WWUH RADIO HISTORY
1974 Text
This section is under construction and should be considered in draft form.  Your input is invited.  If you want to add material, make suggestions, correct the record, etc, please email us at wwuh@hartford.edu.  And if you have photos to share of your time at WWUH please let us know that as well.  While we strive to present information that is as accurate as possible please consider the information below for entertainment purposes only.

Spring 1974

 

The ECOM consisted of: Judy Corcoan - General Manager, ,Michael Cummings -  Station Manager, Andy Brownstein/ Mel Peppers – Operations Director,  Marcia Simon - Program Director, Larry Titus - Chief Engineer,  Mel Yates - Business Manager, Adrienne Rivers - Director of Minority Affairs, Julianna Kovach - Director of Development.

Advisors:  Neil Portnoy, Ed Nelson, Phil Cabot, Ifekandu Umunna.

The staff consisted of:  Margi Adler, Ron Barisano, Art Barlow, John Barone, Tricia Beatty, Sharon Boudreau, Andy Brownstein, John Brennan, Judy Corcoran, Mike Cummings, Ron Davis, Dave Delisle, Sue Desrochers, Bob Dunkley, Wayne Feig,  Steve Foss, Vickie Germaine, John Klupsak, Alex Leslie, Eileen Harris, Don Helfer, Stu Jaeger, Marty Kayne, John Labella, Debbie Nelson, Mark Parksey, Neil Portnoy, Carl Purtting, Joe Terzo, Lloyd Robinson, Paul Rosenblum, Sandy Rosoff,  Jim Shanahan, Steve Shore, Marcia Simon, Terry Sobestanovich, Roger Stauss, Joel Schechter, Cliff Schley, Bob Smolen, Leslie Terry  Larry Titus, Leon Thompson, Ray White, Nel Wilson, Maceo Woods,

 

The station received awards from the following groups for various contributions: The American Kidney Fund, The Jaycees, Aware, The Advertising Council, the American Chiropractic Association, and the Inner Peace Movement.

“Moving Mother to the Mountain” was the name of the project which would relocate the station’s transmitter and antenna from the Gengras Student Union to the WTIC transmitter site on Avon Mountain. The station was off the air for part of the spring as the transmitter was installed on Avon Mountain.  WWUH engineers Larry Titus, Charlie Allen, and Stuart Yeager accomplished the actual move.  A brand new 3-bay Gates FMC-3 antenna with radomes was installed on the old radar tower in Avon.  Our transmitter moved from Gengras and was reinstalled in a small wooden building that had been used to house the center feed network for an old WTIC-AM antenna. The station signed back on the air on April 22 with the new transmitter site.  Mother’s move had cost $14,000.

After the transmitter was moved to the mountain, the wall separating the "transmitter room" from the FM studio was removed, making the air studio "L" shaped and nearly twice as large.  .

          John Ramsey recalls hearing only silence on 91.3 FM during the spring and waiting for the station to come back on air.

 “I didn’t know why they were off, it seemed pretty strange that they would be off so long, but as soon as the station came back on the air after the transmitter move, the increased coverage was simply amazing! I hadn’t volunteered in the station in well over a year, and decided that I had been away too long.  A few days later, I called the station and spoke with Roger Stauss, who invited me to come by that afternoon for a visit.  When I walked into the Air Studio, Roger and I spoke for a few minutes and then he said “hey, can you do the rest of the show, I’ve got to go. So I was back on WWUH again!”

          The increased range of the station's signal really began to be felt.  Listeners called into the station day and night, and favorable letters poured in.

 

SPECIAL EVENTS:

The station sponsored the WWUH Festival of Folk Music from the Gengras Cafeteria at 1 pm on May 4th.  Featured performers were The Morgans, Jan Armstrong, and Will Welling.  The station's engineering department coordinated the technical set up and broadcast the entire show live on the air.

Another series of live broadcasts took place the weekend of August 3rd when the station covered the West Indian Week celebration in Hartford. This was the beginning of what became a strong relationship between WWUH and Hartford's West Indian Community.

 

WWUH applied to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for a grant, but was turned down since there was no full time professional staff.  As a result, the goal for the upcoming fundraising marathon was set at $10,000. 

Larry Titus resigned from the position of Chief Engineer on July 8, with student Charlie Allen taking over the position via acting status.

