custom designed counters. This room was used for news for a short period of time before it was changed over to the station's jazz library. During the interim, the room was used as a recording control room to coordinate a live broadcast of the rock band "Holding Pattern" from rooms E, F, G and H. Multicables were run from these rooms to the 20 channel Tascam mixer, which was set up in the newsroom.
In April, Susan Mullis became host of an Evening Classics show and shortly thereafter a Monday Synthesis slot in fall.
News headlines in 1982 included: British overcome
The ECOM at the start of the year consisted of Dale Maine, - General Manager; Rob Rosenthal - Program Director; Patty Kurlychek - Business Manager, Joanne McCormick - Acting Development Director; Dale Maine - Acting Business Manger and John Ramsey - Chief Engineer.
1983 was a year of many changes in station management: Program Director Bill Yousman resigned in January due to other commitments and Rob Rosenthal was appointed acting Program Director in January. Student Dan Ryan was appointed acting Program Director in March but had to resign about two months later due to time issues. Tom Bradford was appointed acting Community Affairs Director in April. Valerie Zars was appointed Program Guide Editor in March with Leora Sparapani stepping into that position in November. Joanne McCormick was appointed Acting Development Director in June. Gary Levin was appointed Production Director in November. Dale resigned from the Acting Business Manger position because of his part time job and Patty Kurlychek assumed his duties for several months to help the ECOM out. Paul Woodeil was appointed Classical Director in June.
Sub Department heads included: Paul Woodeil - Classical Director, Valerie Zars - Program Guide Editor, Susan Mullis - Classical Director, Bill Nollman - Production Director, Will T. Young -Jazz Director and Tracy Leuteritz - Production Director.
The staff consisted of Bob Ames, Laurel Aronstamm, Joan Ballas, Rob Banks, Jeff Becker, Marya Berry, Janet Bilan, Jeff Blanchette, Joel Blumert, Jim Bolan, Tom Bowman, Bob Bowser, Tom Bradford, Gary Brenner, Rich Brkich, Blanchard Brooks, Keith Brown, Craig Burton, Lorian Cairo, Margie Cherbot, Michael Clare, Carole Clock, Lee Courtney, Mark DeLorenzo, Dave Demaw, Vijay Dixit, Bill Domler, Marisa Donza, Jim Douglas, John Drury, Steve Ent, George Michael Evica, Mort Fega, Leslie Frishman, Lincoln Fuson, Dave Gardiner, Tom Goehring, Diane Goldsmith, Tony Grant, Jamie Greenfield, Hector Hannibal, JJ Henrique, Sue Heske, Ruth Howell, Sharon Islam, Wayne Jones, Bruce Kampe, Ken Karpowitz, Tom Kelly, Brian Killiany, Doug Kimelman, Dan Kriwitzky, Lennell Kittlitz, Terry Jucmeroski,Patty Kurlychek, Rudy Lachapelle, Alphee Lavoie, Bob Lee, Tracy Leuteritz, Clyde Lucas, Shireen Mahmud, Sandra Marable, Gary Markham, Leo Matos, Paul McGuinness, Rob Meehan, John Merino, Peter Michaelson, Kim Miller, Joyville Morris, John Mueter, Susan Mullis, Nay Nassar, Chuck Nonkin, Reynolds Onderdonk, Nigel Palmer, Mike Panton, Jack Parmele, Jackie Peart, Lisa Polsky, Wally Remes, John Ramsey, Henrique Ribeiro, Mark Rinas, Maurice Robertson, Paul O. Robertson, Larry Rodis, Mike Rojack, Rob Rosenthal, Sally Sawyer, Mike Scannell, Bill Scoville, Jeff Segla, Todd Shuster, Leora Sparapani, Gene Solon, Rod Steiger, Roger Stauss, Dan Streeves, Steve Sullivan, Marilyn Swepson, Andy Taylor, Joe Terzo, Marya Triandefellos, Felix Vera, Vic Vince, Dave Viveiros, Carol Voeth, Chris Watson, Jerry Watson, Terry Weichand, Wendy Weichand, Darlene West, Steve Williams, Andy Winters, Tim Wolf, Paul Woodiel, Will Young, Bill Yousman, Dave Yudkin, Valeria Zars, Will Zacherman and Paul Zulpa.
Station Advisors: Dean Doris Coster, Ed Nelson, Charlie Allen and Larry Titus.
The following is a “State of the Station” Report submitted to the ECOM by GM Dale Maine in June of 1983.
“This is a setting down in words of my views as to the past tow years, the present state of the stations and some future goals I believe should be worked for. A future Executive Committee member may find many or few things of use in this document, but save it anyway, its history.
In the last two year’s several things of note have occurred. In an overview, I would say that the station has become friendlier with its licensee, while maintaining its independence. From the first, SJ Trachtenberg was cordial…His only real complaint is that past managers have failed to keep him informed about the station’s activities. I don’t think he realized just how important it really is in the eyes of the FCC that the licensee knows what goes on at the station. I have kept him informed, to a point. To the point that our problems are not taken out of proportion (or even noticed), so as to keep the station in our hands.
The “our” of course is the student and community member staff. Both parts of that staff have become irreplaceable. The student involvement, as with many student activities, has gotten smaller and smaller; and yet, the students still control the management.
In the last two years, we have had the smallest management teams in the history of the station: General Manager and Chief Engineer alone (on the ECOM) for months at a time. This isn’t’ to say that others didn’t help; we just didn’t have people officially in office.
This, in part, led to one of the first problems of my first term; a former staff member who had returned to the station after a ten year absence, tried to tell the University that she should run the station better than we could. Fortunately, they can and asked me, and I started with her outdated knowledge of the station, moved through her evident irresponsibility (she never offered us help, nor told us she had written to the school), and ended with a plug for our own abilities. The problem went away.
This sort of ting happens every few years…Remember: no matter how inexperienced you feel, no one is in a better position to manage WWUH! You have been elected, and you will make it by, learn and eventually surpass your predecessors. That’s how the station works.
Other highlights of the first summer include the return of the WTIC Classical Record Scenario. Summary follows, for all the gory details I recommend the file.
In 1977, WTIC set us up to replace them as the classical music source in
WTIC was sued by angry classical fans, upon their license renewal time. The suit was finally settled in 1981 when the FCC decided that the public doesn’t have a say in programming (or something to that effect). WTIC agreed to give away the records permanently, and gave some money to
WTIC sold the transmitter they had promised us but we could not use, and we received a check for $2000, less than half promised each to CPR and Hartt.
Connecticut Public Radio wanted all of the classical records, which we have. As of this writing, WTIC still has not figured out how to divide the records between the stations.
Among pet projects, as part of the growing bond with UH, we aired a few special programs: an interview with SJT after he made a speech about the future of education, a program with Financial Aid officials discussing Reaganomic cuts, and the live broadcast of a rally regarding financial aid. These were topics of concern to the students and the University as well as the community at large.
Two underwriters joined a growing list of no-pays. These two, unlike the others, had not declared bankruptcy, so after talking got (UH Council) we gave the cases to the UH claims people, who took it to small claims court.
WWUH raised over $26,000 in pledges in 1982’s
WWUH, via the GM, gained a slightly closer relationship with the Student Association, even though they have no control over us or our money (remember that). The Student Union Board of Governors was resurrected to oversee Gengras. And, while there have been some good (and some bad) proposals to relocate WWUH to its own building, we are now in Gengras and must out for SUBOG. I spent my second GM term as secretary of the board, while major work was done in re-organizing the building’s room allocations. It is a good idea to have a friend, if not a staff member, on the board as an at-large member. The board is largely SA people, and they will always balk at giving the station a permanent seat.
WWUH took part, for two straight years now, in the March of Dimes Walkathon, helping to man checkpoint number 1. Not only a public service, this was good publicity for us.
Publicity is one major thing the station lacks. We never seem to make the news, when we do something good or even when we do something bad. There have been many special programs, etc. which we could and should have promoted. We don’t look for listeners for money, we look for listeners for listeners, and so we are indeed serving the public.
WHUS just made some news; they have been accused by the UCONN student government of, among other things, placing too much emphasis on Public Service Programming. Sorry gang, but that’s why non-commercial station are here. And students are here to learn, such as about new music, and they are here to become responsible members of the community.
The FCC may change the definition of why we are here; they have tampered with a lot of things in the last two years, Chief Operators need not hold an engineering license. Non-Commercial stations may promote any product or service they feel is in the pubic interest as long as they are not in any way receiving something in return. We can run commercials for pay for non-profit organizations though. We can do underwriting announcements as often as we see fit and include name, address and a non-judgmental list of product lines.
RECOMMENDATION: never charge a fellow non-profit organization for anything, leave the promotional announcements for concert listings, and keep underwriting announcements once an hour, saying only name and address.
The University has gotten a new phone system, which is great if it works. Never hesitate to bring up a complaint with a University service, as long as you are polite. Sympathetic ears are found in high places, just start low and move up if nothing is done . . .
The University has had less money in recent years, so Dean Coster’s operating budget (from whence our money comes) has been cut. Our University money was cut to $15,000 for this year, and may be cut again. We have spent a lot of money in recent years, and there aren’t too much left to buy, except a new tower for
We saved some money as on January 1982 by the elimination of the news department and hence the need for a newswire. This was a controversial move, which I myself opposed, but thee was a reason. We cannot do news unless we have a news department willing to put the time into doing it right. Rewriting copy, calling people for interviews, and pronouncing names correctly are bare-bones necessities. Students at this point just don’t have the time to dedicate a few hours to a newscast.
WWUH has kept up its tradition of live broadcasts from Bushnell Park each summer, the Peace Train Fiddle Contest and the CRT Summer Jazz Series under Paul Brown are worthwhile events, good to broadcast, and generate good publicity.
Among other live broadcasts has been the Metropolitan Opera. We picked this up, free of charge, each year, after WTIC switched from classical music,; We have decided to end our broadcasts of it this year as it is heard on several other stations which can be received in Hartford.
Several advancements have been made in the area of training new people. John Ramsey completed an Operations Manual, a list of major policies was compiled to be signed by each new person, and staff information sheets are also to be filled out for the first time. The membership rules have been modified and will be officially changed in the new constitution.
In addition, training sessions have been set up to provide proper indoctrination. The first and most important session features a speech on the state of radio, why WWUH is different (what we do with our programming), and how we are the only hope for true, public service, radio. (Note, “we” refers to all of our non-commercial brothers as well.)
Security of the Gengras Student
We worried out our other hassle with Security, re: parking for non-student staff. They were free to buy $20 commuter parking stickers, but was unreasonable to ask of them, and the station couldn’t afford it. Instead, they must park in the lower lot and call security to make sue they will not ticket their car.
The proposed 83/84 budget amounted to $33,000 and was derived from the following sources: Marathon’84-$20,000, UH Contribution-$10,000, misc. gifts-$1,500, Underwriting-$1,000 and revenue from previous
The proposed expenses, by department, were as follows: Development (Guide, publicity, marathon, staff development, commissions) -$14,150 Programming (trade publications, recording supplies, remotes, royalties, and LP purchases) -$3300, Operations (Insurance, transmitter electricity, misc.) -$3,050, Business (copies, office supplies, toll charges and postage) -$2,750, Community Affairs (AP Newswire, publications) -$600 and Engineering (test equipment, transmitter and studio equipment, repairs) -$8,650
At one point the weekly Executive Committee meetings were held in the air studio as the only time everyone could meet was when one of the Ecom members had an Evening Classics air shift. This was fine as the person would simply select long compositions to play on the air and limit their announcing to a bare minimum allowing the meeting to take place with only a few, short interruptions. To make sure everything sounded OK on the air, the speakers were set so that the music could be heard by everyone during the meeting, to make sure the record didn’t skip for instance. One time when some very serious subjects were being discussed the Ecom member/host selected a composition recorded on four LPs which would provide close to two hours of uninterrupted music. The meeting proceeded as planned for about 90 minutes when a listener called. The host answered it on the speaker phone and everyone in the room heard “do you know you have played this entire symphony at 45 RPM?” Sure enough, we looked at the turntables and it was indeed turning too fast. The last couple of songs played by the previous announcer had been a 45 and the classics host had failed to check the speed before he put on the classical piece. Just about everyone on the Ecom was a music buff yet none of them had realized that the music was way too fast.
During the year, WWUH continued to be on the cutting edge of the music scene. The following bands were getting heavy airplay in January: Rock: Burning Sensations, UB-40, Killing Joke, Inserts, and Gang of Four. Jazz: Chick Corea, Duke Ellington, Dave McKenna, Bill Mays, Earl Hines, Doug Sertle and Bjorn Lindh.
An April Rock Play lists list U2, Roxy Music, Kraut, Depeche Mode, Major Thinkers and Pete Shelley in heavy category.
The "Soul" playlist in the same month listed the following artists in "heavy" airplay: Michael Jackson, Prince, Grace Jones, Jammers, Evelyn King, Musical Youth, Peter Brown and Spider Dee.
The New England Fiddle Contest took place on May 28th and 10 hours of the event was carried live on the air. The event, held in
Broadcast of the summer jazz concerts from the park continued, using the pair of 15 khz dedicated phone lines installed for the fiddle contest. One of the major problems with the remote broadcasts from the park over the years had been that the person mixing had to use headphones in order to hear what they were doing over the ambient noise from the stage and the PA system. In 1983 staff tried something different. A 12-foot box van was rented for each concert so staff could set up the mixing position inside, achieving some acoustic isolation from the stage sound. In this way, speakers could be used for the mix down instead of headphones. The cost of the van rental could be justified as it was needed to transport the equipment, which had out-grown staff member's cars. Artists included: Jackie McLean, Lyle Atkinson, Vishnu Wood, Joe Lee Wilson, Charles Davis Baritone Sax Orchestra, Michael Caroin Quintet and Bill Hardman and Junior Cook. On site announcing was performed by Jim Bolan, Gene Solon, Andy Winters, Patty Kurlychek and Peter Michaelson. The remote engineers included Steve Ent, Bob Lee, Dave Viveiros and John Ramsey.
Throughout the year, the station's bluegrass host put on a series of "Live Radio Boogie" concerts featuring bluegrass music on Saturday mornings. "Live Radio Boogie" concerts in the 83/84 season featured the bands Travor Hollow, The Pannaclone Brothers, The 8 Mile River Band, Stabor/Patton, Grass Roots, Billings Gap, String Fling and Last Fair Deal. These broadcasts originated from rooms E, F, G & H in Gengras, across the hall from the air studio, and featured a live audience. The remote broadcast equipment would be temporarily installed in the Production studio, with the cabling hung from the ceiling. It was at this time that WWUH first started experimenting with closed circuit TV cameras to monitor the stage from the mixing position.
In October, a formal decision was made that the morning FM on Toast shows would become folk shows. The decision was based on the lack of folk programming on the radio versus the amount of rock programming. The ECOM had postponed the decision for months as a courtesy to one last rock music holdout: Marissa Donza had renamed her Tuesday FM on Toast program "Folk-Off" to express her displeasure with what she knew was an inevitable change. The folk hosts were Bill Domler, Joel Blumert, Tom Bowman and JC Marino. The ECOM decided that Marissa’s would be allowed to do her show for as long as she wanted to. However, once Marissa decided to give up the spot, the slot would become a folk slot. Marissa switched to a Gothics in 1984 and the change was made bringing folk music to the airways five times a week in drive time.
