WWUH Station History
John Ramsey, General Manager/Chief Engineer
and submissions are welcomed.
Contact: John Ramsey, WWUH
Fax 860-768-5701 or email: email@example.com
Also of interest:
A new, extremely interesting time line / history of CT Radio:
"TIME LINE FOR CONNECTICUT
The ECOM consisted of:
Mel Yates, Mimi Spillane-General Manager
Bob Browning and Joe Rudich-Program Director
John Anderson and Steve Berian-Chief Engineer
In addition: Tom Gomez-Programming Coordinator; Gary Zenobi-News
Director; Sally Noble-Station Librarian.
Staff: John Anderson, Wayne Beebe, Doug Berghardt, Steve Berian,
Bob Browning, Gene Chapdelaine, Henry DeKastrozza, Dave Demaw, Joe Ferreira,
Tom Gomez, Fred Hull, Steve Keiley, George Krochin, Frank Nowicki Sally
Noble, Chuck Pagano, Neil Portnoy, Mimi Spillane, Joe Rudich, Joel Salkowitz,
Joe Spinelli, Larry Titus, Randy Witlicke, Mel Yates, Gary Zenobi
On January 13, Mel Yates, using the powers vested in him as the
General Manager, declared an emergency state in the station. In order
to insure the continued smooth operation of the station, John Anderson
and Steve Berian were appointed acting resident Chief Engineers. They
replaced Gene Chapdelaine until the ECOM felt Gene could resume his duties.
Bob Browning resigned as Program Director, and Joe Rudich temporarily
assumed his duties.
Chief Engineer John Anderson moved on to channel 30 leaving a legacy
of technical excellence and hard work.
Larry Titus, one of the founders of WWUH, and Chief Engineer of
WTIC in 1976, once again came to the station's aid by volunteering to
be posted as WWUH chief engineer. This was extremely important since the
FCC rules required that a station have a First Class Licensed engineer
as "Chief Operator" and since no staff members had the license we would
have been in trouble if Larry hadn't stepped in.
Ward student Jim McGivern took over in the engineering department
from John Anderson, although Larry remained the licensed engineer until
Jim passed his First Class test at the end of 1978.
A fire on the first floor of the student union forced the station
off the air for five minutes until the extent of the fire could be determined.
WWUH was falsely implicated by several sources as being responsible for
the fire since our announcers were the only people "officially" in the
building at the time.
The General Manager suspended the talk show format program "Speakeasy"
until a delay system could be installed because "sensitive material" was
A proposal was submitted in February for the creation of a weekly
half-hour show by and about women.
As part of his platform in his candidacy for reelection as Program
Director, Joe Rudich submitted the following paper on WWUH programming
philosophy and suggested programming changes at an ECOM meeting held in
The philosophy of WWUH in regard to programming (past the initial
first three years on the air) seems to have been "because we've always
done it". (Marcia Simon, a past program director, undertook a survey of
the announcers that worked for her. What she found was most people were
dissatisfied with the way WWUH was programmed). Most programs are in the
slot they're in because they were put there and no one bothered to take
them out because people just wanted to do them at the time specified.
It is interesting to note, however, that shows were not always in the
time they are now in.
"My recommendations as a programming person, for WWUH, are to find
a certain type of programming concept (or format, as the word may be,
although I prefer concept) and design the programming of the station after
that concept. In order to design a concept, it is necessary to ask us,
WHAT THE HELL KIND OF AUDIENCE DO WE WANT? and then proceed from there.
"As a programmer, the broken up "half quarter, half programming"
now is a ridiculous approach to a radio format. An audience needs a multiplication
table, calculator, and wipe'n dries to figure out what's on when. The
Program Guide with its limited circulation is no real help. We must be
a tightly run, total radio station and not a play toy for about 60 people.
"CONCEPT ONE: "Contemporary Station". This would use the resources
of the more than 40 people who can do rock 'n jazz very well to develop
WWUH as a prime station for people 20-34. The emphasis on rock during
the day, with a variant of contemporary top 40/progressive as the music.
Public affairs would be aired from 9-10 am, when people listen to the
radio longer, to get more and steadier listeners for Public Affairs. Evening
Public Affairs would be aired 6-7 pm so that would not be forced to compete
with prime time TV shows, which command a great share of the potential
audience. This concept would also utilize a good deal of Jazz, but the
major jazz time would be from 7-9 pm, which would enable WWUH to be a
major station in bars, (not many) but mostly stores, stereo shop and the
like, where we could receive lots of publicity. Weekends would remain
the same. This format is very free and flexible and enables programs such
as the news show to be feasible. News would be featured on an hourly basis
(not on the hour) and be somewhat different than other stations news,
while emphasizing "hard news" too. This concept is most feasible because
it looks realistically at staff, records, production capabilities, power
and how good we will sound. This concept would provide the best sound
"CONCEPT TWO: WWUH as the ALL-JAZZ station in Hartford. This concept
would include every type of jazz available in the broadcast day. Early,
funky, avante grade, all mixed together with Public Affairs 9-10 am and
6-7 pm. This concept is unfeasible because of untrained announcers who
would take months to gather the necessary knowledge for this type of format.
Also, our Jazz collection is much too small for this type of format.
"CONCEPT THREE: WWUH as day contemporary or day jazz, nights same
as now: partially feasible.
"CONCEPT FOUR: This is the most unfeasible for WWUH A "public affairs"/classics
station. To begin with, not enough staff to do the shows. Not enough production
time to produce the shows, not enough money to buy shows. This format
would sound the sloppiest, and is fairly dumb with both WFCR and WTIC-FM
both taking the lion's share of the audience. Under this format it would
also behoove us to operate from 6 am to midnight.
"CONCEPT FIVE (fantasy): We could be the NBC NIS (News and
Information Station) outlet on FM. Ridiculous to even contemplate."
Another set of suggestions came from Dave DeMaw, who also spoke
at the meeting: "We have a basic problem of conflicting ideologies
at WWUH. Because WWUH is a college station many think that anything goes.
And, because we bill ourselves as the Public Alternative, an infinite
number of interpretations arise. One faction believes that WWUH exists
primarily to serve the public, thus more public affairs shows are requested.
A second faction operates on the premise that students are working at
the station without benefit of money or credits in lieu of the radio experience
that they will need when job hunting. It is my contention that while we
exist to serve the public, we also exist to train students who are interested
in a broadcasting career. By offering the public a non-continuous format,
we reap a very small audience. Therefore, we are not serving the public
at large. Granted, we cannot challenge WDRC or WHCN in the ratings, but
we can grab a much larger slice of the pie by taking a close look at our
format and by making some major changed in programming. I suggest that
we keep the specialty music shows, but air more toward rock and jazz.
We should rid ourselves of morning classics and opera Matinee. Public
affairs should have a wider scope and should cover the Hartford area.
