WWUH RADIO HISTORY
1983 Text

 

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.

PAST

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 Central Connecticut.  They promised us use of the library, and some engineering assistance in boosting our power, an ill-fated venture.

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 Connecticut Public Radio, for reengineering surveys, and to the Hartt School of Music for live broadcast costs.

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 Marathon and slightly less in 1983.  These were both “bare bones” marathons, with the on the air pitching doing most of the work.  The people like what the station does.

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 Avon.  The ongoing expenses even including large record purchases do not add up to an insurmountable figure. The Marathon is getting more like a science, and the returns are good.

Re Marathon:  some suggestions. Number all premiums and premium forms. Make sure the form or record or items ahs a number on it, and make sure the number appears in a list somewhere. IF any link in the chain is lost, a premium should be locatable just from the number on the pledge form.

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 Union has been a recurring topic.  Since we are in the building all the time, we are somewhat responsible for what goes on, especially if they find the door we use most open.  It has been left that security will inform us whomever the door is found open, and we will punish those responsible. IT is a serious matter, because the health of an overnight announcer could depend upon it. However, it is better for us to handle it than for Dean Coster to bill us for each occurrence (as she intended).

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 Marathon-$500.

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.

Marathon ’83 resulted in $25,000 in pledges from 1666 listeners.

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 Colt Park for the first time as the event had been forced out of Bushnell Park by the city, would become the Hartford’s last Fiddle Contest for many years.  Once again, the broadcast of this annual event, attended by tens of thousands, helped spread the word about WWUH's alternative programming.  It wasn't unusual during the Fiddle Contest to walk through the edges of the crowd and nearby parking lots and see hundreds of people with portable radios listening to WWUH.  Volunteers Dave Gardiner, Dave Viveiros, Chuck Rubano, Steve Ent and John Ramsey engineered the show.

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 Fox Middle School in Hartford, submitted a demo tape that sounded incredible.  Since he was too young to hold an FCC license, both he and his father were trained, with his father serving as the licensed operator.  After starting in an All Night Show, "Mr. B" eventually got a Gothics slot. "PM Magazine" came by and did a segment about the12-year old DJ at WWUH!

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 University of Hartford.  Starting now, WWUH will 'embrace' the University.  More mention of the University will be made on the air in the form of new programming concerning events happening at the University. 

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 US-involvement El Salvador, because CT. Public Radio chose not to air them!

          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 Connecticut.  The program was heavily promoted by the station and by the University News Bureau.

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 Central America.  A toll free number was announced on air for listeners to call.

          1983 was a year for local elections and WWUH’s Community Affairs Department focused on the Hartford city elections.  The Milner/Hatch mayoral debate was recorded and aired twice during the first week in November and special Election Day programming was aired on November 6th, along with a Bruce Coburn special.

          Special programs were aired focusing on the Canton, CT school system and on the Connecticut Cetacean Society.  An additional syndicated program was aired entitled "Security in the Nuclear Age”.

          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 Egypt) to the campus, and saying that our absence from the press gathering was in essence an embarrassment to him. The ECOM responded that we were unable to cover the event since the majority of our news staff was students who were away for the summer. The ECOM used this incident as a wake up call, and started covering more university events. 

Marathon '83, held in February ran smoothly but fell short of $27,500 mark by nearly $3,000.  Examination of the pledge information revealed that even thought the average pledge was greater than the year before, fewer people pledged compared to the previous year.  Along with the extremely bad economy in Connecticut the deficiency might have been caused by the fact that fewer and less interesting premiums were offered compared to previous years.  The latter fact was due to in part to cut backs by the record companies who were giving out fewer and fewer promotional copies of recordings.

          Marathon 83 brought in $25,000 in pledges, with $21,297 paid by the end of the year.  The highest netting show was UH Radio Bluegrass with $1,705 pledged from 112 listeners, followed by Mort Fega's Jazz show with $1433.  The T-Shirt was Red w/white letting.

          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 Northwest Catholic High School.  The next Hartford Courant ad would be on the "Sunday Brunch" program. Arrangements made for WWUH to be featured in several issues of the Observer.   An offer was made to President Trachtenberg and others in the administration for a regular show every 4-6 weeks."

          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:

          "The Battle Goes On.

          "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 New Haven did a segment on college radio, featuring WWUH and Program Director Bill Yousman prominently.  Channel 20 offered production time to produce a WWUH PSA.

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 Avon.  Early one Sunday morning, the station switched to this antenna and fed 250 watts into it for five hours while the main antenna was dismantled and inspected. 

          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).

 

Website Builder