In August, Brian Andrews, a 12-year-old student from
The ECOM was faced with a number of difficult and controversial decisions in 1983:
The decision was made to not renew the contract with the Met Opera as there were other stations in the area carrying it.
The well known host of the Saturday Focus on Jazz slot was let go in late October for refusing to attend staff meetings. At the November 13 General Meeting, station manager Rob Rosenthal said "that the station had received a number of phone calls (about the absence), but no letters."
From the minutes of the November13 Ecom meeting:
"Rob met with (UH President) SJT, and came out of the meeting with a positive feeling. In the past (Rob felt) that it sometimes appeared (inadvertently) that the station 'shunned' the
An example was the recent Milner/Hatch Mayoral debate that was held on campus and later broadcast on WWUH. This makes for good programming, and helps promote the university throughout our listening area. When asked by a staff member if this new proposed programming includes UH sporting events, Rob replied 'No way!'."
The issue of discussing politics on station music shows was the subject of several ECOM and general meetings during 1984. Some felt that politics should not be discussed during music shows while others argued that there is no reason why someone shouldn't be able to talk about politics on the air. The consensus was the personal opinion was ok in moderation. However, if an announcer wanted to make it a regular part of their show they would have to submit another demo tape to the Program Director.
This did not mean that the station shied away from controversial issues. Public affairs programming continued to be a high priority in 1983.
In January the station participated in a live radio call-in program hosted by NPR, this one focused on Labor issues. A dedicated line was installed from the NPR downlink at Ct. Public Radio to our studio and the program was run live on the air from 10:30 am to noon. Listeners were able to call an 800 number to participate in the program. We were able to access these NPR programs, which dealt with issues such as the economy, immigration and
A series of tapes from a Muslim student group were aired in the noon slot in February.
A special program on AIDS was broadcast on July 21st at 8pm. This was one of the first radio programs on this important subject in the state of
The former Foreign Minister of India took part in a panel discussion that the station co-sponsored with Vijay Dixit in July.
A two-hour live call in program was carried on November 11 produced by the Central America Work Policy Project. The program, which was delivered to us free of charge, focused on the problems in
1983 was a year for local elections and WWUH’s Community Affairs Department focused on the
Special programs were aired focusing on the
The station’s commitment to the community was further demonstrated when station volunteers participated in the annual March of Dimes Walk a Thon on April 24 by manning a “WWUH” checkpoint.
Noon time programs included The Housing Crunch, produced by John Marino, George Michael Evica’s Assassination Journal, Sherlock Holmes, Doug Maine’s Artist’s Corner and Astrology Almanac featuring Carol and Alphee Lavoy. “In The Hartford Interest,” a 30 minute local news program, ran five days a week at 12:30.
Shows airing at 8 pm included Insight with Jackie Peart, Latin Affairs, and Con Salsa with Felix Viera, Women in Your Ear, The Shortwave Alternative produced by John Ramsey, Gay Spirit hosted by Keith Brown and Geetanjali with Vijay Dixit.
In an effort to get more faculty and staff members involved with the station, Rob Rosenthal wrote a letter to the faculty asking them for input on our programming, and offering them free training and airtime.
The Jazz Department was very active in 1983. Jazz Music Director Willie T. Young sent out monthly jazz play lists, accompanied by humorous letters to the record reps.
Morning Jazz hosts included Bruce Kampe, Jim Bolan, Laurel Aronstamm, Jim Douglas and Mark DeLorenzo. The evening Jazz hosts were Mort Fega, Peter Michaelson and Maurice Robertson.
Kim Miller was the host of Sounds of the City on Friday evenings and John Merino hosted Blue Monday on Monday nights.
Gothics and All Night Show hosts included: Bob Ames, Rob Banks, Jim Bolan, Bob Bowser, Craig Burton, Bob Lee, Tracy Leuteritz, Clyde Lucas, Mike Panton, Jack Parmele, Jackie Peart, Bill Yousman and Valerie Zars.
Classical hosts included J.J. Henrique, Dale Williams, Susan Mullis, Rob Meehan and Carol Voeth. Synthesis announcers included Susan Mullis, Andy Taylor, Cosmic Foole and Reynolds Onderdonk.
We received a letter in the summer from the president of the university questioning why we didn't cover the recent visit of Mrs. Sadat (the widow of the late president of
The smaller than expected return from Marathon, coupled with a $5,000 reduction in the amount of money the station received from the University in July, eliminated the possibility of the acquisition of either the new modulation monitor system or the proposed remote pick-up unit (RPU).
In January, the station received complaints from listeners that they had received solicitations the University! An investigation revealed that our donors had been entered into the wrong database by the university, and all had been solicited by the University (with no mention of WWUH) during the last three months. The Development Department agreed to remove the names of our donors from the list.
1983 brought a new phone system to the campus, as the University decided to replace the leased SNET system with a new, modern system purchased from another vendor. As with any undertaking of this size, getting the entire campus cutover to the new system was not without problems. Soon after the new phone system was installed, station management received a call from a vice president of vendor who complained that a WWUH staff member had been complaining about the new Rohm phone system over the air (“Rohm wasn’t built in a day” was the comment).
We arranged for a joint management meeting with the management team of a nearby college station in order to enhance communication and understanding between the two stations. The meeting was an eye-opener for WWUH management. Many of the things that we took for granted had never been thought of or tried by the other station. There were two notable “events” at the meeting. The first was when their General Manager asked about our policy of editorializing since they had been having trouble with various members of their management team approving editorials unilaterally. You can imagine their surprise when our GM informed them that editorials had been prohibited on college stations for years! The second surprise came when their chief engineer asked our engineer if it would be possible to transmit TV by “plugging a TV camera into the main microphone jack”! At first, everyone thought he was kidding, but it quickly became clear that he was not.
The Communications Department was given permission to use the Production Studio one night a week for their advanced radio production class. While WSAM's facilities were normally used for this, their studio was unavailable.
At the April meeting, Jack Parmele was elected General Manager and John Ramsey was reelected to the position of Chief Engineer.
The station celebrated its 15th birthday by holding a picnic on the front lawn of the student union building on July 17th. The staff and the public were invited to participate in the celebration, which featured rock band OU-2, doo-wop act Charm and fusion band Street Temperature. Publicity about the picnic appeared in the Hartford Courant and the West Hartford News.
The station’s University funding was decreased to $10,000 in July because of overall budget cutbacks throughout the University
September student recruitment drive brought in 47 people for training!
On September 11, Jack Parmele submitted his resignation to the ECOM. He cited an increased academic workload, and outside work commitments as the reason. Rob Rosenthal was then appointed acting General Manager, and Jack was appointed Acting Operations Director, and stayed in that position until December.
The station placed a series of ads in the Hartford Courant Calendar section between November and February. Instead of promoting the station in general, the each ad focused on a different aspect of our programming.
Steve Berian, acting Development Director gave a report to the ECOM in November that outlined some of the projects he was working on: He was able to trade program Guide ads with Hartt and
The ECOM was busy with a number of “behind the scenes” issues including getting the station's license renewal package that had been in the works for months to the FCC before the December 1 deadline. The ECOM approved of an on-air appeal for volunteers and a change in programming policy, requiring staff to once again attempt to find their own replacement before calling the P.D. In addition, the ECOM agreed to a bimonthly distribution of the Program Guide. This was a controversial decision, based on the increasing cost of printing and mailing the Guide and the difficulty in getting the staff to submit enough material to make give the issue “quality”.
The situation regarding record theft was discussed at length as it appeared to be getting out of hand. At one meeting, a staff member seriously recommended polygraph testing. The idea was rejected.
WWUH had aired Classical Music from day one, but had made a special commitment to airing a certain number of hours of Classical music as part of a deal with WTIC-FM made back in 1976. That was the year after the year that WTIC-FM had switched their format from Classical to Top Forty music with almost no notice, which resulted in lots of angry listeners and ultimately the formation of the Connecticut Classical Listener’s Guild.
In an attempt to satisfy the Guild, which was challenging WTIC-FM’s license renewal. WTIC had reached out to WWUH in 1976 with an offer we couldn’t refuse. They would “give” us their huge collection of over 10,000 Classical LPs, technical expertise to help with increasing our signal so that it was equal in strength to WTIC-FM and a used 5,000-watt FM transmitter. In return, we had to agree to air four hours of classical music every weekday, from 5-9 pm and air a one-hour show from 5-6 pm weekdays produced by former WTIC-FM Classical host, Robert E. Smith.
Eight years later, Connecticut Public Radio (CPR) approached the station during the winter of 84/85. CPR claimed that 50% of the WTIC classical record library in WWUH’s possession belonged to them as it had been promised to them back in 1976, several years before CPR even existed! The ECOM was incredulous and was uniformly against giving up any of the classical albums so they turned to WTIC’s Ross Miller for help. It was clear that WTIC was between a rock and a hard place and they obviously didn’t want to get too involved in a dispute of which there could be no winner. Since WTIC’s written agreement with us used the term “permanent loan” in reference to the collection, we ended up having to split the library in half.
The saga of the WTIC Classical record collection was documented in the following report, written by General Manager Rob Rosenthal in December:
"On November 28, I met with Dean Coster of UH, Midge Ramsey and Eric Dolphy (of CPR) and Ross Miller (of WTIC) to discuss the WTIC record loan. Up until this point, WTIC and WWUH had considered this a dead issue. CPR did not.
"Pressured by (CPR president) Paul Taff, Midge and Eric were told to follow up and get the records.
"In 1977 when we received the WTIC library, CPR was verbally promised a number of records from the library (by WTIC). We were never aware of this promise, and received 7500 recordings. Late last year, CPR approached us about getting some of the records.
"(During the meeting) WTIC stated that CPR should receive some of the records.
". . . Once the cataloging is done, a qualitative analysis will be made by our classical staff. . .”
Discussions continued with WTIC about how many records we were to give up to WPKT. The negotiations resulted in a 50:50 split. We insisted on the distribution be made on a qualitative basis, and we didn’t see it as a big problem if we lost a lot of the "Top 40" classics that we didn't play anyway. This worked out quite well, as it was the popular recordings that Connecticut Pubic Radio was most interested in.
Rob submitted a draft proposal for including WWUH in the new communications center. He stated that the benefits would include, publicity for the University, expanding the station's role as an outlet for the rich cultural heritage of the world which makes us a natural companion for the library, the increased visibility to the UH community and to communications students.
Nationally, the National Federation of Community Broadcasters was successful in convincing the FCC to override the ban on editorials that had been in effect since Nixon was president. Non-commercial stations were finally allowed to editorialize again, although there was a prohibition against editorializing in support of a political candidate.
Channel 8 in
Relations with the other campus station, WSAM, steadily improved during the year, and they donated several dozen jazz records that they did not need
The Engineering Department conducted a series of detailed field strength tests of the stations signal to determine where the problem areas were. As expected, the tests revealed that our signal was anything but circular. There were huge gaps in our coverage that were caused by the way our antenna was mounted on the side of the tower. In fact, in some directions, our equivalent power was less than ten watts!
In August, a small single-bay FM antenna was borrowed from WFCS and installed atop the tower in
The same month, extensive renovations of the transmitter building were undertaken including the installation of sheet rock on the walls, a fan through the roof, and replacement lighting.
During the Christmas break, the Production Studio was remodeled, this time to upgrade the wiring and make room for some new equipment. Assistant Chief Engineer Dave Viveiros was put in charge of the project and performed about 90% of the work himself. Two racks were installed above the turntables to provide space for new limiters, graphic equalizer and telephone interface recently acquired. In addition, two new state of the art tone arms were installed as an experiment to see if they would last in the air studio.
Electric strikes were installed on several station doors and were tied into a custom control system operable from the studio. By pressing a button, the operator on duty was now able to unlock the Production Studio, Classical Library or Music Room door for thirty seconds. This innovation allowed most of the library to be available to the staff.
News headlines in 1983 included: South Korean Boeing 747 jetliner bound for Seoul apparently strays into Soviet airspace and is shot down by a Soviet fighter after it had tracked the airliner for two hours; all 269 aboard are killed. (Aug. 30); Terrorist explosion kills 237 US Marines in Beirut (Oct. 23); US invades Grenada (Oct. 25); Second space shuttle, Challenger, makes successful maiden voyage, which includes the first US space walk in nine years (April 4).
The ECOM consisted of Rob Rosenthal-General Manager; Doug Maine-Operations Director; Bill Yousman-Program Director; Donna Giddings-Business Manager; Tom Bradford-Community Affairs Director; Leora Sparapani-Development Director and John Ramsey-Chief Engineer.
Staff included: Bob Ames, Laurel Aronstamm, Joan Ballas, Jeff Becker, Marya Berry, Joel Blumert, Jim Bolan, Tom Bowman, Bob Bowser, Carol Brousseau, Rich Brkich, Keith Brown, Steve Burke, Craig Burton, Michael Clare, Steve Cohen, Bob Cody, Mark DeLorenzo, Vijay Dixit, Dave Demaw, Bill Domler, Marisa Donza, Eugene Dotson, Jim Douglas, John Drury, Steve Ent, George Michael Evica, Mort Fega, Lincoln Fuson, Dave Gardiner, Colin Gaynia, Donna Giddings, Tony Grant, JJ Henrique, Kay Hopper, Fred Hull, Astrid Jarvis, Wayne Jones, Bruce Kampe, Ken Karpowitz, Lennell Kittlitz, Patty Kurlychek. Alphee Lavoy, Robert E. Lee, Jr, Tracy Leuteritz, Moe Loogam, Clyde Lucas, Dale Maine, Doug Maine, Rob Meehan, Jim Mercik, John Merino, Peter Michaelson, Kim Miller, Joyville Morris, Phillip Mitchell, Susan Mullis, Dave Noell, Chuck Nonkin, Reynolds Onderdonk, Mike Panton, Jack Parmele, Jackie Peart, Lisa Polsky, Elaine Ramone, John Ramsey, Brad Regaglia, Wally Reemes, Mark Rinas, Henrique Ribeiro, Maurice Robertson, Tim Rooney, Rob Rosenthal, Chuck Rubano, Michael Scannell, Linda Schnitzson, Marylin Swepson, Andy Taylor, Sue Terry, Vic Vince, Dave Viveiros, Felix Viera, Carol Voeth, Will Young, Annette Walton, Chris Watson, Wendy Weichand, Terry Weichand, Andy Winters III, Tim Wolf, Paul Woodiel, Bill Yousman, Valarie Zach and Will Zachmann.
1984 also brought something of utmost importance to WWUH: a formal staff-training program. Started in 1983 by General Manager Jack Parmele, John Ramsey and Program Director Bill Yousman took over the training sessions in early '84 and formalized the procedures. New staff members were required to go through two sessions in the Production studio where they would be taught the philosophy of WWUH, station policies, and the basics of radio production. Not until the person had completed these sessions could they be approved for on-air work, production studio use and given a temporary ID card. A training manual was written to supplement the course work.
As the station's commitment to serving the community grew, the ECOM decided to acquire a beeper so the program director could be notified immediately of any programming problems so that the station would not go off the air when someone didn’t show up.
The station sponsored a concert with the Glenn Phillips Band in the South Cafeteria, which was very well attended.
This would be the last time for many years that the Monday night Community Renewal Team jazz concerts would be broadcast from the park due to the 300% increase in line charges instituted by SNET earlier in the year (a result of the break up of ATT). Concerts featuring the Clifford Jordan Big Band, Walter Bishop, George Coleman, John Hicks, Jimmy Owens, Bill Hardman and Junior Cook, the Williamsburg Composers, Barry Harrison and Walter Davis were all carried live.