Get rid of the syndicated shows that have no interest but simply fill
time. Public Affairs should be aired on the weekends, as done at commercial
radio stations. Rock shows should contain ample amounts of the announcer's
personality, but certain requirements should be met (e.g., a required
play list of new releases)."
The ECOM election was held on February 4, 1976.
Marathon '76 was held in mid March. Two days of the event (March
28 and 29th) were broadcast live from the center court of Hartford Civic
Center! A total of $2,752 was received in pledges.
Station budget figures for 1975/76 showed the station $4,441 over
budget, with $23,016 spent with only $18,545 allocated.
The major portion of the station's revenue came from the university,
with $2,752 pledged during the Spring Marathon (only $1,416 had been collected
as of the fall)!
Plans were in the works for a Duke Ellington special to run for
four hours during Marathon week, and to have Woody Allen appear during
At the September 1976 general meeting, Mimi reported that Gary
Zenobi has been appointed acting News Director, and that Sally Noble was
the station librarian. There were open slots are for Program Coordinator,
Chief Controller, Director of Development, News Director, Chief Announcer
and Business Manager. She also reported that record theft continued to
be a problem at the station and that 24-hour notice is required if a staff
member cannot do his/her shift.
The station took out two ads in the Advocate in December promoting
The station's annual dinner took place at the Terrace Room at Bradley
International Airport on May 6. Don Noel, Jr. senior Eyewitness News staff
channel 3 was the guest of honor. Mel Yates GM.
The following volunteers were listed as members of the station engineering
department as of April, 1976: John Anderson, Wayne Beebe, Doug Berghardt,
Steve Berian, Bob Browning, Henry DeKastrozza, and Joe Ferreira. Tom Gomez,
Fred Hull, George Krochin, Chuck Pagano, Neil Portnoy, Joe Spinelli, Joel
Salkowitz, Randy Witlicke Chuck Pagano, Joe Rudisch, Frank Nowicki and
A report on engineering department activities dated April 1, 1976
included the following notes:
New high quality direct drive turntables are being installed, Tom
Gomez and Bob Gross are working on Production Studio wiring layout, tour
of WTIC studios arranged, along with those of WDRC and. The film "On Solder"
that described NASA soldering specs was viewed.
The guy wires on the Gengras tower were replaced, and the tower
In the fall, the ECOM became aware that the owner of WHCN was becoming
concerned about what he thought was commercialism on WWUH. WWUH was accused
of blurring the distinction between a promotional announcement and a commercial,
especially when it came to concert announcements and ticket giveaways.
Veteran Hartford broadcaster Michael Picozzi wrote an article
that basically supported the concerns that WHCN management had about commercialism
In 2004, Picozzi related the story:
The Rise and Fall and Rise of Picozzi "I owe it all to WWUH"
The band I was in during college broke up. I could study with
that free time but…well there was a radio station starting up. I got a
shift then became the Music Director then the Program Director. New college.
Shift then Sales Manager then General Manager (a paid position…$25 a week,
thank you.) Straight out of college radio (3 stations, 2 colleges, every
kind of music imaginable) into overnights at WSAR Fall River. Nights and
Production Director. Mornings and Program Director. Now I'm the king of
radio. They change formats to all news. I'm gone.
Back to the parents' basement in Bloomfield and now everyone's
got career advice. "Get a real job". "You should be on WHCN". Wow, I listened
to that in high school, they're WAY too cool for a geek like me. I sent
a tape anyway; the Program Director never returned my calls. "Review bands
for the Hartford Advocate". Now, that made sense. I played in bands. I
drink. Go to clubs, imbibe, listen to live music, try and remember enough
to write about. I must be the only guy with that idea, right? I send the
resume; I make the call. They don't care about my party plans. But, they
do want to use my radio experience.
It seems they have noticed WWUH, a free-form college station sounds
more and more like WHCN, ("ugh" said with an upturned nose) a commercial
station. They noticed similar music, " Why, I think they even did an album
giveaway!" I was told in disgust. They wanted to know why and I was the
radio guy to find out. Off I ran with my little pen and paper.
The college radio "powers that be" couldn't wait to tell me their
story of success. "We tricked the record company"; they said. "Yeah, we're
just college kids we don't know any better" (Insert Dr. Evil's evil laugh
here.) "What a couple of boobs" I said to myself. They have the opportunity
to play anything they want; say anything they want and they're playing
the same songs commercial radio is. And doing dumb giveaways. To myself
I said all this because while they were bragging, I was writing. "WHCN
is scared of us," they blurted out. Oh my God, are they high! Then I was
off. "Thanks boobs". I'm off to call the Program Director of WHCN to get
his side of the story. Sure, like he'll talk to me. Well, there might
have been no returned calls to out of work Picozzi, but Picozzi of the
Advocate…he couldn't wait to talk to me. "Come on in, let's chat". Hey,
my new best friend.
Basically, he agreed with me. College radio is freedom, no sponsors
to answer to, no ratings to mass appeal program for. What a shame to toss
that away. College radio is the time for experimenting. Finding new music,
finding your voice, finding tomorrows commercial styles and stars. As
I was leaving, I said; "by the way…while I'm here…you have my tape." He
fumphed around, cleared his throat, and said he'd try and find it.
The phone was ringing when I got home. "Come back, let's talk."
"Ah great, he's going to bribe me for a favorable write-up in the article".
He told me my tape was good and he offered me a Saturday mid-day shift.
I told him I was offered a Saturday night shift elsewhere, he said; "I
think you'd be wasted on Saturday night". Exactly! I re-started radio
at WHCN, the Advocate printed my story and paid me $15.
As for the college radio guys…thanks boobs!
Station budget figures for 1975/76: $18,545 allocated with $23,016 spent,
a $4,441 overrun.
The major portion of the station's revenue came from the university,
with an additional $2,752 pledged during the Spring Marathon (only $1,416
had been collected as of the fall)!
At the September 1976 general meeting, Mimi reported that Gary
Zenobi has been appointed acting News Director, and that Sally Noble was
the station librarian. Open slots are for Program Coordinator, Chief Controller,
Director of Development, News Director, Chief Announcer and Business Manager.
She also reported that record theft continued to be a problem at the station.
24-hour notice is required if a staff member cannot do his/her show.
Thom Gomez was appointed Programming Coordinator by the ECOM on
October 17. Frank Sturgis, who served in Fidel Castro's revolutionary
army and later trained Cuban exiles for the Bay of Pigs Invasion, spoke
about the JFK Assassination in the South Cafeteria in an event that was
broadcast live on WWUH on the evening of November 22, 1976. (Editors note:
Frank Sturgis, also known as Frank Fioni, had been one of the Watergate
burglars. Some speculate that he and E. Howard Hunt were involved in the
assassination of John F. Kennedy).
Ten Eighty Corporation, owners of WTIC in Hartford, donated money
to WWUH in November to send representatives from the station to the Chicago
NAEB convention. Chase Corporation and WTIC also donated two ITC cart
playback units and a cart recorder.