WFCR in Amherst asked WWUH to produce Public Affairs Programs for them in return for cash.  This was high praise for WWUH since WFCR was known as one of the top public radio stations in the country.

The price of a Program Guide Subscription was raised to $10.  Station Music Director worked with WSAM to help them obtain record service since many companies were reluctant to service two radio stations on one campus.

          A course entitled "FM Broadcast Workshop" was added to the university curriculum, taught by Linda Goldfarb from WHCN.

 

Judy Corcoran, in an annual report entitled "Insight into WWUH" in May 1974, had this to say:

"During the last promotional campaign for WWUH, we tried to find an adjective to describe WWUH.  It is almost impossible to describe WWUH in one word.  We feel too big to be called college radio. We’re not quite public radio because the government does not fund us, although we air the kinds of programs many public radio stations do.  And we’re more than alternative rock, because we air some of the best soul, jazz, and classical music around. We finally decided on WWUH: Public Alternative Radio. 

Working at WWUH has been a unique experience for most of us.  At most college stations, radio is a hobby.  To most people at WWUH, radio is a lifestyle and WWUH is our family. The people rarely leave or lose contact with the station.  This has been one part of the success of WWUH.  The other part has been the staff’s dedication to forego almost anything to keep the station on the air with quality programming.  And with a staff that turns over nearly each semester (some of us even graduate), keeping the high programming standard is no easy feat. 

Judging from listener response and due largely to the Program Guide, WWUH has a steady audience who are finally realizing that we offer different forms of programming at specific times.  Consequently, they tune back.  There is also a small audience who listen to UH most of the time, people who like jazz, classics, rock, public affairs, and special programs.

One advantage of non-commercial college radio is that it is constantly growing and experimenting.  Some problems come and go, some remain, but the basic concern for the station is always there.  WWUH has addressed three major concerns this year: lack of money, lack of space, and lack of academic credit for the work that is done. 

WWUH took a big step this year when it finally moved its transmitter to Avon Mountain.  Besides making UH one of the largest college stations in the East, the move cost around $14,000.   After begging and borrowing, we came up with the money.  In the past, WWUH has had a reserve fund from the original Roth family grant but now that account is almost empty. 

Fiscal year '74-75 should be extremely tight.  We have received $14,000 from the University for the past few years as an annual operating budget.  This year we purchased a new audio control board for $3,000 and now we are in need of automatic gain control, an FM exciter, cart machines, a production board, and eventually, a new transmitter.

          There have been many meetings and memos this past semester regarding the building of the Communications Department to provide a Major in public communications.  There is much interest among students at UH for such a program, as many people at WWUH have, are, and will work as professionals in broadcasting.  Fortunately, WWUH allows non-students to work here, both on and off air. This is one of the reasons the air sound is so good.  During this past year, about seven announcers have had previous professional experience.  This arrangement is beneficial to both listeners and to students, who learn from these professionals.

The programming department became very strong during the past year.  With much credit due to Roger Stauss, Program Director, WWUH has been on the air, with a few exceptions, for 20 hours a day, 365 days a year.  WWUH has also regularly produced its own programs such as "Music from Czechoslovakia," hosted by Joza Karas, an hourly program featuring native artists performing music composed by Czechoslovakians.  Another WWUH original weekly program is “African Worlds,” hosted by Professor Ifekandu Umunna, which highlights many different African cultures.

          On April 22, WWUH signed back on the air with its new transmitter facilities.  The move cost a lot of money, caused a lot of work, produced a lot of headaches, and took a lot of time.  The move is probably one of the most significant things that have happened to WWUH since it began.  A big fundraising marathon and arts festival were planned for May but cancelled in April because at that time we didn't know when the transmitter move would be completed.  It has been rescheduled for the fall.

          Another project in the works concerns the rights of a non-commercial station to state its editorial opinions.  Currently, Section 399 of the Communications Act of 1934 states: "No non-commercial, educational broadcasting station my engage in editorializing or may support or oppose any candidate for political office."   I have written to the FCC for confirmation that this law is still in effect.  If so, I plan to notify the non-commercial college stations across country and work in a combined effort to change the law.

WWUH has been gaining recognition in the community.  The Program Guide, under the editorship of Terry Sobestanovich, has helped publicize both the station and the many different programs offered on WWUH.  Donations have been averaging $20 a week and many programs have been underwritten by commercial institutions.  Complimentary letters average about three a week.