WWUH had featured folk music on and off for years, but it wasn’t until 1984 that folk could be heard five days a week in “prime time”. This was the year that Ed Savage and Ed McKeon joined the staff and they quickly took up residence on FM on Toast slots. Savage’s program featured mostly Celtic music (he was followed by Maureen Brennan and then Steve Dietrich) and McKeon show, “Fringe Folk”, took over the Wednesday slot when Marissa Donza gave up her “Folk Off” show.
Long time Folk Music Director Ed McKeon recalled in 2004:
Bill Domler brought me to the station. I used to buy some of the wildest folk albums at his shop in Elmwood. I first visited his shop to find a copy of a song I heard while driving west on I-84. I can remember the precise location, just past West Farms, and he played Kate Wolf singing “Give Yourself to Love,” followed by Andrew Calhoun singing “The Gates of Love.” I thought, “What’s this?” And I was hooked. We chatted frequently at his shop. Then I let him borrow some albums by Billy Bragg, the Pogues, the Men They Couldn’t Hang and others. I had bought these albums at Capitol Records where I first met Susan Mullis, Mark Santini, Michael Clare, Mark DeLorenzo and Andy Taylor. The music I was listening to didn’t appeal to Bill but he asked me to appear as a guest on his show to play some of them and to talk about them, and I did. Then he convinced me to go through training. He didn’t have to twist my arm.
In an effort to attract more students for the station's staff, the anniversary picnic normally held in the summer was rescheduled to the fall when students would be around. The September 8th picnic featured the band Motive 8. The band performed on the front steps of Gengras and the concert was broadcast live over the air.
In spite of major improvements in recruitment and staff training, WWUH experienced a membership crisis of unparalleled proportions in the fall of 1984. Problems at the management level, staff apathy and a shortage of volunteers caused WWUH to be off the air for over forty hours in October alone because of a lack of announcers to fill the late night show slots! Several plans were put into place to minimize the effect of the situation on the station's 24/7 commitment, including encouraging Gothic Blimp Work hosts to stay longer and FM on Toast announcers to come in earlier, to “split the difference” in essence, but November and December saw only a slight improvement in the amount off air time.
The ECOM received a visit from some members of the Siek community who claimed that their religion had been "belittled" on our Geetanjali program. These gentlemen were adamant that we should remove the host of Geetanjali from the air permanently for his “transgressions”. The host of the show was shocked by their allegations and said that he frequently honored the religion by played Sikh music and promoting Sikh community events during the show. The host offered to apologize over the air for accidentally offending some members of the community. The ECOM took this offer back to the gentlemen who had complained but this was not acceptable to them.
The following is from a paper written regarding the above incident for the ECOM by General Manager Rob Rosenthal on September 25, 1984:
"Just recently there have been members of the Indian community that have lodged complaints against Geetanjali. These complaints . . . claim that (the host) was presenting a show that was biased toward the Hindu religion. The listeners making the allegation claim that the bias only recently came about and that it was due to the
"(The host) claimed that the format of his show had not changed and presented petitions signed by hundreds of Indians in the community saying that Geetanjali is fine just the way it is.
"The ECOM is between a rock and a hard place . . . we have had meeting with both sides and even with both sides together, but the discrepancies have not been resolved. (The host) has offered to work with the listeners in order to improve his show but they have refused.
"The listeners have been offered access to our training programming, and possible air time. . . The matter is hardly over."
It wasn’t long before the President of the university received a letter of complaint from this group, a letter than included what some considered a veiled threat against the University in the final paragraph. At this point the university’s council set up a meeting with the complainants with Rob Rosenthal, Bill Yousman and John Ramsey, representing the station. If there was any doubt as to the inflexibility of these two guys, the meeting with the UH lawyer dispelled such notions. Even after being offered an on-air apology, and “equal time”, they said that would not be satisfied until the host was fired! The university’s lawyer diplomatically but firmly informed them that A). They had no proof that the host had said anything inappropriate, B. Even if he had, the comments would be protected by the First Amendment and that by offering an apology, the station and the host had gone “above and beyond”, C. the threat stated in their letter was not something that the university would tolerate! He recommended that the two gentlemen leave campus immediately, and they complied with his wishes, never to be heard from again.
From the October 9 Ecom Minutes:
The Guide is going to have an overhaul. For the past few years, the Guide layout has been at the mercy of the printer. Now we have two people who are interested in bringing the control of the Guide back into the hands of WWUH. Leora will be in charge of layout . . . and Natasha Rethke will be her assistant as well as graphics designer.
Leora has also volunteered her services as Development Director and
While Dave Viveiros continued to work in the department as Assistant Chief Engineer after he graduated, station management was faced with a lack of student engineers when students Dave Gardiner and Steve Ent graduated in May, 1983. A special effort was made to recruit new students to the department in the fall. Weekly meetings were held and tours of the transmitter sites of Channel 3 and Channel 30 were arranged. These tours served not only to get the recruits interested in the field, but also proved to area broadcasters that WWUH was making an honest attempt to train students in the broadcast engineering field.
Several new pieces of equipment were purchased with the funds from
The turntables at the station had always picked up a bit of rumble from the building, and Bob Celmer, an acoustics professor at the engineering school, agreed to perform a study of our turntable isolation problems.
In December, John Ramsey presented the staff with a document entitled “The History of WWUH Antenna Relocation Efforts”. This five-page paper explained the steps the Engineering Department had gone through in an effort to get a new antenna position for WWUH. It described in detail the various proposals that were made to Channel 3 for a height increase for WWUH, including rebuilding the “radar” tower to it’s full height, mounting the UH antenna on the TV-3 tower, installing a short pole on top of the existing tower and relocating our transmitter to the Talcott Mountain Science Center.
In the early eighties, a certain area nightclub that featured rock music came to the attention of the ECOM by way of multiple reports of mistreatment of patrons at the hands of the bouncers. This club was often promoted on the air unilaterally by several UH announcers while others chose to boycott it. The fact that some announcers refused to promote the club bothered the club’s owners who brought the situation to the attention of the ECOM. By that time there had been numerous news reports of the alleged brutality, and a number of law suits against the club. The situation was discussed with the entire staff at a general meeting and the decision was made to allow each announcer to decide for themselves what to promote and what not to promote although the staff also decided that the station should not participate in any promotion of the event through giving away tickets and the like.
FM On Toasts hosts included: Bill Domler, Marissa Donza, Joel Blumert, Tom Bowman, Dave Williams and John Merino.
Jazz hosts included: Janet Bilan, Steve McKenna, Peter Michaelson, Donna Giddings, Don Harris and Laurel Aronstamm (Morning Jazz) and Jim Bolan, Maurice Robertson, Tony Grant and Mike Clare (Accent on Jazz). Tony Grant also did the Saturday afternoon Focus on Jazz segment.
Public Affairs Producers included: George Michael Evica, Felix Viera, Keith Brown and Vijay Dixit.
Synthesis hosts included: Rob Rosenthal, Andy Taylor, Mark DeLorenzo, Bill Yousman and Reynolds Onderdonk.
Evening classics hosts included: JJ Henriques, Tom Bradford, Susan Mullis, Becky Menes, Lenell Kittlitz, Kay Hopper and Arden Lambert. Paul Woodiel hosted the Sunday Brunch show and Marya
Gothic and All Night show hosts included: Valerie Zars, Stu & Dan, Steve Burk, Gary Levin, Patty Kuylychek, Mr. B, Stu Werner, Marissa Donza, Drew Glackin, Clyde Lucas, Mike Panton, Lascelles Horrabin, Janet Bilan, Tim Pendleton, Rob Rudin, Paul McGuiness, Clyde Lucas and Lucius Miles.
Special show hosts included Tim Wolf doing Mbira, Wayne Jones on Rock and Roll Memory Machine, Dave Demaw on The Greatest Show from Earth, Terry Weichand “FM in Bed”, Jim Douglas with UH Radio Bluegrass, Jackie P did “Sh-Boomin With You”, Carol and Alphee Lavoy did Astrology Almanic, Henrique Ribeiro hosted Cultura E Vida, Phillip Mitchell produced West Indian Trythms and Jackie Peart did Sounds of the City on Friday night.
News headlines from 1984 included: Soviet Union withdraws from summer Olympic games in US, and other bloc nations follow (May 7 et seq.); Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi assassinated by two Sikh bodyguards; 1,000 killed in anti-Sikh riots; son Rajiv succeeds her (Oct. 31); Toxic gas leaks from Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, killing 2,000 and injuring 150,000 (Dec. 3); Congress rebukes President Reagan on use of federal funds for mining Nicaraguan harbors (April 10); President Reagan re-elected in landslide with 59% of vote (Nov. 7).
The ECOM consisted of Rob Rosenthal-General Manager; Doug Maine-Operations Director; Bill Yousman-Program Director; Carol Stevens and Dana Bugl-Development Director, Donna Giddings and Gary Levin, Kim Eaton-Business Manager; John Ramsey-Chief Engineer and Tom Bradford, Stuart Werner-Community Affairs Director.
Other department heads included: Jean Collangelo-News Director; Andy Taylor-Music Director; Jim Bolan-Jazz Director;-Production Director.
The staff included: Laurel Aronstamm, Joan Ballas, Tom Bradford, Jim Bolan, Steve Burke, Janet Bilan, Joel Blumert, Tom Bowman, Carol Bozena, Tom Bradford, Keith Brown, Dana Bugl, Michael Clare, Mark DeLorenzo, Vijay Dixit, Bill Domler, Jim Douglas, Kim Eaton, GM Evica, Marianna Evica, Drew Glacken, Donna Giddings, Don Harris, JJ Henriques, Lasalles Horrabin, Wayne Jones, Tom Kelly, Lenell Kitlitz, Larabee, Alphie Lavoy, Tony Magno, Jim Mercik, John Merino, Peter Michaelson, Philip Mitchell, Gary Levin, Mixashawn, Susan Mullis, Reynolds Onderdonk, Bob Orem, Jack Parmele, John Ramsey, Mr. Richards, Maurice Robertson, Rob Rosenthal, Leora Sparapani, Carol Stevens, Andy Taylor, Felix Viera, Carol Voeth, Terry Weichand, Stu Werner, Williams, Chris Wisniewsk, Tim Wolfe, Will Young, Bill Yousman, Valerie Zars.
The following is a (somewhat) unusual excerpt from the January 10, 1985 ECOM Minutes: "Tom (
1985 was a time of high international tension. Some say that the Cold War was never hotter than during 1985 and 1986. In response to the very legitimate concerns of many of Americans that the threat of nuclear war with the
As part of our promotional campaign for the “Nuclear Awareness” series, we received permission from the Union of Atomic Scientists to reprint their famous "Doomsday clock" on the back page of the August issue of the Program Guide, the same guide that included extensive information about our special programming. The ECOM was surprised to discover that this was the first time anyone had asked to reprint the famous clock, first published by the Union in 1947 when the
The programs covered such topics as the history of the bomb and how it effected the post-WWII relations of the
Our Nuclear Awareness programming proved to be so popular that we extended the series into October and November with programming on such topics as the “neutron bomb” (a device that killed people but left buildings untouched), the Regan Administration’s new nuclear war fighting “strategies” (and abandonment of the 30 year old doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction), the renunciation by the US of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and the medical consequences of even a “limited” nuclear war. Many of our listeners were shocked to hear Dr. Helen Caldicott, a physician and author of “Missile Envy,” describe how even a minor nuclear exchange would overwhelm the US medical system and that, in her professional opinion as a physician, politicians on both sides who believed that a nuclear war was winnable could be considered both clinically and legally insane using the contemporary definitions of those terms!
A 10-part series called "Black Expressions" was aired Mondays at noon in February and March to commemorate Black history Month. This syndicated show aired in our noontime public affairs time slot, and covered the entire spectrum of black experience, from poetry to music to religion to public discourse. A significant part of the series dealt with the Civil Rights movement and its effect on the country.
National and International issues weren’t the only focus of the station’s programming.
In November, the station sponsored a forum with all eleven candidates for the Hartford Board of Education. This was the first time the station had taken on an event of this magnitude, and everything worked as planned. The event was held in Lincoln Theater in front of a live audience and the event was taped for broadcast the next evening on WWUH. Joanne Nesti from Channel 30 was the moderator, and George Springer from the National Federation of Teachers gave the opening remarks.
As part of an on-going effort to tie
One of the biggest events that was aired on UH Presents in 1985 was a lecture by Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State under the Nixon Administration.
The station worked with the Admissions Office to produce a special program for students attending the open house. The idea was to have the special broadcast welcoming the students to campus while at the same time providing information about the admissions process and about the university. The idea was to make it have enough material of general interest so that there would be some appeal to our regular audience.
The program was produced in-house and aired on the Sunday morning of the open house: The material that the Admission office sent to the prospective students encouraged them to tune in to 91.3 while they are driving to the campus to hear a special program. Reaction from the students and their families at the open house, and later reaction from the UH administration was very favorable.
Community Affairs Director Tom Bradford produced a special program on the Hartford Housing Auction, which aired on WWUH as well as WQTQ at
“Within And Around Your World” was the name of a new local pubic affairs show introduced in 1985.
Nationally, 1985 was the year an anti-choice group produced a TV anti-abortion program called “The Silent Scream” which was viewed by millions of people when it aired on public television. The program featured supposedly authentic clinical footage of an early-term abortion and showed in a very graphic manner the fetus “reacting” violently to the procedure. Needless to say this program was considered “shocking” by many who viewed it.
There was much speculation within the medical community about whether or not the film had been doctored since most experts agreed that a fetus at that early stage of development simply lacked the neurological development and motor control to understand and react to what was happening. The clamor surrounding the showing of this film resulted in a nationally syndicated radio program entitled “Thinking About the Silent Scream” which was produced by a noted Neurologist. This scientific program relied on the testimony of experts in the field to challenge the accuracy of the film and to expose the trickery used to manipulate the footage. The ECOM auditioned the program and decided to air the program on October 30 after an extensive publicity campaign.
Prior to the broadcast of “Thinking About the Silent Scream,” a local anti-abortion group contacted the station to request equal time. Since the ECOM believed in equal time, and in fact the Fairness Doctrine required “equal opportunity”, the station provided studio time and an engineer to produce a half hour “response” to the show hosted by several local Catholic Priests. This “rebuttal”, which was mostly a generic condemnation of abortion based on religious principals, aired immediately after the documentary was broadcast. Interestingly, the producer of the original radio documentary had been having trouble getting stations around the country to air the show because of “equal time” concerns, and with the approval of everyone involved, we were able to bundle the two radio shows as a WWUH “UH Presents” Production, with the documentary and the “response” made into a one hour syndicated package that was ultimately aired by stations in thirteen states!
The local Capitol Records representative, Merv Amols, who had been very supportive of the station over the years, approached us in 1985 to air a program on Gamblers Anonymous, of which he was a member. Merv helped produce a program on problem gambling that featured therapists from GA along with a number of former problem gamblers.