WWUH applied for a grant from the Connecticut Humanities Council,
which would enable a specific public affairs show to originate from WWUH.
1976 STAFF LIST: Steve Keiley
Major headlines in 1976:: Israeli airborne commandos attack Uganda's
Entebbe Airport and free 103 hostages held by pro-Palestinian hijackers
of Air France plane; one Israeli and several Ugandan soldiers killed in
raid (July 4); US Supreme Court rules that blacks and other minorities
are entitled to retroactive job seniority (March 24); Nation celebrates
Bicentennial (July 4); Mysterious disease strikes American Legion convention
in Philadelphia, eventually claiming 29 lives (Aug. 4); Jimmy Carter elected
US President (Nov. 2).
Mimi Spillane, General Manager, Operations Director
Joel Salkowitz , Program Director
Jim McGivern, Chief Engineer
Michelle Demas, Development Director
Mark Smith, Business Manager. Music Director
Personnel changes: Joel Salkowitz resigned from Program Director
Staff: Michelle Demas, Eric Gordon, Jim McGivern, Mimi Spillane,
Joel Salkowitz, Mark Smith, Robert E. Smith
When Hartford's WTIC-FM, which had broadcast classical music for
years, changed their format abruptly to top-40 popular music in late1976,
many former listeners vowed to do something about it. These listeners
banded together to form the Classical Listeners Guild of CT. That organization's
only goal was to force the change of WTIC-FM's new Top-40 format back
to classical music, at almost any cost. The Guild mounted a letter writing
campaign and petition drive but this ultimately made no difference. The
Guild than decided to go to the F.C.C. for help, and this resulted in
the WTIC-FM license renewal being held up for more than a year. (The F.C.C.,
in their defense, refused to hear the case based simply on the change
in format, but did decide to investigate when members of the Guild pointed
out that in their FCC filings, the new owners had said that "they did
no anticipate" any major changes in programming!) Because WTIC had been
involved in assisting WWUH since day one, the ECOM thought they could
make the fiasco a "win-win" situation.
From the February, 1977 ECOM minutes: "The station approached
WTIC in January in the hopes of acquiring some of the WTIC classical library.
However, in a meeting with Leonard J. Patricelli (President of WTIC),
Mimi found that the management of that station would like to see an expansion
of classics here if they were to donate some of their library. However,
after discussion, there was a consensus among ECOM members that expansion
was not feasible because of the lack of qualified announcers to do shows,
and the solid line up of jazz programming prohibited a time change for
classics, or expansion of existing programs."
Several months later, the situation had changed.
WTIC-FM donated their record library, consisting of over 10,000
classical records to WWUH. They also provided a daily, one-hour taped
classical program hosted by Robert E. Smith, one of WTIC-FM's most popular
veteran classical announcers that we aired from 5-6pm and they offered
to assist in making our signal "equivalent to their FM signal" by offering
us an old 5,000 watt FM transmitter as well as engineering help to file
an application with the Commission. WTIC no doubt felt that this would
be good public relations and would go a long way towards appeasing the
Classical Guild. From the start, the management of both WTIC and WWUH
knew that there was no hope of giving us a signal similar to WTIC-FM due
to the fact that our signal is surrounded on all sides by other stations
that had to be protected from interference. However, station management
knew that WTIC might be of assistance in helping us increase our signal
in other ways. With the acquisition of the WTIC Classical
library, and the new listeners gained both through the publicity the donation
generated and by the airing of Robert E. Smith's program every afternoon,
the ECOM was very concerned about our classical programming and about
presenting the best quality program possible. Volunteers were coached
in proper pronunciation, jargon and manners.
"Marathon 77", which ran on the air for a week, resulted
in 450 people pledging a total of $3,600. Performances by the Hartt Choral
and Max Creek were planned for Marathon.
There was a concern on the minds of some staffers, as early as
the latter part of the previous year, as to whether our "progressive"
rock shows were still progressive. According to the minutes of several
meetings, there were also thoughts of cutting the afternoon rock show
back to end at 4 pm instead of 5 pm.
1977 saw another programming change: The name of the Recess Rock
slot, which had aired from noon to 2 pm for many years, was changed to
Midday Fuse to more accurately reflect to increasing amount of fusion
(jazz/rock) music being played (in addition, many on the staff thought
the Recess Rock name was silly sounding).
"Early Midday Fuse" hosts included Mark Smith, John Ramsey,
Fred Hull, Marsha Lasker and Rick Kelman.
This change was the beginning of a trend in the focus of the station's
afternoon programming, a change that seemed to reflect the station's slow
move towards ever increasingly alternative music programming, and a change
that would ultimately (in 1978) result in the combining of Midday Fuse
and Afternoon Roll into a single slot, from 1pm to 4pm, to be called Synthesis.
Several live performances were aired from Bushnell Park during
The station broadcast the New England Fiddle Contest which resulted
in an excellent article about WWUH's involvement with the Contest in the
Hartford Courant's Sunday section which included a photo of the engineering
staff "in action" at the park.
The series of summer broadcasts culminated in a broadcast of The
Paul Winter Consort in September. The show took place on a wonderful late
summer evening. Many of the volunteers present that evening clearly remember
the strange and wondrous feeling they felt when Paul Winter somehow was
able to get nearly everyone in the audience to howl like wolves into the
chilly fall air the end of one composition. Another highlight of the performance
was the utilization of recorded whale-song in one of the songs.
The public affairs program "None of the Above," produced by volunteer
Eric Gordon, and was terminated by the ECOM on March 4, 1977 "because
of language utilized in a recently aired radio play". According to station
records, the show and producer had been suspended for a month previously
due to the airing of "offensive" language, material that was most likely
in violation of F.C.C. rules. The termination came as a direct result
of the producers negative comments about WWUH in the Advocate and after
his refusal to abide by FCC and station policies as determined by the
ECOM. Also, the "internal strife at WWUH as a result did not merit the
continuation of the show." (From March '77 minutes).
Community Ascertainment was undertaken with the help of the school's
Communications Department. The FCC required quarterly ascertainment, which
involved teams of students making hundreds of phone calls to area residents
in an effort to "ascertain" community needs.
According to the March 4, 1977 minutes, a radio listening survey
conducted by a UH class showed that WWUH captured 6% of the listening
audience with 72,000 out of a possible 1.5 million listeners.
UH President Dr. Woodruff was the guest of honor at the WWUH Banquet
on April 24, 1977.
The United Press International wire service was dropped, with Associated
Press picked up in April 78.
The station's technical plant at this time needed quite a bit of
work. While the RCA transmitter that had been in use for close to ten
years at WWUH was reliable, the studio experienced frequent failures.
The production studio was a disaster; build around a board that actually
overheated and smoked occasionally!
The ECOM made the decision to upgrade the studio and Chief Engineer
Jim McGivern installed a new Autogram 10 channel console in the production
studio in the fall. This greatly enhances the station's production capabilities,
and soon new PSAs and promos were heard on the air.
