WWUH RADIO HISTORY
1986 Text

The ECOM consisted of:  John Ramsey-General Manager; Stuart Werner-Program Director; Carol Stevens, Dana Bugl-Director of Development; John Longobardi-Community Affairs Director; Gary Levin, Kim Eaton, John Merleu-Business Manager.

          Other managers included: Mark Greenland-Music Director, Jim Bolan-Jazz Director, Vinny Fuerst-Classical Director, Mark Greenland-Urban Music Director, Carole Stevens-Production Director, Carl Brouilette and Rich Ameral-Engineers, Kim Eaton-Administrative Assistant.

          Staff list:  Terrell Adamson, David Agasi, Thomas Altman, Steve Aicardi, Rich Amaral, Laruel Aronstamm, Joan Ballas, Jim Barilla, Peter Beneski, Steve Berian, Paul Bezanker, Janet Bilan, Terry Billie, Lisa Birden, Jim Bolan, Tom Bowman, Carol Bozena, Bart Bozzi, Robert Brady, Carl Brouillette, Keith Brown, Dana Bugl, Steve Burke, Frank Butash, Monica Capezze, Sandra Carbonaro, Marie Cataldi, Michael Clare, Jean Colangelo, Fran Cmara, John Cook, Lee Courtney, Bill Cunningham, Holly Dauray, Oscar Dean, Walter Dean, Mark DeLorenzo, Dave DeMaw, Martha Depper, Vijay Dixit, Bill Domler, Marissa Donza, Jim Douglas, John Douguette, Mark Dressler, John Drury, Kim Eaton, Paul Eklund,  George Michael Evica, Mariana Evica, Vinny Fuerst, Bob Getherji, Drew Glacken, Steven Glick, Donna Giddings, Jacki Gilligan, Bud Godreau, Tony Grant, John Greene, Mark Greenland, Donald Harris, Kathryn Heisen, David Helfrich, Rosemary Hermann, Paul Hopkins, Kay Hopper, Lascelles Horrabin, Susan Hyman, Jim Hynes, Brian Ignatowski, Joe Incoruaia, Harvey Jassem, Randal Jones, Wayne Jones, William Jones, Bruce Kampe, Ken Karpowitz, Justin Kelley, Tom Kelly, Eric Kornasky, John Kotlinski, Bill Lamon, Alphee Lavoy, Bob Lee, Elizabeth Lee, Gary Levin, John Levine, Allen Livermore, John Longobardi, Carlo Magno, Tony Magno, Doug Maine, Jeff Maynard, Pete McCormack, Patricia McCosker, Paul McGuinness, Ed Mckeon, Dan Mei, Jim Mercik, John Merino, Peter Michaelson, Grant Miller, Phillip Mitchell, Maxashaun, Michelle Morrisesette, Susan Mullis, Nay Nassar, Ed Nelson, Rupert Nesbitt, Phillip Neufville, Raynolds Olderdonk, Bob Orem, Serge Otairo, Joe Quirk, Jack Parmele, Karen Pellino, Tim Pendleton, Bill Raffor, John Ramsey, Karen Redpath, Eliot Rennert, Dave Repoli, James Resnick, Natasha Rethke, Henrique Ribeiro, Mike Richardson, Don Rissling, Maurice Robertson, Pete Rosenberg,  Dave Rosenthall, Rob Rosenthall, Jeff Rubenbaur, Rob Rudin, Eleanor Rudolph, Mark Santini, Ed Savage, Anne Schelleng, Barry Seeler, Mark Silverstein, Brian Sinclair, Barbara St. Germaine, Leora Sparpani, Patricia Sterling, Carol Stevens, Kapil Taneja, Andy Taylor, Antonio Terranoua, Chris Therrien, Jerome Tomko, Debra Valentin, Felix Viera, Dave Viveiros, Chris Watson, Terry Weichand, Tanya Weiman, Lloyd Wier, Linda Wentworth, Stuart Werner, Trayce Wilkins, Paul Willusz, Chris Wisniewski, Tim Wolf, Dave Young, Bill Yousman, Joe Zaborowski, Valerie Zars, Andy Zeldin, Mark Ziman, Norm Zimmer, Bruce Zimmerman.

 

          Public Affairs programming continued to play a major role in WWUH’s programming during 1986, and the volunteer staff produced some incredibly provocative programming during the year.