The station had always been interested in having a program aimed at young children, and while there were several attempts over the years to produce such a show in-house, the enormous effort required to produce a children’s program hampered progress. The ECOM decided to look for a syndicated program and found a children’s show produced right here in
The ECOM liked what they heard on the demo tapes, and “The Men Of The Cabbage Patch” debuted on WWUH at 8:30 PM on Saturday, Oct. 5th. The program was aimed at children, ages 3-7 and featured segments of stories, poems and rhymes submitted by children and read by the inmates. The majority of the program was in English, but portions were in the Spanish language. Listener reaction was favorable and overall, the program got an A+ for enthusiasm and about a C for production values, partly due to the lack of production equipment at the prison.
Community Affairs Director Stuart Werner and Development Director Carol Stevens produced a concert to benefit the homeless in
In April, we are approached by WHUS at UCONN in
The station was one of seven stations sponsoring the annual March of Dimes Walk-A-Thon in April. Station volunteers staffed a checkpoint in
For Halloween, the station had planned on broadcasting the original Mercury Theater production of HG Well’s War of the Worlds, of which the station had an LP recording. Since the LP didn’t have any copyright notification on it and the disc was close to twenty years old, we assumed that it was cleared for air play. Extensive publicity was generated but we did not air the show! On Halloween day, we received a telegram from the copyright holders of the recording informing us that the right to the broadcast had been sold to ABC Radio for 1985. Apparently, the local ABC affiliate (who didn’t even air the show) blew the whistle on us and forced us to refrain from airing the program!
The poet Nikki Giovanni's campus reading was taped for later broadcast.
The station co-sponsored a concert at the local restaurant
WWUH musical programming continued to be “cutting edge”.
Import (generally European) rock, “space rock” and what was later to be called “new age” music became more popular on the air at WWUH in 1985, and money was allocated to purchase albums from such bands a Tangerine Dream and Gong. The staff was horrified to find that in previous years, someone at the station had donated dozens of “bad” records considered useless by the radio station to the University's TV studio to use as sound effects. Included in the find were irreplaceable copies of early Gong, Tangerine Dream, and David Allen albums, among others. The station was able to get the recordings back from the TV studio, but they were practically unplayable since they had been so badly scratched by the TV students using them for background music. This episode would be brought up time and time again in later years whenever someone on the staff suggested that we “dispose” of useless or “bad” albums to make room for “good” music.
An August '85, the WWUH Rock Playlist listed the following groups in "heavy" air play: Midnight Oil, Shriekback, Robyn Hitchcock, REM, Three O’clock, Cabaret Voltair, Valley of Kings, Style Council and New Order.
WWUH continued its tradition of being one of the only stations in the state to broadcast live music by producing a “live radio bluegrass concert” on Jan. 26th. This event was held in the large meeting room in Gengras, and was attended by a “capacity” crown of about 75 people.
At the January 31, ECOM meeting, the station's classical programming was once again discussed at length. The ECOM reviewed a previous decision to allocate one classical program a week to "contemporary classics". The consensus was that more time should be allocated to this 20th century music since it fit well with our “alternative” nature. One of the things the Ecom considered when making this decision was the fact that Connecticut Public Radio offered many hours a day of Classical programming, most of it fairly “mainstream” and they had recently improved their signal in the
The music department’s efforts in getting new recordings into the station were quite successful. These efforts included mailing Program Guides to record reps; lots of work on the phone with the reps and mailing Jazz, Rock and Classical play lists to record companies on a monthly basis. As a result, the station's jazz library in the air studio had grown so much that it would no longer fit into the space allocated for it in the air studio. It was moved into a separate room, displacing the unused "news room" next to the office. The extra space allowed the collection to be laid out properly, with lots of room on each shelf for expansion.
With the Jazz recordings out of the air studio, we were left with two distinct “libraries” in the air studio, the regular Rock record library, and a library simply called “Rock Cross-file”. The definition of what was in the cross-file depended upon whom you asked. Historically, the collection was started in the seventies in an effort to make more usable room for the rock library when many "rock" albums were pulled out of the library and put in a separate library called the "Cross-file" library which was in the production studio. The two schools of thought in 1985 were that the cross-file library contained either A) Rock albums that nobody knew what to do with since they weren’t likely to be played very often and no one wanted them taking up space in the regular rock library, or B) “junk” albums. Perhaps those two categories could be considered one and the same at a time.
There had been many heated arguments between staffers in the year or two prior to 1985 about whether or not there should be a cross-file, and if so, what should go in it. This was a major source of contention between some staffers, and tempers would flare up occasionally, especially when someone’s favorite band was relegated to the Cross-file by some other DJ who didn’t like the band and who considered him or herself an “expert” on the music.
The January 20 General Meeting brought a long discussion about whether this cross-file library should be reincorporated into the main rock library. Some staffers felt that what they termed the "schlock-rock" cross-file records should be kept separate, while others objected to this because the segregation was being done on "subjective" grounds and they felt that we should strive to create a comprehensive library. The concept of a comprehensive library won out and the libraries were once again combined.
If you are curious about what constituted a cross-file album, you can identify these albums today in our Rock library. They are easy to see since a large “X” was placed across the label in the upper left hand corner when the Cross-file was started.
$25,279 was eventually collected from
Because of a shortage of volunteers, the station’s commitment to maintaining a 24 hours a day schedule had begun to suffer. In the latter half of 1984, it wasn’t unusual for the station to be off the air 6-12 or more hours a month, most often due to the lack of volunteers interested in doing All Night Shows. A recruitment drive was started in January of 1985 in the hope of increasing the number of air approved staff members to fill all the vacant All Night Shows and return the station to a non-stop schedule. The drive consisted articles in the school newspaper, posters around campus and promotion through Communications classes.
The drive was successful in attracting about a dozen new student volunteers to join the station.
In addition to needing more volunteers, the ECOM realized that proper training of the new recruits was critical to the future of WWUH, and this recruitment drive was accompanied by an expansion of the training program from two sessions to four. A session entitled "An Introduction to Alternative Radio" was added as the first step in the training program making it a three-part program. This new training sessions would focus on the rights and responsibilities of being a station member, something that had not been formally addressed during the eighties. In addition, the session would give people interested in joining the staff an overview of non-commercial radio in general and WWUH in particular. An emphasis was placed on the history of the station and the importance of alternative media.
The two existing training sessions became sessions two and three in the new program and they focused on teaching the basics of equipment operation and the esthetics of doing a radio program. A forth session was added later in the year which would be held in the air studio and concentrate on "Air Studio Operations." This was the first time in the station's history that prospective announcers were able to formally train in the studio they would actually use on the air.
In April, all state broadcasters in the state were notified of a 300% increase in the rate for high fidelity telephone company supplied phone lines of the type used each summer for the
The April 1985 monthly business report showed $4423.11 in expenses (including $1859 for Guide printing, $625 for
Channel 8 visited the station in March and interviewed Program Director Bill Yousman as part of a segment they were doing on alternative and college radio. Unfortunately for Bill, the caption that appeared under his name on the TV segment said “Brian Yousman”, something that became somewhat of a joke among the ECOM. Bill did a great job representing the station and the interview was featured prominently in a TV special about college broadcasters. Local Capital Records rep. Merv Amos also appeared on the segment discussing new music, including what he said was the hot new band “Skinny Puppy”.
Plans to broadcast the New England Fiddle Contest were scrapped when the event, planned for July 7th, was canceled due to the promoter having trouble getting the required permits from the city of
In May, the University gave the ECOM formal approval to hire a General Manager on an Interim basis while the search went on for a person to fill the position permanently. This would allow the station to continue normal operations while the Search Committee did their work.
The end of the 84/85 school year brought with it a number of changes in the ECOM.
Stuart Werner became Community Affairs Director in May. He had recently served as Program Director, but now he was back and he was excited about expanding the important role that public affairs programs in WWUH’s programming lineup.
Donna Giddings resigned from the position of Business Manager due to time constraints, but remained with the station doing a weekly Morning Jazz program.
General Manager Rob Rosenthal gave his resignation, effective Monday, July 15. Having finished his graduate studies at the University, Rob said that felt that it was time for him to move on. Upon making the announcement at the July 14th General Meeting, Rob received many compliments for a job well done. His optimistic outlook and belief in the station’s staff had allowed him to succeed during some tough times.
John Ramsey was appointed Acting General Manager on an interim basis so that the station could move forward while the search committee studies resumes and conducted interviews. John offered to serve as GM on a voluntary basis for 90 days.
Program Director Bill Yousman reluctantly resigned effective August 1 because “he didn't have the time anymore to put into the position”. He promised to stay on and continue to help with programming both on and off the air.
Gary Levin resigned from the Business Manager position, and student Kim Eaton is appointed Acting Business Manager.
“WWUH Outstanding Service” plaques were presented to Rob Rosenthal and Bill Yousman at the August General Meeting. Both Rob and Bill were given a thunderous round of applause by the staff.
Don Harris was voted in as Operations Director in the fall and immediately set up a task force to hire a general manager. With staff input, Don and the Ecom had already drafted a job description, defined the salary and had decided where they should advertise for the position. He immediately set up a Search Committee and they placed ads in a number of regional papers.
The ECOM adopted a policy of requiring each new person on the air to be chaperoned by another staff member for at least the first hour of his or her first show. This had worked out extremely well.
In an effort to get more students involved with the station, the station participated in the Student Organization night at the commons in September.
The ECOM arranged for the first time for WWUH to be recognized as a work-study site, allowing us to hire our first work-study student in the fall.
WSAM, the campus station, donated over 200 jazz records to WWUH. WSAM had no use for the recordings as they had a strictly Top-40 type format at the time. This was the beginning of a new, positive relationship between the two stations.
After much discussion, the ECOM decided to accept Visa and MC charges during
John Ramsey related in 2003 a strange bit of WWUH history that took place in late in the fall of 1986:
“I was invited to attend a meeting with one of the VPs of the University. When I asked my boss, the Dean of Students, about the meeting, I was shocked to discover that the Dean had not been invited to the meeting! The Dean’s only advice to me was an ominous-sounding “Good luck”.
“When I attended the meeting a few days later, I was met by no less than three VPs.
“During the first 30 minutes of the meeting I was presented with all sorts of “what ifs”. What if WWUH had a person on campus that was an expert on FCC law? Wouldn’t that be helpful I was asked? What if we had a person on campus that was an expert on alternative programming (or volunteer management or fund raising)? Wouldn’t that be wonderful? It became clear very quickly that the real agenda of the meeting had yet to be revealed.
I explained that the Communications Department had been very helpful over the years, and that the University’s attorney had been of assistance on a number of occasions when we had questions involving legal issues.. I let them know that we had the campus based resources we needed, and that we could call on the expertise of either of the two college radio trade organizations we were a member of
“I made it clear that if there was something about the station that they didn’t like, they should simply tell me so that I could take concerns to the ECOM. They kept on assuring me that the station was “fine”. I finally asked them point blank what the meeting was about.
“They finally told that the station lacked “Academic Credibility”. I knew that they were hinting at something and that this phrase was just a cover so I asked for clarification as to what that term meant in relation to WWUH. While several people spoke in vague terms about a general dissatisfaction with the radio station, I was unable to get them to be more specific, which proved to me that the real agenda still hadn’t been put on the table. I felt confident approaching the discussion from a position of strength thanks to the outstanding support that WWUH had, both as a campus organization and in the community.
“Eventually, I was able to get them to reveal the real reason for the meeting: their desire to hire another full time professor who would also serve as manager of WWUH!
“I told them of the station’s proud history of management from within, and that the station’s staff would not take kindly to this kind of intervention into the management of the station. I also made it clear that it didn’t make sense to change things since they had been working so well for so long.
“This was followed by an attempt to “co-opt” me. They offered to hire me on a full time basis as station engineer if I helped convince the staff that their idea would be good for the station!
“I was incredulous that they would approach the issue in this manner, and I told them in no uncertain terms that the station was doing fine with the existing management, and that if they wanted something changed they had better do it through the station’s ECOM. I also let them know that while the station belonged to the University, if they tried to do an end run around the station’s constitution and force an outside person on the station as manager, a person who had not been approved by the station’s volunteer station, that they would have a fight on their hands as the volunteer staff and management would protest loudly. If push came to shove, I let them know that the university would “win the battle but lose the war”. They would end up with a bunch of empty studios and silence on 91.3 for the first time in over twenty years! I also reminded them of the incredible amount of support that the station received from the public and how bad I felt the resulting negative publicity would be for the University. ‘Hundreds of angry listeners picketing in front of the UH President’s house’ and nationwide headlines saying “Hostile takeover of UH Community Service Radio Station” were two the pictures I painted for them. By the end of the meeting they had dropped the subject and the VIPs were wishing the station well.
“Was I scared when I said these things? Of course, but no so much for myself. It was the future of the station that was at stake and if I had to, I would have gone down fighting for it.”
The issue never came up again.
The Compact Disc had made its debut in the
The station's first CD player, a professional Revox unit, was purchased in the spring and installed in the air studio. This allowed the station to start a collection of CDs and to enable volunteers to bring in discs from home to play on the air. The audio superiority of CDs was immediately apparent on the air, and the ECOM was excited about the fact that CDs would most likely last longer than LPs since they were more robust.
The University Development Department spent $400 making a mock up WWUH Program Guide. The ECOM was appreciative of the thought, but was equally amused at the final product, which had
In an effort to make the ECOM meetings more efficient, Doug Maine suggested several methods to stream line them and to keep the discussions on track and minimize the time spent wasted going off on tangents. Some people thought the one-liners and other attempt at "comic relief" made the meetings more "bearable." This topic was discussed at length and ultimately everyone agreed to try to be more professional. This had a great effect on future meetings.
Operations Director Grant Miller recalls:
“While conducting a training program, level one, in one of the meeting rooms, the ECOM was distributing forms and talking about the different departments of the station. I noticed that Dan had a distressed look on his face, and after some time I gestured for him to come outside the room. In the hall he said that he felt a student was carrying a gun in his back pocket! He asked me to look discreetly. After going back into the room, I offered to distribute handouts so that he could check out the student in question. Yes indeed, there was the butt of a pistol sticking out of his back pocket. A state of confusion ensued behind the scenes while Dan and I figured out the best way to inform the General Manager, who was conducting the meeting. Then he realized that he had seen a sign posted for the annual assassin game, which involved toy pistols. I let Dan stew for about 30 minutes.”
Channel 30 visited the station in January as they were doing a special news segment on alternative music. General Manager Rob Rosenthal was featured along with PD Bill Yousman.
The March/April issue of the Guide showed no less than 26 station underwriters.
On February 13 while Susan Mullis was on the air the Gengras fire alarm sounded. False alarms were common but Susan followed standard procedure and put on a long song and started to exit the building. She was shocked when she smelled smoke in the halls. A few minutes later he electricity went off in the building. What had happened was that a large electrical transformer in the basement of the building had shorted out. The fire was minor and did little damage but power would be out in the building for days while repairs were made. Emergency procedures were put into place and a temporary electrical generator was connected to get WWUH back on the air. For the next five days WWUH volunteers operated the station from an otherwise dark and deserted building.
In September, a major hurricane struck
The university contacted the station in the fall and asked staff to submit a list of technical requirements should the station be invited to move into a new building. They were considering including us in the new, 100,000 square foot addition planned for the Mortensen Library. The engineering department's proposal dealt with such important issues as: access, electrical power, HVAC, grounding, acoustics, etc.