Major headlines in 1977: Scientists identify previously unknown
bacterium as cause of mysterious "Legionnaire's disease" (Jan. 18); Carter
pardons Vietnam war draft evaders (Jan. 21); Supreme Court rules that
states are not required to spend Medicaid funds on elective abortions
Walter Miskin (and later Steve Nichols) as General Manager
Marsha Lasker-Operations Director
Walter Miskin, Program Director
Mark Smith-Business Manager
Patty Kurlycheck-Development Director
Jim McGivern, John Ramsey, Chief Engineer
Marty Peshka -Production Director
Bill Kaplan-Production Director
Fred Hull-Music Director
Dan King (Kriwitski)-News Director
Staff: Deji Ayinde, Pat Beckford, Joel Blumert, Thom Bolan, Burrito,
Carolyn Carlson, Chuck Carter, Mike Crispino, Phil Deangelis, Michelle
Demas, Dave Demaw, George Michael Evica, Francis Dillion, Mike Farrell,
Mort Fega, Dennis Gagne, Diane Goldsmith, Sylvia Guglietti, Shelly Hassman,
Joel Hofman, Bob Holdswirth, Ruth howell, Fred Hull, Irving Jones, Wayne
Jones, Bill Kaplan, Rick Kelman, Mike Kirvan, Dan King, John Klupsak,
George Krochin, Darlene Kruse, Patty Kurlychek, Tom Laroche, Marsha Lasker,
Stu Lovejoy, Pete Margeson, Melonae McClean, Paul McGuiness, Charley Midura,
Sally Noble, Chuck Pagano, Greg Paternostro, Abe Perlstein, Marty Peshka,
Neil Portnoy, John Ramsey, Alison Rasmussen, Richard Ray, Maurice Robertson,
Lloyd Robinson, Annette Salvucci, Billy Samboy, Bob Scherago, Robert E.
Smith, T.J. Smith, Roger Stauss, Chris Stevens, Ed Stivender, Joe Terzo,
Rick Virello, Terry Weichand, Jeff Winn, Andy Zeldin. Faculty Advisor:
Walter Miskin resigned from the position of Program Director on
December 1, 1978. Steve Nichols assumed the position. Marty Peshka was
appointed Production Director. Dan King (Kriwitski) was appointed News
Director in October 10, 1978.
In early January '78, WWUH made arrangements to air Pat Metheny
live from Mad Murphy’s Cafe on Union Place in Hartford. Four station
volunteers (Mark Smith, Alyson Rasmussen, Sylvia, and John Ramsey) set
out on the 3 mile journey from the campus to the club in the snow at noon
on the day of the broadcast, wanting to get to the club early enough to
set up the radio broadcast equipment. They didn’t travel more than about
a half-mile before they were held up in traffic that was stuck in the
storm, as the snow got deeper and deeper. It took eight hours for the
remote crew to make it to the club and by that time, not only had the
artist cancelled (Metheny was stranded in Boston), but the governor had
closed the state. All of the downtown hotels were booked solid, so the
intrepid remote crew was invited to spend the night at the nightclub.
The owner said “we don’t have much food in the house but the booze is
free for the night!”
A programming highlight occurred in January of 1978 when WWUH produced
and aired a live broadcast from Mad Murphy's Cafe in Hartford featuring
jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. This was the second attempt at the Metheny
broadcast, the first attempt failing because of the aforementioned blizzard.
On the date of the first scheduled Mad Murphy's Metheny broadcast, the
remote crew, consisting of Alyson Rasmussen, Sylvia, Mark Smith, Jim McGivern
and John Ramsey, became snowed in while setting up at the club the governor
closed the city. The night they spent at Mad Murphy's café was one to
The Metropolitan Opera contacted WWUH in the spring to see if the
station would carry the Met for their 1978/79 season. The ECOM agreed
to carry the Met. Even though the opera was already being aired on Connecticut
Public Radio, the folks at Texaco (the sponsors of the Met) had determined
(correctly) that CPR's signal was not adequate in the Hartford area and
that our signal would help server the greater Hartford area. The ECOM
considered the program a real "feather in our cap" and thought that it
would enhance the station's image and provide alternative programming
to the community. Stereo program lines were installed in October, and
the Met debuted on WWUH for the first time on Saturday, November 7.
Adding the Met to the station's line-up required a major compromise
in programming since the Opera preempted the very popular four-hour Focus
on Jazz slot. Even though the Met was broadcast on several other southern
New England stations (WFCR in Amherst as well as CPR) our broadcast was
the only stereo broadcast of the opera, a fact that many listeners appreciated,
as demonstrated by the phone calls and letters received. The picked up
the cost for the two 15 KHz lines which brought their stereo signal to
the station from a Hartford downlink.
In the spring, the University requested that the station mention
the University of Hartford more often on the air. The ECOM quickly adopted
a policy requiring the top of the hour ID to mention UH. This was especially
significant as it was the first time the university had asked the station
to do something specific on the air.
During the summer of 1978, a series of jazz concerts sponsored
by the Community Renewal Team, were broadcast live from Bushnell Park.
These concerts included performances by artists Bill Evans, Pat Metheny,
Toots Thielsman and others. In addition, a number of the Thursday Peace
Train night concerts from the Park were aired as well, featuring artists
such as Maria Muldaur, Pat Metheny, B.B. King and Tito Puente.
Over 30,000 people attended the New England Fiddle Contest, which
also took place in Bushnell Park. The fact that WWUH was airing the concert
live was mentioned hourly from the stage, assuring that many of the people
who had to leave before the end of the event could still listen in. Throughout
the day, staff members walked around the park interviewing audience members.
These recorded comments were incorporated into the broadcast. In fact,
the entire ten-hour broadcast was originated completely from the park,
without relying on sending the broadcast back to the studio at all! This
was made possible by careful advance planning, and by the use of two cart
machines at the park. Listener response to the broadcast was very favorable,
with many folks calling to say that while they weren't able to go to the
event, they were able to feel as if they were there since they could listen
to it on the air.
The station started once again to have two newscasts a day, one
at noon and one at 4 pm. These segments, called "In The Hartford Interest",
originated from the small studio next to the air studio, which had been
turned into a news booth, complete with a microphone, mixer and cart machine.
In the early years, the studio had been used for WWUH-AM.
The quality of the newscasts varied greatly early on and they got
better as the semester progressed, but everyone involved got an "A for
effort". Early on, most of the copy came from the AP teletype at the station,
but an effort was made to incorporate more local stories and to cover
stories that the local commercial media didn't, so many newscasters started
researching and writing their own stories. Some music announcers delighted
in trying to distract the newsperson during a live newscast by making
faces, gestures and other various antics. It is a credit to the dedication
of the new staff that these antics didn't disrupt the newscasts, at least
not to the extent that the audience would know it. However, it wasn't
unusual for the practical joker to be chased down the hallway the moment
the newscast ended.