WWUH cosponsored a Lecture with the local organization Human Action for Nuclear Disarmament that featured Bill Yates, a resident of West Hartford and a retired nuclear sub commander on November 13. 

Commander Yates’, who had taught at the Naval War College after serving as a commander of a Poseidon ICBM missile submarine based in Groton, CT, made some startling revelations.  Commander Yates spoke on how the Navy desensitized their recruits to the realities of nuclear war.  While he literally had his finger “on the button” as commander of a Polaris Missile submarine (“capable of annihilating 40 million Russians on fifteen minutes notice” according to Cmdr Yates), it wasn’t until he started teaching nuclear war fighting strategy at the Naval War College that he stated thinking about the potential consequences of even a limited nuclear exchange.

Cmdr Yates explained in great detail the lengths the Navy goes through to maintain the integrity of the safeguards on the nuclear weapons in their arsenal, and to maintain the Navy’s part of the nuclear “triad” in a constant state of readiness as deterrent to the USSR as part of the doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction.  He expressed reservations about the new Trident Nuclear submarines currently being manufactured in Groton, Connecticut since each submarine would posses enough firepower to destroy the world and would therefore become world powers unto themselves!

Listeners to the program heard Commander Yates express his horror when discussing the possibility that the US Military might be adopting a “Fail Deadly” strategy for control of the nuclear missiles on the Trident submarines.  Fair Deadly meant that the missiles would be launched after a predetermined amount of time upon loss of connectivity with US Command and Control.  Up until now, a positive “go code” was required from the President before nuclear weapons could be released.  Fail Deadly would change that.  The inherent risks of an accidental launch from such a system are obvious.

The extremely provocative program was broadcast live on the air and met with very favorable listener response.

Other public affairs programs in 1986 included specials on the Vietnam Experience, Ronald Regan’s Star Wars concept, a Nagasaki Commemorative and a lecture by Dr. Helen Caldicott, a medical doctor and author of the book “Missile Envy”.  In addition, the station cosponsored a forum on press freedom entitled “The People and the Press” with the Hartford Courant in July.

John Ramsey recalls: Not everyone was pleased by our Nagasaki Commemorative, which consisted of a series of professionally produced documentaries about the bombing of Nagasaki in 1945.  I can still remember a call that I got from a gentleman who heard the broadcast and then called to complain that we were’“aiding the enemy’ by broadcasting the story!  He went on to say that he was an American POW on a Japanese island during World War II, and then when he was released from the prison camp and his Japanese captors were arrested, the Japanese commander told him the ‘America may have won the battle, but Japan will win the war’.  The listener said that the popularity of Japanese electronic equipment and Japanese cars proves the commander’s point!”

The new series “UH Presents: featured local interviews with the Dean of Ward College, the head of the Connecticut Freeze campaign, former secretary of state Dr. Henry Kissinger and Grenada’s ambassador to the UN.  The entire UH Deeds Symposium was also aired as part of the series.

Attempts were made to involve Elderhostel participants in UH Presents programs.

The March General Meeting featured cake and Champaign to celebrate marathon’s success.

New March Guides were sent to all students on campus as part of an attempt to get more students to listen to the station.

The station presented a Folk concert featuring Ted and Murray Phillips sponsored by Ed Savage on March 9th.

WWUH’s Geetanjali program sponsored an Indian music concert featuring the artist Yodh on sitar in Feb.

The Jazz Department, under the direction of volunteer Jim Bolan, grew even stronger in 1986.  A Jazz play list from the Summer '86, compiled by Jim and sent to dozens of jazz record companies, showed that the following artists were getting heavy air play at the station:  Don Pullen, Art Blakey, Randy Brecket, Billy Cobham, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Ahmad Jamal and Quincy Jones.

The budget for FY85/87 showed $42,058 in expenses as follows:  Community Affairs,  $340.26 (tapes and publications); Programming,  $2,689.59 (Publications, recording supplies, royalties, classical subscription, outside programming, recordings);  Development,  $17,275.00 (Guide, Publicity, Marathon); Operations, $8,675.23 (insurance, electricity, phone, contracted services); Business,  $8,440.79 (postage, duplication, office supplies, long distance); Engineering, $3,065.15 (transmitter and studio maintenance, etc). 

The proposed budget for FY86/87 was for $12,000 more for a total of $54,670.00.  The major reason for the increase was to cover the manager’s salary and various engineering improvements.