Station management saw the immense opportunity that the new facilities would provide, and station manager Rob Rosenthal took every opportunity to press for having WWUH included in the plans. Meetings were held with the university about including WWUH in the new Communications Wing, and ultimately confirmation was received that the station would indeed be moving. With this in mind, John Ramsey arranged for the architect, Tai Su Kim, to visit not only our existing studio but to tour the facilities of WTIC radio as well to get an idea of how professional studios were set up. Station management worked hard to summarize all of the requirements of the radio station for the architect.
The University had agreed to fund 100% of the construction for new facility. This included not only the walls, doors, lighting, but also the broadcast equipment and everything else we would need to build a new radio station.
A preliminary budget for moving WWUH into the proposed
One of the unique requirements needed if we were to relocate our STL antennas from the tower on top of Gengras was the erection of a 100-foot tower on top of the new building. The building's architect had a real problem with our request for a 100-foot tower on the new building so the engineering department started looking into options. One idea that they came up with was hiding the antennas inside a new, 120-foot tall, masonry clock tower, which was to be located in front of the building where the flag poles are currently situated. Upon hearing this recommendation in a meeting in his office, the architect immediately made a miniature scale model of the four-sided tower and placed it in the appropriate place in the scale model of the building. Everyone present loved the look of the tower, and President Trachtenberg immediately realized that the tower could become a new landmark, drawing people to the
Unfortunately, the cost of a 120-foot masonry tower was estimated at close to a half million dollars, and even though the University had no less than three individuals willing to “sponsor” the tower as long as it was named after them, the University had to direct these donors to other parts of the building that as of yet remained unfounded. It doesn’t take too much imagination to realize that it would have probably been the “Wilde” tower.
Ultimately, the plans for the clock tower (or any other tower) were nixed by the architect, and we decided that we could utilize the existing antennas on Gengras for our microwave shot to the transmitter site.
The paid GM proposal was submitted to the University for approval in July.
A reunion of WWUH alumni was sponsored by former WWUH General Manager Judy Corcoran and held at the
WWUH was voted Best College Station by the Hartford Advocate in their Annual Readers Poll in the spring. Needless to say, this had a huge impact on staff moral! The university couldn’t help but notice!
Student Jean Collangelo was appointed News Director and immediately went to work on the goal of providing coverage to some of the worthwhile campus events that would be of interest to our listeners.
Volunteer Andy Taylor was presented with a Distinguished Service Award at the October meeting for helping with the Music Department.
In the fall, the ECOM determined that getting more students involved in the station should be a high priority. Recruitment efforts began and station membership training was restricted to UH students only. Five parallel training sessions for new students are set up for Sept. and October.
Gary Levin was appointed Acting Business Manager.
A Hurricane knocked us off the air from 1-7 pm on Friday, Sept. 27, and kept us at low power until the morning of the 28th.
Director of Development Carol Stevens and GM John Ramsey presented a proposal to the ECOM to convert the Program Guide to an 81/2” x 11” Newsprint format. In addition to being more environmentally friendly, the newsprint format would be easier to lay out and would be much less expensive to produce. The ECOM approved the plan, and the format adopted remains the one in use today. The first run of the new Guide was 10,000 copies which were distributed on campus, and to about a hundred area outlets.
The station Holiday Party was hosted by Donna Giddings at her apartment on
In an effort to cut down on promotional expenses, the station arranged for Integrity n Music to purchase 2500 WWUH bumper stickers for us in return for an ad for their store on the back giving our customers a 10% discount on purchases!
A 72-hour rule was put into effect by the ECOM, a rule that remains in effect today. The rule required show hosts to notify the Program Director at least 72 hours in advance if they could not do a show except in the case of an emergency. Although it took a while for the entire staff to fully embrace it, this policy was an instant success and resulted in significantly fewer last minute calls to the Program Director.
Program Director Stuart Werner wrote a manual entitled "How To Be The Program Director at WWUH" as an independent study project. It served as an excellent guide for future program directors.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the
Weekly engineering meetings are instituted in the fall that included tours of local stations WDRC, WHCN, WRCH and WVIT TV-30. The goal was to have our engineering staff visit other stations so that they could better participate in the design of the new WWUH facilities.
A field strength survey of the station's coverage was undertaken by the in the fall. Measurements confirmed what staff had always suspected: coverage was anything but the uniform circle it was supposed to be. Both the mounting of the antenna (on the side of the tower close to a leg) and the terrain blockage resulted in a signal that was the equivalent of only 10 watts in several directions. Engineering had been working for years to get a higher location for the station's antenna without much success, so a decision was made to pursue an interim step. A new single bay antenna would be purchased and mounted in such a way that the tower would have minimal impact on the radiated pattern.
Along with the icy winter weather came problems with the old antenna system. The radomes that protected the antenna from ice had been exposed to the UV light from the sun and acid rain for so long that they no longer prevented ice buildup. The station was forced to reduce power for days at a time when the ice caused an increase in VSWR on the antenna. When staff found out that new radomes cost just about as much as a new antenna, they decided to explore other options.
Staff Awards were presented at the General Meeting on Dec. 5
Program Guide record reviews included the bands Crumbsuckers, Starkweather, Human Fly, The Tom Russell Band, Jim Kweskin and the Jub Band and Augie Meyers.
FM On Toast hosts included: Bill Domler, Joel Blumert, Dave Williams, Tom Bowman, John Merino, Ed McKeon and Ed Savage.
Jazz hosts included: Janet Bilan, Don Harris, Harvey Jassem, Peter Michaelson, Donna Giddings, Leora Sparapani and Laurel Aronstamm (Monring Jazz) and Jim Bolan, Maurice Robertson, Michael Clare and Tony Grant (Accent on Jazz).
Synthesis hosts included: Reynolds Onderdonk, Andy Taylor, Janet Bilan, Bill Yousman, Stu Werner and Rob Rosenthall.
Pubic Affairs Producers included: George Michael Evica (Assassination Journal), Carol Bozena (Lunch Date), Felix Viera (Latin Affairs and Con Salsa), John Ramsey (Shortwave Alternative) and Keith Brown (Gay Spirit).
Classical hosts included: Howard Bruce, Michael Richardson, Vinny Furst, Lenell Kittlitz, Tom Bradford, Susan Mullis and Key Hopper (Evening Classics). Suites for a Sunday Morning was hosted by Tom Kelly.
Gothics and All Night Show hosts included: Valerie Zars, Stu Werner, Gary Levin, Marissa Donza, Lascelles Horrabin, Norm Zimmer, Paul McGuinness, Dave Young, Carol Stevens, Steve Burke, Bob Orem, Neil Metzner, Chris Wisniewski,
Special Show producers included: Marianna Evica (Ambience), Terry Weichand (FM in Bed), Vijay Dixit (Geetanjali), Jim Douglas (UH Radio Bluegrass), Jackie P. and Nay Nassar (Street Corner Serenade), Carol and Alphee Laroy (Astrology Almanac), Tony and Carlo Magno (Carosello Musicale Italiano), Henrique Ribeiro (Cultura e Vida), Phillip Mitchell (West Indian Rhythms, Tim Wolfe (Mbira), Wayne Jones (Memory Machine), Jim Hynes and Jim Mercik (Blue Monday), Mixashawn (Algonquin Radio) and Mark DeLorenzo (Greatest Show from Earth).
Events making the news in 1985 included Reagan and Gorbachev meet at summit (Nov. 19); agree to step up arms control talks and renew cultural contacts (Nov. 21). Terrorists seize Egyptian Boeing 737 airliner after takeoff from Athens (Nov. 23); 59 dead as Egyptian forces storm plane on Malta (Nov. 24); General Westmoreland settles libel action against CBS (Feb. 18); Arthur James Walker, 50, retired naval officer, convicted by federal judge of participating in Soviet spy ring operated by his brother, John Walker (Aug. 9).
The ECOM consisted of: John Ramsey-General Manager; Stuart Werner-Program Director; Carol Stevens, Dana Bugl-Director of Development; John Longobardi-Community Affairs Director; Gary Levin, Kim Eaton, John Merleu-Business Manager.
Other managers included: Mark Greenland-Music Director, Jim Bolan-Jazz Director, Vinny Fuerst-Classical Director, Mark Greenland-Urban Music Director, Carole Stevens-Production Director, Carl Brouilette and Rich Ameral-Engineers, Kim Eaton-Administrative Assistant.
Staff list: Terrell Adamson, David Agasi, Thomas Altman, Steve Aicardi, Rich Amaral, Laruel Aronstamm, Joan Ballas, Jim Barilla, Peter Beneski, Steve Berian, Paul Bezanker, Janet Bilan, Terry Billie, Lisa Birden, Jim Bolan, Tom Bowman, Carol Bozena, Bart Bozzi, Robert Brady, Carl Brouillette, Keith Brown, Dana Bugl, Steve Burke, Frank Butash, Monica Capezze, Sandra Carbonaro, Marie Cataldi, Michael Clare, Jean Colangelo, Fran Cmara, John Cook, Lee Courtney, Bill Cunningham, Holly Dauray, Oscar Dean, Walter Dean, Mark DeLorenzo, Dave DeMaw, Martha Depper, Vijay Dixit, Bill Domler, Marissa Donza, Jim Douglas, John Douguette, Mark Dressler, John Drury, Kim Eaton, Paul Eklund, George Michael Evica, Mariana Evica, Vinny Fuerst, Bob Getherji, Drew Glacken, Steven Glick, Donna Giddings, Jacki Gilligan, Bud Godreau, Tony Grant, John Greene, Mark Greenland, Donald Harris, Kathryn Heisen, David Helfrich, Rosemary Hermann, Paul Hopkins, Kay Hopper, Lascelles Horrabin, Susan Hyman, Jim Hynes, Brian Ignatowski, Joe Incoruaia, Harvey Jassem, Randal Jones, Wayne Jones, William Jones, Bruce Kampe, Ken Karpowitz, Justin Kelley, Tom Kelly, Eric Kornasky, John Kotlinski, Bill Lamon, Alphee Lavoy, Bob Lee, Elizabeth Lee, Gary Levin, John Levine, Allen Livermore, John Longobardi, Carlo Magno, Tony Magno, Doug Maine, Jeff Maynard, Pete McCormack, Patricia McCosker, Paul McGuinness, Ed Mckeon, Dan Mei, Jim Mercik, John Merino, Peter Michaelson, Grant Miller, Phillip Mitchell, Maxashaun, Michelle Morrisesette, Susan Mullis, Nay Nassar, Ed Nelson, Rupert Nesbitt, Phillip Neufville, Raynolds Olderdonk, Bob Orem, Serge Otairo, Joe Quirk, Jack Parmele, Karen Pellino, Tim Pendleton, Bill Raffor, John Ramsey, Karen Redpath, Eliot Rennert, Dave Repoli, James Resnick, Natasha Rethke, Henrique Ribeiro, Mike Richardson, Don Rissling, Maurice Robertson, Pete Rosenberg, Dave Rosenthall, Rob Rosenthall, Jeff Rubenbaur, Rob Rudin, Eleanor Rudolph, Mark Santini, Ed Savage, Anne Schelleng, Barry Seeler, Mark Silverstein, Brian Sinclair, Barbara St. Germaine, Leora Sparpani, Patricia Sterling, Carol Stevens, Kapil Taneja, Andy Taylor, Antonio Terranoua, Chris Therrien, Jerome Tomko, Debra Valentin, Felix Viera, Dave Viveiros, Chris Watson, Terry Weichand, Tanya Weiman, Lloyd Wier, Linda Wentworth, Stuart Werner, Trayce Wilkins, Paul Willusz, Chris Wisniewski, Tim Wolf, Dave Young, Bill Yousman, Joe Zaborowski, Valerie Zars, Andy Zeldin, Mark Ziman, Norm Zimmer, Bruce Zimmerman.
Public Affairs programming continued to play a major role in WWUH’s programming during 1986, and the volunteer staff produced some incredibly provocative programming during the year.
WWUH cosponsored a Lecture with the local organization Human Action for Nuclear Disarmament that featured Bill Yates, a resident of
Commander Yates’, who had taught at the
Cmdr Yates explained in great detail the lengths the Navy goes through to maintain the integrity of the safeguards on the nuclear weapons in their arsenal, and to maintain the Navy’s part of the nuclear “triad” in a constant state of readiness as deterrent to the
Listeners to the program heard Commander Yates express his horror when discussing the possibility that the US Military might be adopting a “Fail Deadly” strategy for control of the nuclear missiles on the Trident submarines. Fair Deadly meant that the missiles would be launched after a predetermined amount of time upon loss of connectivity with US Command and Control. Up until now, a positive “go code” was required from the President before nuclear weapons could be released. Fail Deadly would change that. The inherent risks of an accidental launch from such a system are obvious.
The extremely provocative program was broadcast live on the air and met with very favorable listener response.
Other public affairs programs in 1986 included specials on the Vietnam Experience, Ronald Regan’s Star Wars concept, a Nagasaki Commemorative and a lecture by Dr. Helen Caldicott, a medical doctor and author of the book “Missile Envy”. In addition, the station cosponsored a forum on press freedom entitled “The People and the Press” with the Hartford Courant in July.
John Ramsey recalls: Not everyone was pleased by our
Other public affairs specials dealth with such subjects as the debt epidemic and political prisoners.
The new series “UH Presents: featured local interviews with the Dean of Ward College, the head of the Connecticut Freeze campaign, former secretary of state Dr. Henry Kissinger and Grenada’s ambassador to the UN. The entire UH Deeds Symposium was also aired as part of the series.
Attempts were made to involve Elderhostel participants in UH Presents programs.
The March General Meeting featured cake and
New March Guides were sent to all students on campus as part of an attempt to get more students to listen to the station.
The station presented a Folk concert featuring Ted and Murray Phillips sponsored by Ed Savage on March 9th.
WWUH’s Geetanjali program sponsored an Indian music concert featuring the artist Yodh on sitar in Feb.
The Jazz Department, under the direction of volunteer Jim Bolan, grew even stronger in 1986. A Jazz play list from the Summer '86, compiled by Jim and sent to dozens of jazz record companies, showed that the following artists were getting heavy air play at the station: Don Pullen, Art Blakey, Randy Brecket, Billy Cobham, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Ahmad Jamal and Quincy Jones.
The budget for FY85/87 showed $42,058 in expenses as follows: Community Affairs, $340.26 (tapes and publications); Programming, $2,689.59 (Publications, recording supplies, royalties, classical subscription, outside programming, recordings); Development, $17,275.00 (Guide, Publicity, Marathon); Operations, $8,675.23 (insurance, electricity, phone, contracted services); Business, $8,440.79 (postage, duplication, office supplies, long distance); Engineering, $3,065.15 (transmitter and studio maintenance, etc).
The proposed budget for FY86/87 was for $12,000 more for a total of $54,670.00. The major reason for the increase was to cover the manager’s salary and various engineering improvements.
Projected FY86/87 income: $44,100.00 from the following sources: University contribution, $10,000.00; Marathon '86 (remaining), $1,000.00; Equipment sales, $1000.00; Underwriting, $1,000.00, Guide Advertising, $2,500.00; Marathon 87, $27,500.00; Corporate Contributions (matching grants), $2,000.00.
Marathon ’86 featured a number of special events, including an Open House for listeners, on-air appearances by Dean of Students Doris Coster and University President Trachtenberg.
The student association donated $100! Letters were sent to all listeners who pledged $30 or more. Analysis of the pledge information revealed that the average pledge was $18.99. There were 1248 T-shirts ordered, 427 records and premiums sent out, and 176 charge pledges. The highest pledging show was UH Radio Bluegrass with $2816.00 pledged.