In the fall, a live broadcast was produced from the Hartford Stage
Company, featuring the band Spiral, in concert. This band was unique in
that their instrumentation consisted of "sound sculptures", objects of
art designed to be both visually pleasing sculptures and aurally pleasing
musical instruments. Created by the Bachet Brothers from France. One of
the instruments looked like a birdbath on a pedestal! This piece had long
glass-like tendrils rising vertically out of the water and the instrument
was played by the musician dunking their hands in the water and the stroking
the tendrils which produced a sound not unlike running a wet finger around
the edge of a fine wine glass. The pieces were on loan to several area
musicians. Needless to say, our engineer had to learn to "mike" these
instruments for broadcast, which was a real challenge.
The fall brought staff discussion of a possible name change for
the All Night Show: "Afterburn," "Nightwatch" and "Nocturnal Emissions"
were considered and then rejected by the staff, not necessarily because
the names were not good, it was just because no consensus could be had.
The idea of merging the station's weekday afternoon shows, "Midday
Fuse" and "Afternoon Roll," into one show was again discussed. The staff
did not support this change, in part because five volunteers would lose
their slots. Another concern was that the resulting four-hour shift would
be too long for an announcer to handle.
Due to a lack of qualified staff members interested in filling
the slot, the Friday "Sounds of the City" soul show was eliminated and
replaced with "Accent on Jazz" in December 1978. This resulted in a significant
amount of mail from our soul listeners and a petition from some staff
members, but the fact was that no one on the staff was interested in filling
In mid-January Connecticut was hit by the "blizzard of the century"
which shut down the state for several days. WWUH stayed on the air throughout,
staffed by three volunteers, Allison Rasmussen, Mark Smith and John Ramsey,
who were literally snowed into the Gengras Student Union for three days.
The snowdrifts were up to the second story windows. For the first twelve
hours or so, the volunteers thoroughly enjoyed the experience of having
the radio station all to themselves. However, sometime in the second day
of the event, two things happened: First, they realized that they were
unable to leave the building because none of the outside doors could be
opened because of the snow drifted up three to four feet high in front
of them! Luckily, none of them had claustrophobia. Second, they ran out
of money. They had been eating out of the vending machines on the first
floor of Gengras, which at that time consisted of a number of machines
that dispensed all sorts of goodies. There was a machine that dispensed
candy, another soft drinks, another for ice cream, a fourth coffee and
another for things like hot dogs, tuna sandwiches and even microwave popcorn
(which had recently made its debut in the consumer marketplace). The food
that the volunteers consumed from these machines while they were trapped
in the building while certainly not nutritionally redeeming but it kept
the hunger pangs away and probably provided the caffeine and energy necessary
to operate the station hour after hour. Public Safety came to the station's
aid by ferrying in food to our volunteers, who produced over 72 hours
of programming between the three of them.
It would have been great if someone had recorded the programming
produced by these volunteers, but the important thing was that the station
remained on the air for the duration of the blizzard.
Marathon 78 was held February, and featured parties in the Pub
with rock band Max Creek, the Latin Jazz band Talking Drum and a fusion
band by the name of Upside Down. All of the concerts were broadcast live.
The 1978 t-shirt was red with white lettering (the logo) on front.
In an effort to make marathon pledge processing more efficient,
a five-part carbonless form developed for marathon pledges. The top portion
was the part that the operators wrote the caller's information on. Part
two was the first reminder, which could simply be pulled out and put into
a window envelope. Part three was the second reminder, with wording reflecting
that fact. Part four was a Thank You and Acknowledgement of the donation.
As the members of the station's ECOM were confronted by apathy
(and sometimes hostility) from various University departments, they decided
that steps had to be taken to improve the station's image on campus. The
ECOM made a commitment to present a much more mature and professional
image to the university, and to promote the university as often as possible
on the air. The result of this effort was the development of decent working
relationships with the majority university departments.
A disgruntled student staff member sent a letter to the UH administration
alleging rampant marijuana use at the station. The allegation included
the ridiculous claim that the student was refused membership in WWUH because
he didn't smoke pot! Campus security followed up by interviewing ECOM
members individually and found that there was no cause for action. Just
in case, the ECOM reminded the staff of the "no smoking" policy at the
general meeting in November.
The ECOM reviewed the types of station suspensions. A suspension
could either be "off air" or "off promises". An off air suspension would
be given to someone who had violated FCC rules or station policies directly
relating to on air operations. An off promises suspension would be given
to someone who jeopardized the safety or security of station operations
or station staff.
The engineering department personnel worked hard pouring over terrain
maps and working with Faculty Advisor Ed Nelson in the hope of putting
together an FCC application to allow the station to increase power. By
using "roughness correction" factors they attempted to prove that our
signal didn't really go as far as the formulas say it did due to terrain
blockage. Thousands of points were plotted and curves analyzed. Before
they were ready to file, the F.C.C. abandoned the practice of accepting
roughness correction factors for FM stations, leaving the station with
little hope of a power increase.
When Jim McGivern passed his first class license test in early
summer of 1978, he became chief engineer and immediately went to work
trying to upgrade the station's facilities. Jim accomplished a number
of significant projects and presided over a number of live broadcasts.
Unfortunately, his diligent efforts as chief engineer were cut short by
a full time job offer from WTIC, which he accepted. Jim continued his
efforts as chief engineer at WWUH for several months while working full
time at WTIC, and stepped down when John Ramsey got his license in October
The engineering department was faced with a number of serious challenges,
including: the conspicuous lack of engineering records or documentation
of any kind; various university departments which were apathetic or worse,
openly hostile to WWUH, because of their previous experience with the
station; a technical plant that could barely pass the F.C.C.'s minimum
technical standards and absolutely no redundancy in system design (no
back up systems).
A program of documenting as much of the engineering department's
work as possible was immediately started. The old maintenance log form
was scrapped in favor of a new log form, which provided much more space
for detailed descriptions of the required weekly transmitter inspection.
A system was also developed to document all of the new wiring.