The main thing that I have noticed is that WWUH is becoming known as "a radio station."  WWUH is often played in stores and can be heard on car radios and blasting from people’s rooms and homes. Window stickers are often sighted and area professionals are aware of us.  But we haven’t done it alone.  Much of the credit for the current station’s success is due to the people who started WWUH.  Everyone who has passed through its doors has been touched and has touched others.  WWUH is a good place.”

The cover of the June, 1974 Program Guide featured “The Official Nixon Countdown Calendar” where listeners could mark off the days until the president was impeached!  While many people liked the cover, a number of people objected and complained directly to the university.

Judy Corcoran wrote about the controversial 1974 Program Guide cover in 2003:  The countdown calendar was a real "poster" I purchased somewhere.  I forget when Watergate broke, but it took several months/years to come to a head.  Nixon, mainly because of the war, was about as popular with half the country as George Bush is today.  The countdown calendar counted Nixon's days in office with a little box to scratch off each day.  I don't recall that we got in trouble for it.  Someone might have said something in passing, but it wasn't huge.  It would be akin to putting a George Bush countdown calendar to the next election or similar "bumper sticker art" on the cover of the program guide today.  Would you get in trouble from the university and listeners?

Speaking of bumper stickers, the bicycle bumper stickers were little 1.5 inch by 1 inch "stickers" in assorted neon colors.  We ordered them for no real reason, probably just for fun to stick around places.  When they arrived, I said they looked like "bumper stickers for bicycles."

 

 

Fall 1974

 

The staff list as of December 5, 1974 showed 25 active members, and 30 associate members, including Anita Alexander, Charlie Allen, Doris Artis, John Barone, Ron Barrsano, Tricia Beatty, Al Brennan, Art Barlow, Andy Bronstein Jerry Burke, Kathy Carrrol, Paul Cailler, Judy Corcoran, Ron Davis, Dave Delisle, Bob Dunkley, Steve Foss, Wayne Geig, Walter Gibson, Don Helfer, Joza Karas, Michael Kaufman, nna Kovach, John Klupsak, John Labella, Coby Leyden, Mickey McClosky, Dawn Merriweather, Nay Nassar, Mel Peppers,Mark Persky, Bill Popoosha, John Ramsey, Adrienne Rivers,  Maurice Robertson, Michael Rosenberg, Paul Rosenblum, Cliff Schley, Jim Shanahan, Marcia Simon, Terry Sobestanovich, Steve Shore, Diane Sinisi, Dianne Smith, Bob Smolen, Roger Stauss, Bob Thompson, Lloyd Leslie Terry, Joe Terzo, Larry Titus, Ifekandu Umunna, Ray "Moby" White, Mel Yates, and Stacy Zwaik.

Michael Cummings was elected General Manager on December 15, 1974. 

The minutes of the election meeting gave the following account of his acceptance speech:

 “The station is really something.  I hope things will continue as they are because I feel that WWUH is going places."

WWUH was on the scene of the West Indial Independence Celebration Parade in Hartford on August 3 covering the Grand Finale of the week’s festivities.  Mel Yates broadcast live from the event and gave a live description of the day’s activities. He also interviewed local and international dignitaries, including the Consul General of Jamaica, the Consul General of Trinidad and Tobago, the Genral Consul of Guyana and from Barbados.

News stories making headlines in 1974 included:

 Nixon and Brezhnev meet in Moscow to discuss arms limitation agreements. Background; Leftist revolution ends almost 50 years of dictatorial rule in Portugal (launched Apr. 25); India successfully tests an atomic device, becoming the world's sixth nuclear power (May 18); Patricia Hearst, 19-year-old daughter of publisher Randolph Hearst, kidnapped by Symbionese Liberation Army (Feb. 5); House Judiciary Committee adopts three articles of impeachment charging President Nixon with obstruction of justice, failure to uphold laws, and refusal to produce material subpoenaed by the committee (July 30); Richard M. Nixon announces he will resign the next day, the first President to do so (Aug. 8); Vice President Gerald R. Ford of Michigan is sworn in as 38th President of the US (Aug. 9); Ford grants "full, free, and absolute pardon" to ex-President Nixon (Sept. 8).

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