Clear bumper stickers were designed and printed up for promotional purposes.
When the books were closed on
The first issue of the new, larger newsprint-style Program Guide was published in March and 6,000 copies were printed for less money than we normally paid for 1500 of the old format Guides. The new format also decreased the production cycle from five weeks to less than three. This meant that the information in the Guide could be timelier.
Distribution of the Guides was done both on and off campus. To help offset the cost of printing, advertisements were sold at very reasonable prices starting at $35 for a business card size to $500 for a full page. Given the large circulation, these prices were very well received by potential advertisers The ECOM was concerned that the publication not look too commercial, so there was a strict limit to the number of ads that could be sold, as well as a limit on placement of the ads. For instance, no ads would be allowed on the back page for fear that the publication would start to look like the local newspaper weekly TV Section. Carol Stevens did an outstanding job with the first edition.
Elections held in May, resulted in Don Harris, Operations; Stuart Werner, Program Director; John Longobardi, Community Affairs Director and John Ramsey, Chief Engineer. There were no nominations for the positions of Business Manager or Director of Development. Non-students, Gary Levin and Carol Stevens will fill the posts on an “acting” basis.
In September, Dana Bugl, a graphic design student at the
Station member John Ramsey became an adjunct faculty member of the
The annual Intercollegiate Broadcasting System conference was held at UCONN in 1987 and was attended by most ECOM members. Some people attending from WWUH were shocked to discover the poor state of most of the other stations in attendance: some stations had no budgets, many stations had rigid play lists and/or formats, most lacked even basic production equipment and many had such low power that they could barely be heard off their own campus!
Our ECOM members sat on various panels, and it was not unusual for the room to become completely silent when WWUHers gave out simple answers to questions that had eluded other panelists. The audience also became silent on more than one occasion when UHers spoke about the station’s outstanding programming, operations and facilities. Jaws dropped with Carol Stevens mentioned that we brought in $30,000 in one week during our annual
The October 7 ECOM minutes reflect the fact that the station had gone 10 months without any off air time, a tribute to the efforts of the staff and the skills of the Program Director.
Arrangements were made with the Public Access TV station in
Dave Nagel, Production Director of WDRC, started conducting production workshops in the fall. These were very well received by the staff.
Station jackets, black with “WWUH” embroidered in red on the back, were ordered for the first time. These were only made available to staff, and were sold at cost.
Natasha Rethke, WWUH volunteer, designed the T-shirt that would be used in the 1987
Upon the recommendation of an outside consultant, the University notified us that they were investigating programming liability insurance for WWUH. The university ultimately mandated that WWUH purchase such a policy, and offered to pay the premium for the first year. The one million dollar policy would cover libel, slander, invasion of privacy and copyright infringement, but not FCC violations.
For the first time, holiday cards were sent to staff and friends of the station. The cards were purchased from the
December marked 12 months of broadcasting with no off airtime, the longest time of continuous operation in the station’s history!
Reacting to the increased demands on the position of Director of Development, the ECOM decided to creation of Guide Editor position separate from Director of Development.
John Longobardi resigned from the Community Affairs position he had given so much to because he was moving out of state.
Several students who had been working at WSAM presented the ECOM with a demo tape for a sports show. The show was approved and a digital delay was purchased so the live callers could be placed on the air.
The Hartford Courant ran an excellent article about WWUH Jazz on December 28. The article-featured pictures of jazz host Monica Capezza and General Manager John Ramsey.
Student Grant Miller was trained by Don Harris for the position of Operations Director.
Station jackets were made available to staff for the first time. The jackets were black with red embroidered WWUH.
The ECOM started a campaign to recruit commuter students for the spring semester. The ECOM felt that commuter students were desirable since they lived in the area and would be able to do shows over the breaks, so a letter was sent to these students.
Local underwriter Sky Stone and Silver wrote a letter to the station raving about the incredible amount of business they had received as a result of underwriting.
Operations Director Don Harris was charged by the ECOM with spearheading the job of finalizing the paid GM contract and job description to the satisfaction of the ECOM, the staff, and the university. The University had approved a paid GM for WWUH in concept, and created a position that where the person reported to Dean of Students. The stations would be able to interview candidates and make a final recommendation, but the Dean would have the ultimate hiring and firing authority. The job was initially set up as a part time position due to the fact that the station could not afford the minimum full-time manager salary per university policy.
The University had also approved getting someone to fill the job on an interim basis, as a “consultant,” so that station operations could continue while the search was conducted.
The staff chose John Ramsey to serve as Interim GM, and he worked for the first ninety days without charge. After that, he was paid as a consultant until the selection was made and UH approval received.
Ads went into the papers for the Paid GM position in July.
On September 15, 1986, John Ramsey was hired as General Manager. Having served as Chief Engineer since 1978, John was familiar with the station and the staff, which made the actual hiring decision easier for the Committee since he was a known quantity. They felt that he was the best candidate for the job. Starting salary was $11,400 for the part time GM position. While the position was considered “part time” for reasons stated above, the actual understanding was that the unusual hours and on-call nature of the job made it the equivalent of a full-time position.
Kim Eaton took over from John Merleu as Business Manager.
Carol Stevens made up advertising packages for the new guide that she brought to interested and perspective merchants in the area. She investigated the cost of a 24-page guide and two colors and posted signs at the
The band “The Not Quite” appeared on Stuart’s Synthesis show.
` WWUH call lettered “mike flags” were purchased for the microphones used by the news department to record UH Presents. Not only did this add professionalism but also it guaranteed that the university administration would notice our presence at important campus functions.
Carol started working on A TV PSA for the station using the facilities of TV20 which were offered by former WWUHer Andy Brownstein.
A proposal to change Wednesday morning jazz show to Blues was presented to the ECOM, but rejected 1-4-0. The minutes indicated that the consensus was that maintaining the station’s commitment to having Jazz on five days a week in the morning took priority to adding another blues program.
The station’s commitment to staying on the air 24/7 had been working well for the last year, but to make sure that programming emergencies would be handled in a timely manner, the ECOM decided to get a pager for the Program Director.
Addition of a 5th training session is being considered to provide for more “hands on” time during the levels two and three.
In an effort to improve communications within genre departments, genre meetings tried at the beginning of General Meetings with success.
Music Director Mark Greenland represented WWUH at the CMJ New Music Marathon in NYC.
The ECOM discussed the possibly of hosting a Holiday Party with other student media.
Formal equipment bids were requested from vendors in December for new building. Sealed bids were required since Federal funding was involved.
The Hartford Courant ran an excellent article about jazz on WWUH written by Owen McNally. Mr. McNally, a jazz reviewer for the Courant, was ill at home for part of the summer, but he was able to write a review of the shows he “missed” by listening to the live broadcast on WWUH. This made him realize for the first time how important WWUH is to the jazz community.
FM On Toast hosts included: Bill Domler, Ed Savage, Ed McKeon, Tom Bowman, John Merino.
Jazz hosts included: Peter McCormack, John Longobardi, Harvey Jassem, Donna Gidding, H. Mann (Morning Jazz). Jim Bolan, Maurice Robertson, Peter Michaelson, Laurel Aronstamm (Accent on Jazz).
Synthesis hosts included: Janet Bilan, Andy Taylor, Stuart Werner, Bill Yourman, Rob Rosenthall.
Pubic Affairs Producers included: Frank Butash, GM Evica, Carol Bozena, Keith Brown, John Ramsey.
Classical hosts included: Holly, Susan Mullis, Ann, Howard Bruce, Vinny Fuerst. Tom Kelly did Suites for a Sunday Morning.
Gothics and All Night Show hosts included: Carol Stevens, Captain Hog, Steve Burke, Gary Levin, Mark Greenland, Marissa Donza, Lascelles Horrabin, Dave Young, Dave Wazheer, John Levine, Bob Orem, Norm Zimmer, Lee Courtney, Dan Mei.
Special Show producers included: Misashawn (Algonquin Radio), Carol and Alphee Lavoy (Astrology Almanac), John Ramsey (Shortwave Alternative), Keith Brown (Gay Spirit), Marianna Evica (Ambience), Ken Karpowicz (Mbira), Wayne Jones (Memory Machine), Nay Nasser and Paul Bezanker (St. Corner Serenade), Felix Viera (Con Salsa), Tony and Carlo Magno (Italian), Henrique Ribeiro (Cultura E Vida), Phillip Mitchell (West Indian Rhythms).
Some of the events making new in 1986 included: President Reagan freezes Libyan assets in US (Jan. 8). US planes attack Libyan "terrorist centers" (April 14); Union Carbide agrees to settlement with victims of Bhopal gas leak in India (March 22); Major nuclear accident at Soviet Union's Chernobyl power station alarms world (April 26 et seq.); Space shuttle Challenger explodes after launch at Cape Canaveral, Fla., killing all seven aboard (Jan. 28); House votes arms appropriations bill rejecting Administration's "star wars" policy (Aug. 15); Secret initiative to send arms to Iran revealed (Nov. 6 et seq.); Reagan denies exchanging arms for hostages and halts arms sales (Nov. 19); diversion of funds from arms sales to Nicaraguan Contras revealed (Nov. 25).
The ECOM consisted of: John Ramsey - General Manager; Stuart Warner, Mark Greenland - Program Director; Don Harris - Operations Director; Stuart Werner, Dana Bugl - Directors of Development; Tanya Weiman - Business Manager; Mark Silverstein - Community Affairs Director.
Stuart Werner - Music Director, Chuck Dube – Heavy Metal Director.
Tanya Weiman was appointed acting Business Manager in June.
Don Harris, Operations Director, resigned in April so that he could devote more time to finding work after graduation. Dana Bugl, Director of Development, also resigned in April, which was no surprise since she was also scheduled to graduate in May.
John and Grant Miller took over the Program Guide from Dana, and they quickly learned the difficulties of graphic design.
Community Affairs programming continued to be a major part of our programming and many specials were aired:
We received a tape from the FBI regarding the Brink’s armored car robbery that had taken place the year before in
An interview with UH Professor Dick Rusack was broadcast in relation to a protest by University faculty members who were unhappy with wages. This was a controversial move on the station’s part as the protest could be considered by some to be against the interests of the station’s licensee. Prior to the broadcast we offered the university equal time to respond to the professor’s remarks but they declined our offer. The ECOM was not surprised when there was no reaction from the university to the airing of the program in one of our public affairs slots as the university had always been supporting of our quality news programming.
A series of Jewish Community lectures aired in February, some locally recorded and some syndicated.
Dr. Tohan of
A special program was aired on the US Bill of Rights and the US Constitution. It was promoted in the Advocate with a special ad.
The station produced a program on the income tax in cooperation with the local IRS office.
“UH Presents” featured interviews with Elie Wiesel and Oliver Butterworth.
The station started subscribing to WINGS. The Woman’s International News Service that was used to add a national perspective to the Women’s Music Hour program.
Volunteers Jon Easterbrook, Stuart Christ and Bruce Reicher proposed a new show called “UH Sports Line”. The proposal was accepted by the ECOM and a 30-minute time slot on Mondays at 12:30 was set aside for the show. The program included discussions of the sports scene both on and off campus, live guests and live phone calls and it was simulcast on WSAM. One of the first guests was Arnold Dean, sports director of WTIC radio. While emphasis was given to UH sports, although other teams were of course covered as well.
For years, there had been an idea floating around of offering a college course over the air on WWUH. The F.C.C. encouraged the concept. In fact, early regulations required that college stations be involved with “a formal course of study”. Such programming could be considered early attempts at “distant learning”. The ECOM discussed this idea with the administration and worked out plans on how it would work. Obviously, the Ecom wanted the program to have at least some general appeal, and after discussion with several faculty members, the consensus was to offer an existing course, “Introduction to Communications” over the air since this course was nearly 100% lecture and would therefore lend itself well to over the air presentation. How credit could be offered and how tuition would be collected from those members of the audience who chose to “enroll” in the class would be handled by the admissions office. Unfortunately the idea never materialized.
Public Service Announcements had always been an important part of our community service programming but it became apparent that not all of the staff agreed on how important PSA’s were. At least that was the impression that the ECOM had when an audit revealed that approximately one third of the music shows on the air frequently didn’t air any PSA’s at all. After a series of discussions with the staff, a new policy was adopted that required that each music show to air at least an average of 2 PSA’s per hour.
Community Affairs Director Mark Silverstein sent a letter to university faculty and staff inviting them to come down to the station if they had any unique programming ideas.
Early in the year we finally found out precisely where in the new building our studio and office space would be located. While the ECOM had lobbied for a top floor location with a view of the campus and the
With the outside dimensions of the space finally delineated, the Engineering Department spent several months evaluating various floor plans. They worked closely with architect Tai Su Kim. Input from the staff was used extensively in working on the lay out and there were many revisions of the plan. When the floor plan was finalized, it was the 37th revision and provided everything the staff had been looking for, including a dedicated entrance, handicap access, two good-sized studios (for air and production), and lots of facilities never before available to the station.
There was some debate within the station over the desirability of having outside windows in the air studio (i.e. placing the studio where the office currently is), and the staff finally decided against it given the security and acoustic concerns ground floor windows would raise.
The original WWUH layout when the station first went on the air in 1968 consisted of an air studio, production studio, office and (later) engineering shop utilizing approximately 800 square feet of space on the third floor of the Gengras Student Union. The new facility would incorporate three radio studios (one for air, two for production), one recording studio, a recording control room, a large (10’ x 34’ library), an engineering shop and a larger office with two smaller administrative offices!
Extensive discussions were undertaken with the university administration to work on the budget for the move. There was no way that the station would be able to afford to pay for the move, and the amount required was much too high to go to the listeners for. Finally, the university agreed to pick up the tab for all of the building construction and inside work, as well as the radio equipment.
Working closely with the architect and various contractors was necessary to make sure they knew exactly what would be needed. Even though Gengras had provided a good home for WWUH for twenty years, WWUH had simply outgrown the available space.
The staff was extremely excited about the new facility, which would provide nearly twice the floor space as the present location. In addition, staff had the following features to look forward to: all of the records in one room, much more office space, a second production studio, our own recording facility, and direct wired connections to the Hartt recording studio, the campus TV studio and the 225 seat auditorium proposed for the new building. Many details had to be taken into consideration in the design, and luckily were able to design the space to our liking. While the Wilde Auditorium was not supposed to be available to us at first (hence the station's own recording studio was included in the design), an arrangement was worked out with the
Moving a radio station without going off the air is a major undertaking, and doing it on a limited budget with a volunteer staff is almost unheard of, but the ECOM felt that the commitment to staying on the air had to be maintained and the station’s staff agreed to help with the project..
Three equipment proposals were submitted to the university: one, a bare bones plan that would have had WWUH off the air for several weeks during the move; the second plan utilized all of the existing equipment but provided for enough new equipment so that the station would not have to go off the air; while the third plan called for nearly all equipment to be replaced. The plans cost $20,000, $90,000 and $300,000 respectively. When we approached the university with these proposals, we made it clear that WWUH couldn't live with the first, and that we knew that the university couldn't afford the latter. WWUH received a commitment for funding of the equipment for the move to the tune of $90,000.