Major headlines in 1978: The US Senate approves Panama Canal neutrality
treaty (March 16); "Framework for Peace" in Middle East signed by Egypt's
President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Premier Menachem Begin after 13-day
conference at Camp David led by President Jimmy Carter (Sept. 17); Jim
Jones's followers commit mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana (Nov. 18);US
Supreme Court in Bakke case, bars quota systems in college admissions
but affirms constitutionality of programs giving advantage to minorities
(Back to Top of Page)
Patty Kurlychek-General Manager
Marty Peshka-Operations Director
Rick Virello and Rich Aubin-Program Director
Tina Podlowski-Development Director
Doug Maine-Business Manager
John Ramsey-Chief Engineer
Bruce Smith-Community Affairs Director
Paul Zulpa-Assistant Chief Engineer
Jim Fifield-Music Director
Rich Aubin-Program Director
Joanne Bilotta- Classics Director
Paul Robertson, Jim Fifield - Music Directors
Andy Winters and Lisa Polski, co-News Directors
Jeff Wynn and Chris Watson - Program Schedulers
Staff: Charlie Allen, Laurel Aronstemm, Rich Aubin, Deji Ayinda,
Joyce Bass, Jeff Becker, Pat Beckford, Bob Bowser, James Brown, Sharon
Burchfiel, Dave Burkhart, Burrito, Carolyn Carlson, Tina Colada, Martha
Cohen, Mike Crispino, Phil DeAngelis, Ron DeFord, Dave Demaw, Vijay Dixit,
Bill Dougal, Jim Douglas, Bob Edgar, Ron Elliot, GM Evica, Mike Farrell,
More Fega, Carol Fournier, Howard Frydman, Tom Goehring, Diane Goldsmith,
Tony Grant, Lee Green, Hector Hannibal, Shelly Hassman, Joan Hoffman,
Sue Heske, Ruth Howell, Fred Hull, Margaret Johnson, Wayne Jones, Bill
Kaplan, Rick Kelman, Brian Killiany, Dan Kriwitsky, Patty Kurlychek, Marsha
Lasker, Doug Maine, Gary Margolin, Leo Matos, Jim McGivern, Peter Michaelson,
Walter Miskin, Peter Moon, Scott Munsey, Steve Nichols, Nat Needle, Greg
Paternostro, Paul Payton, Jackie Peart, Abe Perlstein, Roger Perrin, Marty
Peshka, John Ramsey, Alison Rasmussen, Wally Remes, Mark Rinas, Mark Roberts,
Maurice Robertson, Paul Robinson, Sam Rogers, Gordon Roland, Joel Salkowitz,
Billy Samboy, Dottie Shami, Mark Smith, Mike Soltoski, Lee Sparapani,
Roger Stauss, Ed Steivender, Joe Terzo, Brian Twiss, Terry Weichand, Helen
Wassel, Jeff Winn, Roger Wright, Vic Vince, Rick Virello, Dave Von Kleist,
and Andy Zeldin.
As usual, there were a number of personnel changes throughout
the year. Jim Fifield was appointed Music Director, and he put in an enormous
amount of effort through August when he had to step down. Paul Robertson
took over the MD job from Jim. Chris Watson took over scheduling from
Jeff Wynn in September and became Program Director in January. Bruce Smith
resigned from the Community Affairs Director position in August citing
lack of time. Ward student Tina Podlowski was appointed acting Development
Director and Joanne Bilotta was appointed Classics Director in August.
During the spring, a group of volunteers lead by Ed Stivender started
producing a weekly program called "Myth America". This program featured
original dramatic, satirical and comedy works, and featured some excellent
production techniques. One of their most memorable productions was a song
entitled "Nothing Ever Happens in Hartford" which they put out on cart
immediately after the collapse of the Hartford Civic Center roof. This
satirical song quickly became a favorite among our listeners, and for
a while was the most requested song on the station.
The Saturday programming line-up as of April, 1979 included Focus
on Jazz from 11 am to 4 pm, Myth America from 4 pm to 4:30 pm, African
Worlds from 4:30 pm to 5 pm, Portuguese programming from 5 pm to 6 pm,
West Indian Rhythms from 6 pm to 8 pm and Sounds of the City from 8 pm
to12 midnight. Geetanjali, a program of Indian music, was scheduled for
the Friday 8-9 pm slot.
The annual WWUH Banquet was held at the Ramada Inn in East Hartford.
Arnold Klinsky, New Director of Channel 30, was the guest speaker.
Live broadcasts of the CRT jazz concerts again took place during
the summer. WWUH had been doing live broadcasts from Bushnell Park for
several years prior to 1979, but the quality of these broadcasts left
much to be desired. This was due to the poor quality of the remote equipment,
the previous staff's unfamiliarity with the technique of live sound broadcasting,
and the tendency to treat these remotes as parties by station staff. All
felt that these live broadcasts should be something to be proud of from
both a programming and technical standpoint.
Operations Director Marty Peshka and Chief Engineer John Ramsey,
along with Jeff Winn, Doug Maine and other volunteers, produced 14 live
concerts from Bushnell Park during the summer of 1979. Included in the
line up were such diverse artists as Stephane Grappelli, Maria Muldaur,
John Hartford and Doc & Merle Watson. The last two concerts included
a live simulcast with Connecticut Public Television!
The station also broadcast the 6th Annual New England Fiddle Contest
from Bushnell Park on May 26th.
At the start of one of the live broadcasts from Bushnell Park there
was an interesting "incident" that is humorous in hindsight. John Ramsey
"During summer, the air studio was undergoing renovation so all
programming was being aired out of the Production studio. There was a
live, call-in show on the air right before the start of the remote broadcasts
from the park, and everything was fine at first. The board operator at
the studio got the park feed on the air just fine, and on-site announcer
Doug Maine was just starting to welcome the listeners to what he was sure
to be an outstanding evening of live jazz. I was the engineer at the site,
and I was listening to the first minute of the broadcast on the air when
I heard in my headphones "Hi, WWUH" followed by a listener asking a question
about when the station's music director would be in! It didn't take more
than a second for both Doug and I to realize what was going on, The board
operator had forgotten to turn off the phone feed in the studio after
the last show, and he was taking routine phone calls and putting them
on the air by accident!
Poor Doug, there he was trying to do an ad-libbed live introduction,
and all of a sudden he was hearing a telephone call loudly in his earphones.
I was worried that he would stop talking, which would be a natural reaction,
but which would have made the problem even worse since the listeners would
be hearing just the phone call, and silence when the caller hung up. Doug
did not stop talking which would have been a normal reaction. He didn't
even stumble as he described the show that was about to begin. Doug did
something that only a seasoned veteran announcer would ever think of doing.
He simply took off his headphones (so that the phone call wouldn't distract
him) and kept on with his announcement!
I grabbed the phone and started calling the station Hot Line number.
As the phone was ringing, I was thinking of the best way to get the board
op to realize what had gone wrong. I had to identify myself, and then
tell him specifically what the problem was and how to correct it. Trouble
was, with such a common first name, I realized that I would have to give
my last name as well so that he would not think that I was a prank (the
board op didn't know there was a problem since he had turned down the
speakers in the studio at the start of the broadcast to answer the phone).
As I was thinking all of these things, with the telephone to one
ear and one side of my headphones to the other, I heard the board op say
"Oh, I've got another call, I've got to go" in the phone ear followed
almost immediately by "Hi, WWUH" IN BOTH EARS (both on the phone and on
the air!). I used the board ops name and said "Dave, this is John Ramsey,
the phone is on the air, turn off pot ten". Both the listeners and I heard
this, and they heard his confused reply, "What did you say?" I paraphrased
myself and said "Dave, this is John Ramsey, this conversation is on the
air, turn off pot number ten" to which he responded "Oh Shit!" before
he turned off the phone feed. The thousands of WWUH listeners who were
tuned in for the evening's jazz performance heard this entire exchange.