The only major stumbling block between WWUH, the university and their architect was the placement of our STL antenna, which had to be, located about 120 feet above ground. Installing a radio tower on the new building was rejected for esthetic reasons, but we convinced them to increase the height of a masonry clock tower planned for the new building to allow it to be used as a support for the STL antennas! The architect and the University were excited about the prospect of having such a tall land mark on campus, and they had no less than three donors willing to put up the money for it (in return for having it named after them of course). The cost for this clock tower was estimated at $350,000, and the plans for the tower were scrapped because the funding for the rest of the building was behind projections. It would do not good to have the clock tower completed years before the building was ready, therefore ECOM agreed to leave the tower on Gengras provided the University renovated some space for the STL equipment in the equipment penthouse atop the building. While the idea of both radio and fiber optic links was explored, the decision was made to use university owned cable pairs to get the signal from the new studio to the STL in Gengras.
On May 1 the Geetanjali program was expanded from 60 to 90 minutes with the first 30 minutes of the program to be devoted to Indian classical music.
Over the years it has been extremely rare that station management has ever had to resort to removing people from the air. However, two staff members were suspended for 60 days for making disparaging and unprofessional marks about a local club on the air. The club owner had complained and had sent a tape to the ECOM that revealed that for approximately 20 minutes, the two announcers made remarks on the air that were extremely unprofessional and that disparaged the reputation of the club. The announcers were heard on the tape engaged in immature banter and chatter and had unauthorized staff members on the air, all in violation of station policy. In addition, no top of the hour ID was given, a clear violation of FCC rules. While the volunteers felt that the punishment was too severe and that a simple reprimand was all that was necessary, the ECOM stressed the unprofessional nature of the broadcast and how the program jeopardized the station.
Staff and listener complaints made the ECOM aware that what some had termed "living room" programming was occurring on some of the late night shows, and the subject was discussed at a General Meeting in May. The problem was show hosts who wanted to be the center of attention, and who often chose not to abide by the station’s policies regarding programming. The ECOM explained that while station programmers were given almost unlimited freedom in doing their shows, along with that freedom comes the responsibility of doing a good job on the air. The airing of personal grievances, casual conversations between people on and off mike, and complaining about things such as the food on campus, station policies was not considered good programming. There was little dissent from the staff on this point. The few announcers who “didn’t get it” were given several warning for breaking programming policy, and then removed from the air for repeated violations.
Many college stations played games with the free tickets offered by promoters, but WWUH had a strict policy of documentation each give away and abiding by the request of the promoter donating the tickets whenever possible. Contest rules were discussed at the meeting in an effort to make sure that everyone on the staff realized the importance of sticking to the rules.
Stuart Werner resigned in February from the position of Program Director. Stuart had run the department with a thorough knowledge of alternative radio and appreciation for the volunteer air staff. At the same time he felt that being a volunteer at WWUH brought with it privileges and responsibilities. Stuart had handled his staff firmly and fairly and quickly earned the respect of the staff.
Student Mark Greenland took over from Stuart. Mark had been with the station for over a year, and had been serving as the station's music director during most of that time. Mark was a strong leader with good interpersonal skills and an extensive knowledge of the music business. He had a tremendous amount of respect for the volunteer staff, but had a “no-nonsense” policy toward volunteers who deliberately disregarded station-programming policy.
One of Mark’s first duties after assuming the job was to work with Chief Engineer John Ramsey to rewrite the station’s “Sensitive Material” policy dealing with the broadcast of “indecent” material. Incorporating the station’s “freedom of speech” philosophy while at the same time protecting the station’s license was quite a challenge, but a policy was produced that was still in effect fifteen years later!
The programming department developed a list of volunteers who would be called first should there be a "no show" late at night. This new policy relieved the Program Director of many of the late night calls.
Mark Greenland went to the New Music Seminar in May. Indecency was the major issue at the seminary, and Mark reported that our new obscenity policy was held up as an excellent example of a policy for a college/community station.
The annual staff picnic was held on July 19 on Gengras patio. Close to sixty people attended.
One Sunday morning when Susan Mullis was on the air, the power suddenly went out in the Gengras Student Union, followed by the fire alarm and the smell of smoke. She vacated the building and called the chief engineer from a pay phone outside the building. Upon his arrival, John was met by a contingent of police and fire department personnel. A large electrical transformer in the sub basement of the studio building had caught fire and burned out. The only damage was minor smoke damage, but the building would be without electricity for days.
We made arrangements to have a generator installed on the loading dock and were back on the air in a matter of hours. However, it took seven days to replace the damaged transformer and get power back on in the building. During this time the station had no power or running water in the building. The station operated on portable generators for this entire time.
For the first time, the Guide Editor decided to try a Letters to the Editor section added to Guide in the January issue. This feature continued for several years.
Dean of Students Dr. Howard Rosenblatt's office hosted a wine and cheese reception for WWUH volunteers during
Arrangements were made with the Hartford Advocate newspaper to trade display advertising for program underwriting. This would give us one ad per issue for a year. Ed McKeon developed a clever series of ads, with each ad focusing on a different aspect of station programming. One ad said “We’re Not Number 1 and Frankly We Don’t Care” at the top followed by text explained that to be number one a station has to bow to pressure to appeal to the largest number of people, give up its independence, etc.
Other ads were used to promote Jazz, Alternative Rock, Ambience, Classical, Public Affairs and Folk programming.
As part of an effort to improve our relationship with WSAM, we arranged for WSAM to rebroadcast WWUH when they were not doing their own programming. The benefit to WSAM is that they were on the air 24/7 for the first time in their history. In addition, our engineering department got involved in helping WSAM’s engineers with various projects.
Susan Mullis took over the Sunday morning Ambience slot from Marianna Evica.
The ECOM spend a good part of the last year reviewing management policies at other non-com station.
Record theft, often a major problem at college stations, was one of the issues researched to see the various ways that stations deal with the problem. Some stations locked up each library, and announcers would have to sign out keys. Other stations required their announcers to do inventories at the end of each shift.
Since the problem would occasionally arise at WWUH, the ECOM decided to continue the dialog about the issue with the staff during 1987. There were many different ideas around the station on how to deal with the problem. One of the things that the ECOM decided to do was to continue to conduct spot checks of staff members leaving the building. The staff made it clear that they wanted anyone caught stealing recordings to be arrested.
Research reminded us of the importance of collecting emergency contact information for the station's volunteers. Such contacts would be very helpful should anything happen to a volunteer while they were at the station. Emergency contact information was collected for each of the station’s staff and an “emergency contact” line was added to the staff info sheet.
About a dozen new recruits underwent training and joined the staff in 1987; most of them were affiliated with our neighbor, the Jewish Community Center. Their goal was to produce a weekly program on Jewish issues. After being trained and becoming members of the staff, this group received a slot on the air for the “Magen David” show which appeared for the first time in the fall and continued on WWUH for several years.
The station co-sponsored a concert featuring folk singer Nanci Griffith. Bill Domler served as the promoter. The event was held at Lincoln Theater and it was a success.
Stuart Werner suggested getting underwriting from condom companies, and was assigned the task of contacting them by the ECOM. Nothing came of this idea.
Letters were sent to commuter students in an attempt to let them know that the station welcomed them.
Artist interviews continued to be an important part of our music programming. Some of the interviews aired during 1987 included the band DADA, who was interviewed by Grant Miller; Grand Master Flash interviewed on Synthesis; Adrian Belew interviewed by Mark DeLorenzo and Gary Levin. Zoogs Rift and Edith Klein also appeared on 91.3.
A glossy Underwriting pamphlet was created to help with the underwriting campaign that started in the fall.
The New Britain Herald heavily promoted one of our Lunch Date programs, which dealt with the subject of incest.
The August 14 ECOM meeting: "(Program Director)
This came as a complete surprise to the ECOM, and they were concerned since it was a major deviation of station programming philosophy. The proposal that Mark submitted at was not well received by the majority of the staff, in part because it mandated the playing of a minimum number of new releases each hour.
Voting was postponed on the proposal at the request of some staff members in order to provide further discussion and to allow all programmers a chance to vote on it. It was suggested that a memo outlining the suggested requirement be sent to all staff members to give them the opportunity to contribute their opinions and suggestions."
Mark’s memo read in part "WWUH distinguished itself by virtue of our DJs ability to combine the best of today's and yesterday's music. Our CD Library expresses this perfectly: The Beatles next to Xmal Deutschland next to John Scofield. Unfortunately, some DJs have not educated themselves enough to exploit this diversity. The ECOM, because programming a show on WWUH is a privilege and not a right, sometimes has to undertake measures to ensure the best quality programming possible. Therefore, the Program Director very strongly recommends the following policy to hasten DJ education and ensure program quality: Rock/Urban DJs MUST play at least eight new artists per show, to include new cuts from the new bins. Failure to comply with the rules would result in termination of the offender.
The memo continued “The proposed policy will be discussed at the August 27 ECOM meeting, please try to attend . . . as you know, I take this issue very seriously. You should as well."
Several ECOM members were shocked by the strong wording of this memo and were distributed because they felt that such a "play list" was contrary to the station's philosophy. A number of staff members found this memo to be condescending and/or insulting, and a significant number of volunteers resented what amounted to programming mandates.
The following ECOM meeting saw a passionate discussion of the proposal, which lasted over 90 minutes. Don Harris and Gary Levin presented well-written statements against the new policy, and Bill Yousman and Susan also spoke out against it. Mark Greenland and Stuart Werner spoke for the proposal. Several programmers said that they would quit if the policy was adopted.
The consensus from the staff was that the policy was contrary to the basic philosophy of WWUH programming and that adoption of it would severely interfere with freedom of programming. The ECOM voted 1-2-0, and the policy was not adopted. After the vote was taken, Mark Greenland resigned from the position of Program Director in protest.
Stuart was appointed music direction, replacing Mark Greenland.
The ECOM conducted a survey to find out what the staff thought about the monthly meetings in an effort to try to get ideas on how to make them more interesting, informative and enjoyable for the staff: a number of volunteers requested genre meetings and guest speakers.
Art Greene was voted in as a full member in September. Art would soon become a key member of the station’s management team.
Student Kim Eaton from
Allen Livermore was appointed Acting Community Affairs Director.
The station was the host of a meeting of the local chapter of the Society of Broadcast Engineers in November.
The annual station
Hartford Woman magazine did a spread on Donna Giddings.
The station made an experiment in direct mail by sending a solicitation letter to listeners in November. Response was very good.
Since we were not able to find a way to increase the height of our antenna at the Channel 3 site we were currently located at, the Engineering Department started looking at other alternatives. The station approached Channel 18 about renting space on their new tower across the street from our tower on
A review of the station's logs revealed that the station had experienced an average 40 to 60 hours of off airtime each year due to power failures at the transmitter site in
In the fall, application was made to the Commission to install a new antenna on the existing tower in
The engineering department spent many hours working with new building’s electrical contractors to design the conduit runs, and electrical system and grounding for the new studios. Staff also worked closely with the Architect to configure the studio's acoustic design, and to monitor the design of the rest of the facility.
FM On Toast hosts included: Ed Savage, Ed McKeon, Wes Wright, John Merino.
Jazz hosts included: Harvey Jassem, Monica Capezza, Donna Diddings, H. Mann (Morning Jazz). Jim Bolan, Maurice Robertson, Peter Michaelson, Laurel Aronstamm (Accent on Jazz).
Synthesis hosts included: Janet Bilan, Andy Taylor, Bill Yousman, Stu Werner, Carol Stevens, Lee Courtney
Pubic Affairs Producers included: GM Evica (Assassination Journal), Carol Bozena (Lunch Date), Frank Butash (Refrigerator Club), John Ramsey (Shortwave Alternative), Keith Brown (Gay Spirit).
Classical hosts included: Alan Livermore, Vinny Fuerst, Linda Wentworth, Susan Mullis, Dave Agasi (Evening Classics). Tom Kelly did Suites for a Sunday Morning
Gothics and All Night Show hosts included: Gary Levin, John Levine, Chris Watson, Lee Courtney, Bob Orem, Mark Greenland, Barbara, Bart Bozzi, John Duquette, Dana Bugl, Fran Cmera,
Special Show producers included: Misashawn (Algonquin Radio), Carol and Alphee Lavoy (Astrology Almanac), John Ramsey (Shortwave Alternative), Keith Brown (Gay Spirit), Susan Mullis and Dave Agasi (Ambience), Ken Karpowicz (Mbira), Wayne Jones (Memory Machine), Nay Nasser and Paul Bezanker (St. Corner Serenade), Felix Viera (Con Salsa), Tony and Carlo Magno (Italian), Henrique Ribeiro (Cultura
Some of the stories making the news in 1987 included: Iraqi missiles kill 37 in attack on US frigate Stark in Persian Gulf (May 17); Iraqi president Hussein apologizes (May 18); US Supreme Court rules Rotary Clubs must admit women (May 4); US Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., retires (June 26); Oliver North, Jr., tells Congressional inquiry higher officials approved his secret Iran-Contra operations (July 7–10); Admiral John M. Poindexter, former National Security Adviser, testifies he authorized use of Iran arms sale profits to aid Contras (July 15–22) and Reagan says Iran arms-Contra policy went astray and accepts responsibility (Aug. 12).
The ECOM consisted of: John Ramsey - General Manager; Grant Miller - Operations Director; Susan Mullis - Director of Development; Grant Miller - Program Director; Susan Mullis - At Large Member; John Ramsey - Chief Engineer; Tanya Weiman - Business Manager; Alan Livermore - Community Affairs Director.
Vinny Fuerst - Classical Director; Ed McKeon - Folk Director; Stuart Werner and Pete Beneski - Music Director.
The January/February issue of the Program Guide featured an article by volunteer Dan King entitled “Who Owns Broadcasting?” The article focused on the broadcasting industry, and the deregulation being considered by Congress.
A special program “Fire From The Mountain” was aired on September 28 as part of the “UH Presents” public affairs slot. “Fire on the Mountain” was the story of a Nicaraguan Revolutionary, Omar Cabezas, and the tribulations endured by one trying to be a guerrilla.
In February, WWUH aired special programming arranged by volunteer Maurice Robertson to correspond with Black History Month.
The station once again manned a checkpoint at the March of Dimes Walkathon in the spring.
The syndicated program “Soundings,” produced by the National Humanities Council was aired on Tuesdays at noon. Some of the shows aired in May were “Education and the National Economy”, “Teaching Standards” and “Classroom Laboratories”
“UH Sportsline” celebrated its one year anniversary on WWUH.
“Drakes Village Brass Band” debuted on July 11 on Monday Evening Classics.
Comedian George Burns spoke at the UH convocation in March.
The station invited Allen Ginsberg to speak on campus and the event was broadcast live.
Old Time Radio Broadcast featuring actors George Bowe and former WTIC radio announcer Jean Colbert took place in December at
The March/April issue of the Guide showed no less than 26 station underwriters.
Record reviews written by station volunteers continued to be an important part of the Program Guide. Reviews included recordings by the bands Crumbsuckers, Starkweather, Human Fly, The Tom Russell Band, Jim Kweskin and the Jub Band and Augie Meyers.
An article in the May/June issue by Rich Dittman, WWUH’s Urban Music Director entitled “Hip Hop and Rap Music, the Connecticut Connection” outlined how
Several issues of the Guide in the early part of the year included a “Listeners Survey”, and the survey was promoted on the air as well.
In August, the results of the survey were compiled and the following information gained: The typical listener spends 5-10 hours each week listening to the station. This listening is split about 40/40/20 between home, car and work. The most frequently listened to genre was Jazz according to the survey respondents, with Morning Jazz having a slight edge over Accent on Jazz. FM On Toast came in second with Evening Classics third. UH Radio Bluegrass was named in fourth place with Blue Monday in fifth place.
Over two thirds of the people who returned the surveys said that they listen to our Public Affairs programming, with the most listened to show being Assassination Journal. The Refrigerator Club and Issues of the Eighties were tied for the number two slot.
In response to our question about significant problems facing the Greater Hartford community, over half of the respondents indicated environmental issues at the top of their list. Education issues were a close second, followed by drug and alcohol abuse.
When asked about fund raising methods, many respondents indicated their preference for over the air Marathons, with their second choice being tied between underwriting and direct mail.
When asked what changes they would like to see, about ten percent of the respondents said “more jazz” with an equal number asking for “more folk”.
The issue featured interviews with several dozen former managers and staff members, a reproduction of the Western Union telegram from the FCC giving the University of Hartford permission to put their new FM station on the air for the first time, reprints of the program schedule grid from 1968, 1973, 1978 and 1983 and lots of staff and alumni photographs.
An article entitles “The Future of Bluegrass” written by UH Radio Bluegrass host Sean Brennan was featured, along with a floor plan of the new WWUH studios.
While conducting an introductory meeting for students interested in joining the station. the ECOM was talking about the different departments of the station when Grant noticed that Dan had a distressed look on his face. After a short period of time, Dan gestured for Grant to meet him outside the room. In the hall Dan told Grant that he had noticed that a student was carrying a gun in his back pocket! After going back into the room, Grant offered to distribute handouts so that he could check out the student in question. Yes indeed, there was the butt of a pistol sticking out of his back pocket. A state of confusion ensued behind the scenes while Grant and Dan figured out the best way to inform the General Manager, who was conducting the meeting. Grant finally realized that he had seen a sign posted for the annual assassin game, which involved toy pistols. He let Dan stew for about 30 minutes.
Channel 30 visited the station in January to do a special news segment on alternative music. General Manager Rob Rosenthal was featured along with PD Bill Yousman.
The staff was treated to pizza and beer at the Keg to celebrate the
Extra small shirts that were left over from the fund drive were donated to south end Community Childcare in
A special Canvas tote bag was given as a staff gift in 1988 in celebration of the station’s birthday.
The new At Large ECOM position was approved in March. The by creating the position, the ECOM hopes to accomplish several things. First, to have someone on the board who would be able to represent the staff and listeners, and in essence play “devils advocate” in the decision making process. And second, to have another person to share the work load of the ECOM.
Susan Mullis was voted in as the first At Large member. Later in August, Susan became Director of Development.
Grant spent a tremendous amount of time working on 20th anniversary edition of the Guide. He sent letters to station alum asking for their recollections and got a very good response.
Discussions within the ECOM continued as to whether or not the Music Director position should be made part of the ECOM. There were pros and cons. On the pro side, there are few management positions at the station that require so many hours. On the con side, music has always been considered a subset of programming, and since the music director reported to the program director, many felt that the music department was already represented.
Other ECOM discussions during the year involved the behind the scenes work policy, the creation of evaluation form for training and the station’s Club policy.
Channel 3 approved our request to replace our antenna with a new one on the tower.
Approval for the new antenna arrived from the FCC in January, and it was put on the air for the first time on April 21, 1988.
The May/June issue of the Guide included pictures of the installation, which was overseen by our faculty advisor, Ed Nelson.
Throughout the year, engineering staff worked closely with the University, contractors and Savage Engineering to coordinate the work on the new studio. A thousand details needed to be checked and coordinated.
Requests for equipment quotes were sent out through a formal bid process. Major equipment ordered for the new studio included Autogram 12-channel and 20-channel consoles, 2 reel machines, a cart recorder, 2 cart playback units, and an Optimod 8100 processors.
Equipment started to arrive, and upon arrival the engineering staff would check each piece for proper operation. The new remote control system and Optimod were installed in advance of the move so that there would be one less thing for which to be concerned. Staff prewired both new boards to facilitate installation.
Part way through the process of purchasing the new equipment, the university-supplied budget ran out, even though ECOM had spent only $50,000 of the $90,000 promised! Too many people had been promised too much money by the person in charge of the budget, who had since left the university. ECOM convinced the Operations Department of the University to donate an additional $20,000, and the station ultimately raised an additional $20,000 from listeners in the fall of 1989 during the station’s first Fall Fund Drive.
Also, the choice was made to relocate the STL equipment from the old studio to the penthouse on the roof of Gengras in advance so the change over from the old facility to the new one could be made smoothly. The space atop Gengras was renovated to Engineering's specifications, and had new cabling run from the STL antennas to the new equipment rack. Because the STL transmission line was going to be almost twice as long, new larger antennas were installed and fed with larger 7/8" cable. Delta Electronics of West Hartford was hired to strengthen the guying of the tower by installing a torque bar at the top connected to two guy wires. That would insure that the tower would not twist in the wind with the addition of the two new larger antennas.
Also installed was the new audio processor, an Optimod 8100 resulting in a significant improvement in on-air sound.
Engineering labeled the studio equipment with Braille labeling so that a new volunteer who was visually handicapped could start producing shows.
Thanks to local commercial station WHCN, arrangements were made to pick up a 10 kilowatt Bird dummy load donated by WHCN's sister station, WBLI in
During the summer, we were contacted by
In July, the station had its 20th birthday, and the event was celebrated with a special staff/alumni picnic on the Gengras patio. The event was attended by over one hundred persons, including close to 40 alumni, some of who traveled hundreds of miles for the occasion. Tours of the studio under construction in the new building were the
The September/October issue of the Guide was a special Anniversary Issues, consisting of 32 pages and printed in white paper. Grant Miller wrote the preface to the edition, and many current staffers, including Don Harris worked fill the issues with historical information.
The issue featured interviews with several dozen former managers and staff members, a reproduction of the Western Union telegram from the FCC giving the University of Hartford permission to put their new FM station on the air for the first time, reprints of the program schedule grid from 1968, 1973, 1978 and 1983 and lots of staff and alumni photographs.
An article entitles “The Future of Bluegrass” written by UH Radio Bluegrass host Sean Brennan was featured, along with a floor plan of the new WWUH studios were featured in the Program Guide.
FM On Toast hosts included: Sean Brennan, Ed Savage, Ed McKeon, Tom Bowman, Bill Domler.
Jazz hosts included: Carol Miller, Monica Capezza, Jim McMahon, Donna Giddings, Doug Maine (Morning Jazz). JJ. Henriques, Maurice Robertson, Peter Michaelson, Laurel Arnostamm (Accent on Jazz)
Synthesis hosts included: Bill Yousman, Andy Taylor, Lee Courtney, Janet Bilan.
Pubic Affairs Producers included: GM Evica (Assassination Journal), Carol Bozena (Lunch Date), Frank Butash (Refrigerator Club), John Ramsey (Shortwave Alternative), Keith Brown (Gay Spirit).
Classical hosts included: Vinny Fuerst, Yurri Henriques, Susan Mullis, Alan Livermore.
Gothics and All Night Show hosts included: Grant Miller, Steve Winot, Stu Werner, Joe Quirk, Fran Cmara, Lloyd Weir, Matt Everest, Don Rovero, Dave Zaluda, Ron Paul, DJ Dick,
Special Show producers included: Misashawn (Algonquin Radio), Carol and Alphee Lavoy (Astrology Almanac), Mike DeRosa (Focus on Health), John Ramsey (Shortwave Alternative), Keith Brown (Gay Spirit), Christine Mooney (Womens Music Hour), Marianna Evica (Ambience), Phillip (Mbira), Wayne Jones (Memory Machine), Nay Nasser, Paul Bezanker and Mark Dressler (St. Corner Serenade), Felix Viera (Con Salsa), Tony and Carlo Magno (Italian), Henrique Ribeiro (Cultura E Vida), Phillip Mitchell (West Indian Rhythms).
News stories making the headlines in 1988 include: US and
The Executive Committee consisted of John Ramsey - General Manager; Grant Miller & Laura Grabsch - Operations Director; Susan Mullis - Director of Development; Grant Miller - Program Director; Tanya Weiman - Business Manager; John Ramsey - Chief Engineer; Gary Levin - Member At Large; Allen Livermore - Community Affairs Director.
Sub Department heads: Blake Wilcox, Music Director; Rich Kilbourne, Jazz Director;
Staff: Dave Agasi, Missy Archacki, Laurel Aronstamm, Keith Barrett, Peter Beneski, Janet Bilan, Lisa Birden, Rich Boissoneau,Jim Bolan, Tom Bowman, Marueen Brennan, Sean Brennan,Carl Brouilette, Keith Brown, Peter Burkle, Steve Burke, Frank Butash, Jean-Christople Cabot, Monica Capezza, Guy Carnazza, Phil Carrol, Steve Cassidy, Bob Celmer, Fran Cmara, Christine Cooney, Vanessa Cooper, TimCosta, Lee Courtney, Bill Cunningham, Jam Czarzasty, Joe Della Penna, Mark Delorenzo, Dave DeMaw, Mike DeRosa, Terrell Dickson, Rich Dittman, Vijay Dixit, Bill Domler, Mark Dressler, Charles Dube, Randol Duncan, Linda Epstein, George Michael Evica, Luis Feliciano,Jamie Ferrand, Vinney Fuerst, Dave Gablas, Donna Giddings, Jacki Gilligan, Laura Grabsch, Arthur Greene, John Greene, Greg Gunn, F. Paul Haney, David Helfrish, JJ Henriques, Cherie Heppe, Jonathan Firsch, Lisa Isaacson, Harvey Jassem, Wayne Jones, Bruce Kampe, Tom Kelly, Linda Kennedy, Dan King, Brian King, Eric Kornasky, Bob Lee, Gary Levin, Allen Livermore, Carlo Magno, Tony Magno, Doug Maine, Robert Martin, Allison Maslow, Ed McKeon, Mark Melnick, John Merlau, Peter Michaelson, Grant Miller, Philip Mitchell, Mixashaun, Susan Mullis, Nay Nassar, Ed Nelson, Phillip Neufville, Ted Neihay, Kevin O’Toole, Serge Outairo, Kevin Porter, John Prytko, Joe Quirk, John Ramsey, Bruce Reicher, Dave Repoli, Henrique Ribeiro, Maurice Robertson, Don Rovero, Mark Santini, Ed Savage, Barry Seelen, Pat Semeraro, Carlos Sowell,Kapil Taneja, Susanne Tarantello, Andy Taylor, Barry Teitelbaum, Dave Trahan, James Valentino, Rich Vaughn, Felix Viera, Chris Watson, Terry Weichand, Tanya Weiman, Lloyd Weir, Linda Wentworth, Stuart Werner, Steve Winot, Dave Zaluda, Andy Zeldin.
One of our ads in the Hartford Advocate read as follows: “Our listeners just put their money where their ears are! WWUH FM just ran a marathon and didn’t even work up a seat! This is the time of year that we hold our “marathon fund raiser and ask our listener to support us by pledging funds toward the operations of the station.
Each year our listeners come through. This year to the tune of $40,000. No Sweat!
“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank those listeners who pledged and encourage those of you who haven’t done so already to give us a listen”
The January/February issue of the WWUH Program Guide featured an article entitled “Jazz in
The issue also featured a four page spread “Lets Get To Know The Specialty Shows” which was the part two of a four part series started late in 1988. The article included photos of Henrique Ribeiro, the host of Cultura E Vida, Christine Cooney the host of the Women’s Music Hour and a photo of Wayne Jones standing next to La Bamba star, Lou Diamond Phillips.
After over a year's delay, construction of the
Furniture for the studio was designed by the engineering department and custom built by Russlang in
One of the major problems facing staff in regard to the relocation was how to move the station's 50,000-volume record/CD library. Not only was there the issue of physically moving it from one building to another, but also the need to make sure it was kept in order, and installed in the right place in the new library room. Music Director Laura Grabsch was put in charge of coordinating the move and accomplished the job with no problems or issues at all.
The actual move went quite smoothly. A commercial company moved the office equipment and records, and the station's engineering staff moved the majority of the broadcast equipment. Laura worked out a system for moving the record library that worked out very well. Two volunteers were stationed at each end of the path, loading and unloading cartons, which were numbered in order. As long as the cartons were unloaded in the proper sequence, there would be no problem. The moving of the library started at 8 am on Friday, continued until 5 pm, and then resumed at 8 am on Saturday. By 5pm on Saturday, the entire library had been moved and reinstalled in the new shelving in the new library room. Approximately 40,000 records were moved, with no mix-ups!
The studio construction was completed in November, and the station broadcast from the new studio for the first time on Sunday, November 4th at 1 pm. In order to check out the studio on the day of the changeover, engineering connected the old studio and the new studio in parallel in Gengras: both studios could then be used on the air. Staff actually played songs alternately from the old studio and the new studio during the Sunday morning Ambience program to insure that all was ready for the transition. At 1 pm, Keith Brown signed on from the new studio and immediately started disconnecting the old studio's equipment.
The workhorse Scully 280Bs were retired, and donated to WSAM.
In November, our first ever fall fundraiser was held, asking listeners to donate to help with unexpected costs of moving the station to its new quarters. $20,000 was raised in one week. During this event, the station offered a sweatshirt for the first time. It was Turquoise Blue with “I Helped Move WWUH” and it was extremely popular.
The athletic department approached WWUH in the fall with a plea for help. The person who had been setting up the Hawks radio network unexpectedly passed away in September, and they were left with no stations to carry the games. While ECOM was sympathetic, all felt strongly that live sports didn't have a place on WWUH and turned them down. Later that month, the General Manager was summoned to a meeting with three vice presidents to discuss the possibility of WWUH carrying all 44 of the games. A compromise was reached where WWUH would carry only the away games in the second half of the season. This would allow time to prepare our staff and listeners for the interruptions, which fell mostly on our weekend ethnic and specialty shows.
The staff cooperated, and the University purchased the necessary equipment, paid for the phone lines, and actually paid for one of our volunteers to run the board during the games. Audience reaction was fairly mild, since the listeners had been prepared in advance.
One offshoot of the Hawks broadcasts was the return of a sports talk show, UH Sportsline. This show, which utilized an open phone line format, was fairly popular and stayed on the station for several years.
1989 saw the publication of the first staff newsletter in close to twenty years. The first edition of the "WWUH Phoenix” newsletter, by volunteer Gary Levin, came out in February 89. It featured the floor plan of the new building.
The station brought Allison Kraus to campus.
“Sherlock Holmes” returned in the fall.
In cooperation with Company One, a theater group in
FM On Toast hosts included:
Jazz hosts included:
Synthesis hosts included:
Pubic Affairs Producers included:
Classical hosts included:
Gothics and All Night Show hosts included:
Special Show producers included:
News headlines in 1989 included: US planes shoot down two Libyan fighters over international waters in Mediterranean (Jan. 4); Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini declares author Salman Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses offensive and sentences him to death (Feb. 14); Tens of thousands of Chinese students take over Beijing's Tiananmen Square in rally for democracy (April 19 et seq.). More than one million in
Above: Sportscaster Mike Crispino got his start at WWUH. He was co-host, with Roger Stauss of "FM On Toast" and also hosted a Morning Jazz program.
Above: Program Director Bill Yousman and Chief Engineer John Ramsey work in the WWUH production studio, 1983.