It was not uncommon for listeners to record these live broadcasts back
then, if anyone has a tape of the start of this broadcast, I would love
to hear it."
In addition to the CRT Monday night jazz concerts, the station
broadcast the Peace Train concerts on alternate Thursday nights.
In the fall, arrangements were made with the Talcott Mountain Science
Center to provide weather reports to the station! It was arranged for
their meteorological department to call the station twice a day (at noon
and at 4 pm) to feed weather reports over the phone for use over the air
These segments would provide basic weather forecasts developed by the
students at the school, and they would also have an emphasis on astronomical
events. These feeds were recorded for playback during the afternoon and
In June, WWUH acted as the point of origination for an interview
for the Australian Broadcasting Company on the topic of Franco-Russian
writer and revolutionary Victor Serge. Dr. Richard Greenman, assistant
professor of French at the University and an authority on Serge, was in
our studio for the program, while the interviewer and host of the program
were in his studio, in Sydney, Australia! The two stations were interconnected
via phone lines and satellite circuits.
In December, the station started a series of live evening jazz
broadcasts from the 880 Club in Hartford called "Jazz Alive!" Volunteer
Mort Fega was the host, and the series featured such performers as trumpeter
Ted Curson. Gene Bertoncini and Bobbi Rodgers, and audience reaction was
very favorable to the Monday night broadcasts.
An interview with rock drummer Bill Bruford was recorded via the
phone and aired on both the Synthesis and Jazz programs.
Because of concerns about staff moral, a questionnaire was handed
out by the ECOM at the November general meeting, with the request that
it be filled out candidly (and anonymously) by staff volunteers. A review
of membership on 11/28/79 listed 10 members eligible to vote in station
elections (to be eligible to vote, volunteers had to be full time UH students
who had attended the last two general meetings.
Students Andy Winters and Lisa Polski were appointed co-News Directors
in November. They worked well together and shared the responsibilities
of the position.
Bill Domler approached the ECOM in November about doing a weekly
folk show. The ECOM was very enthusiastic.
During the spring, the station was given the opportunity to move
its offices from down the hall to the area directly across from the studios.
While this move didn't increase the usable space that was available, it
did provide two more rooms. The room directly across from the studio was
designated the office, and the small room attached to this the inner office
for the General Manager and Business Manager. Just down the hall was a
newsroom (later to become the jazz library) and another large room, which
became the large classical library.
The station moved into the new offices on July 1st, 1979.
A Champagne reception for WWUH Classical listeners was held at
the A.S.K. house on Prospect Avenue on February 16th.
Marathon goal was set at $20,000. Premiums included yellow with
blue sign wave logo T-shirts for a $5 pledge, and Guide Subscriptions
for a $10 pledge. As part of Marathon, Myth America appeared live on Monday
Accent on Jazz, the Hartt Jazz Band appeared on Tuesday, Dave Ramsey and
his big band played for the wine and cheese party in room G, the Hartford
Arts Ensemble was aired live on Thursday and live bluegrass was carried
on Saturday. The event ended with a party on Sunday featuring the band
Talking Drum in the Cafeteria.
Marathon returns total $22,500!
Throughout the late seventies and early eighties, the Marathon
phone room was located in Gengras Room D, which provided a great view
of the Hartford skyline.
At the April 1979 general meeting, the candidates for the various
ECOM positions presented their platforms:
Marty Peshka, running for Operations Director, spoke of his knowledge
of non-commercial radio. He said that he wants to smooth out the problems
and get everyone working together.
Doug Maine, a sophomore in the Communications Department, who running
for the Business Manager position, admitted that it was a tedious job,
but felt that he could handle what needed to be done.
John Ramsey, running for re-election as Chief Engineer, stressed
preventative maintenance of the equipment, and said that he would run
on his past performance.
Rich Aubin was nominated for the Program Director position and
felt that he would be "good for another 12 months".
Marsha Lasker, one of the two candidates for General Manager, said
that she wanted to keep the station ideal the same: WWUH should be a place
to learn radio. She would work for a more creative learning environment.
She was against a paid management for the station (something that had
been discussed in passing during the past year).
Patty Kurlycheck, the other candidate running for the General Manager
position, spoke of four pressing issues she would address if elected:
The proposed rewrite of the Communications Act in Washington, the long
sought after power increase for WWUH, eliminating the crisis management
mentality of the ECOM, and improving the communications among ECOM members
and with the staff.
Randy Borowsky withdrew his name when it is determined that he
cannot run because he is not a student at UH.
Student Bruce Smith, who was running for the newly created ECOM
position of Community Affairs Director, spoke of the station's tradition
of serving the local community, a tradition that he hoped to continue.
The election of the following ECOM members took place on April 5,
Patty Kurlychek-General Manager
Marty Peshka-Operations Director
Rich Aubin-Program Director
Doug Maine-Business Manager
John Ramsey-Chief Engineer
Bruce Smith-Community Affairs Director
(Bruce became the first person to hold that newly created position).
In an open letter to the ECOM dated April 12, 1979, Steve Berian
summarized the station's previous year and looked to the future:
". . . In the previous year, we were saddled with a GM who chose
to function as a committee chairman. That had both positive and negative
effects: it caused or at least opened the door for achievement by and
acknowledgement of sub-ordinate ECOM members. Operations of the station
fell squarely on the shoulders of the Operations Director. She handled
it the best she knew how, albeit sometimes with haste, sometimes without
consulting all the other ECOM members, sometimes missing appointments
and meetings. DON'T forget--she was learning!
"Mark (Smith) did the organization a tremendous favor by being
Business Manager. He added a crystal clear facet of logic to its operation.
He is to be credited with keeping us solvent . . .
"Patty came up through the ranks and radiated her capabilities
from the start. She mastered the Development Department in the shortest
time I've seen it done. She too asked questions: acquired knowledge. She
demonstrated a marked ability to learn - FAST. She was integrally involved
in Marathon - to the station's clear benefit.
"John and Marty stepped into an engineering department with Jim
McGivern that was a shambles. This trio, later to become a duo with the
loss of Jim to WTIC, was responsible for implementing the cleanest signal
with the cleanest paths that we've known in several years. John and Marty
compliment each other . . . They work as a team - a point to remember
and apply at several levels of thought concerning UH as an entity.
"We knew Rick Virello as Program Director for only a short time.
He came out of the shadows - an untried leader - one that had not, at
the time, demonstrated but a fraction of his capabilities. Leaving us,
Rick was replaced by Rich Aubin . . . a fast learner who can be counted
on for good, well thought out decisions.
"Throughout the year, two people have been ever hovering in the
not-too-deep background. Walk Miskin and I have tried to teach our comrades
how to cope with the intricacies of their respective positions, their
relations with one-another and those with the outside world. We have explored
the microcosm of station management with them as well as the macrocosm
of its effects.
"At some points we were told to go away: something that we had
expected, indeed wanted to have happen. However, we never went so far
that we couldn't be reached. . .
"We have lost considerable ground in some areas of University politics
in that we are being viewed as more of a "student" organization despite
our cosmopolitan membership. Though a delicate issue, we must face it
and regain our posture as an organization non-dependent on the office
of the dean of students. We have demonstrated capability to manage our
own entity, not without faults, but considerably better than some other
university departments over a ten year record of volunteer staff and management.
"We must come out of our holding pattern style media membership
and again assume the point position. We have come to be regarded as leaders
in area radio - not merely college radio or public radio. We are an acknowledged
threat to all radio in this market.
"We must continue in that frame - strive to be alternative to all
radio commercial and non-commercial; strive to enlarge our audience base;
strive to improve radio programming.
"I am confident, as are my colleagues, that we can do it."
There were technical problems with the remote broadcasts from
Business Park during the summer due to the limited quality and flexibility
of the remote equipment. Realizing the programming value of these broadcasts
(no other station in the state was doing live music on a regular basis);
management felt it was important for the station to acquire better equipment.
In keeping with goals, parts were purchased in the fall of 1979
to build an eighteen-channel microphone splitter that would allow interfacing
with the stage microphones so a broadcast "mix" could be done. Hours were
spent building the splitter, which cost close to $1,000 in parts! In the
following three years, renting the splitter to Connecticut Public Television
during those periods when we were not using it brought in more than twice
Motto, a fusion band, and Cocinando, a Latin-jazz band were chosen
to play at the summer picnic, which took place on the lawn in front of
the Gengras Student Union.
The Hartford Courant ran an article that praised the efforts of
the station and mentioned the excellence of the remotes from Bushnell
Park (and the convenience of being able to listen at home, as Owen McNalley,
the writer, was sick and had no other way to review the performance).
With the goal of improving the fidelity of the station's signal
while at the same time installing as much redundancy as possible, it was
decided that the air studio had to be completely rebuilt from the ground
up. Not only was the equipment and wiring in poor condition, but also
the carpet, the walls and ceiling were in terrible shape. Since the renovation
of the air studio meant operating the station out of the production studio
for several months, the renovation of the production studio became first
A new 10 channel Autogram board had been installed in the production
studio in mid 78, but because the station was pressed for both time and
money, the installation left much to be desired. The new board sat on
an ordinary table, and the studio lacked such basic features as direct
drive turntables and a patch bay. The ECOM decided that the renovations
should be done right this time, with adequate time and money allocated
to the project. The station's staff was easy to convince, and thanks to
a successful Marathon 79, money was made available.
The actual construction work on the production studio took place
during the Christmas '79 school vacation. The station was very lucky to
have Paul Zulpa, an EE student at UH, assist Chief Engineer John Ramsey
with the work. Paul's previous electronics experience, his ability to
see a job through to the end, and his incredible ability of producing,
on a moment's notice, just about any tool or part that was needed, helped
the project along. Paul convinced a friend to donate his time and woodworking
abilities to the project. The result was professionally built counters
to hold the equipment.
Since most of the major equipment was on hand already, the station
only had to purchase a few pieces of equipment (two direct drive turntables,
a distribution amplifier, a small microphone mixer, and JBL monitor speakers).
The studio was designed and built to be functional and rugged, with enough
flexibility to allow for future expansion. Ease of maintenance and repair
was of primary concern, as was simplicity of operation. All of the wiring
was fully documented.
Along with the equipment and wiring renovation, a suspended acoustic
tile ceiling was installed and fluorescent lights were replaced with incandescent
lights on a dimmer circuit. This was in keeping with the philosophy of
making the studio esthetically pleasing as well as functionally efficient.
The station was off the air for 48 hours toward the end of the
year because of major transmitter problems involving high voltage bypass
capacitors in the final stage. This long duration outage, along with several
other STL-related equipment failures around the same time, made staff
realize the importance of equipment redundancy. The engineering department
set out to specify, design and install back ups for all major sub-systems:
transmitter, exciter, STL, processing and studio. Since the station's
volunteer staff was making such a major commitment to the station, management
felt it was only fair to commit a portion of its financial resources to
ensuring redundancy, so volunteer efforts wouldn't be wasted should a
major piece of equipment fail.
As part of the station's arrangement with WTIC about Classical
Programming, WTIC had offered us a used 5,000-watt FM transmitter for
us to use for our power upgrade. The transmitter was very old, and it
was unlikely that we would ever need it, so we asked WTIC to sell it for
us. They did so and we received $2000 for it.
The U-H Radio Pub Night held in October netted $215 for the station.
Realizing the importance of students to the station's mission,
the ECOM would undertake a recruitment drive on campus each fall. Student
recruitment efforts in 1979 included a meeting for interested people that
was attended by close to 60 students, a campus WWUH "Pub Night" featuring
the band Sol Rubin, and participation by the station at the Student Leader's
night and the Student Organization night.
During the period when the production studio was being rebuilt,
most public affairs programs were aired live out of the air studio. For
those programs that had to be taped in advance, a reel recorder and mikes
were installed in the office to allow programming to continue almost interrupted.
Over the years WWUH had garnered a lot of support with area commercial
broadcasters. WTIC had been a supporter for years, but WDRC, right next
door in Bloomfield, also helped WWUH from time to time.
The following story is an example of WDRC's generosity:
In July, we were given only 12 hours notice that WWUH
would have to vacate the building for at least 24-hours so that it could
be fumigated (apparently the cafeteria was having a bit of a problem with
bugs). Rather than leave the air for more than a day, WDRC came to our
rescuer with a loan us their mobile studio for the weekend! WWUH broadcast
from that studio, which was parked in front of the student union, for
over 48 hours. Because the record library couldn't be moved, all the announcers
had to pull their music in advance. The fumigation also happened to coincide
with the annual WWUH birthday picnic causing numerous additional complications
but one big plus - we were able to broadcast from right in front of the
crowd that was attending the picnic! Because of time limitations, staff
could not get the transmitter remote control to work from the portable
studio, so an operator had to be posted at the transmitter site for 48
hours! Staffers Bruce Kampe and Tom Bolan volunteered for transmitter
duty, and spent many hours sleeping in the woods "babysitting" the transmitter!
Major headlines in 1979: Shah leaves Iran after year of turmoil
(Jan. 16); revolutionary forces under Muslim leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini, take over (Feb. 1 et seq.); Carter and Brezhnev sign SALT II
agreement (June 14); Iranian militants seize US embassy in Teheran and
hold hostages (Nov. 4); Soviet invasion of Afghanistan stirs world protests
(Dec. 27); Ohio agrees to pay $675,000 to families of dead and injured
in Kent State University shootings (Jan. 4) and Nuclear power plant accident
at Three Mile Island, Pa., releases radiation (March 28).
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