Projected FY86/87 income: $44,100.00 from the following sources: University contribution, $10,000.00; Marathon '86 (remaining), $1,000.00; Equipment sales, $1000.00; Underwriting, $1,000.00, Guide Advertising, $2,500.00; Marathon 87, $27,500.00; Corporate Contributions (matching grants), $2,000.00. 

Marathon ’86 featured a number of special events, including an Open House for listeners, on-air appearances by Dean of Students Doris Coster and University President Trachtenberg.

Marathon was held in the early spring with a goal of $30,000.  $32,687 was pledged  from 1537 individuals, 1248 shirts were sent out as premiums.. 

The student association donated $100!  Letters were sent to all listeners who pledged $30 or more.  Analysis of the pledge information revealed that the average pledge was $18.99.  There were 1248 T-shirts ordered, 427 records and premiums sent out, and 176 charge pledges.  The highest pledging show was UH Radio Bluegrass with $2816.00 pledged.

Post Marathon party in April at the Keg attended by 40 staffers!

Clear bumper stickers were designed and printed up for promotional purposes.

When the books were closed on Marathon, the amount paid was $27,237.

The first issue of the new, larger newsprint-style Program Guide was published in March and 6,000 copies were printed for less money than we normally paid for 1500 of the old format Guides. The new format also decreased the production cycle from five weeks to less than three.  This meant that the information in the Guide could be timelier.

Distribution of the Guides was done both on and off campus. To help offset the cost of printing, advertisements were sold at very reasonable prices starting at $35 for a business card size to $500 for a full page.  Given the large circulation, these prices were very well received by potential advertisers  The ECOM was concerned that the publication not look too commercial, so there was a strict limit to the number of ads that could be sold, as well as a limit on placement of the ads.  For instance, no ads would be allowed on the back page for fear that the publication would start to look like the local newspaper weekly TV Section.  Carol Stevens did an outstanding job with the first edition.

          Elections held in May, resulted in Don Harris, Operations; Stuart Werner, Program Director; John Longobardi, Community Affairs Director and John Ramsey, Chief Engineer.  There were no nominations for the positions of Business Manager or Director of Development.  Non-students, Gary Levin and Carol Stevens will fill the posts on an “acting” basis.

 In September, Dana Bugl, a graphic design student at the Art School, became Development Director. Dana also took over editing the Guide, and her artistic background made her a natural.  Gary Levin resigned from the position of Acting Business Manager that same month citing time constraints.  Gary had spend the last month training student volunteer Kim Eaton, who was appointed to the position.

Station member John Ramsey became an adjunct faculty member of the Communications School and started teaching Intro to Radio classes in the spring.

The annual Intercollegiate Broadcasting System conference was held at UCONN in 1987 and was attended by most ECOM members.  Some people attending from WWUH were shocked to discover the poor state of most of the other stations in attendance: some stations had no budgets, many stations had rigid play lists and/or formats, most lacked even basic production equipment and many had such low power that they could barely be heard off their own campus!

Our ECOM members sat on various panels, and it was not unusual for the room to become completely silent when WWUHers gave out simple answers to questions that had eluded other panelists. The audience also became silent on more than one occasion when UHers spoke about the station’s outstanding programming, operations and facilities. Jaws dropped with Carol Stevens mentioned that we brought in $30,000 in one week during our annual Marathon!

The October 7 ECOM minutes reflect the fact that the station had gone 10 months without any off air time, a tribute to the efforts of the staff and the skills of the Program Director.

Arrangements were made with the Public Access TV station in Hartford to air WWUH’s audio on their channel when they weren’t carrying regular programming. This ultimately introduced the station to many people who may have given up on FM radio.  

          Dave Nagel, Production Director of WDRC, started conducting production workshops in the fall. These were very well received by the staff.

          Station jackets, black with “WWUH” embroidered in red on the back, were ordered for the first time.  These were only made available to staff, and were sold at cost.

          Natasha Rethke, WWUH volunteer, designed the T-shirt that would be used in the 1987 Marathon.

          Upon the recommendation of an outside consultant, the University notified us that they were investigating programming liability insurance for WWUH.  The university ultimately mandated that WWUH purchase such a policy, and offered to pay the premium for the first year.  The one million dollar policy would cover libel, slander, invasion of privacy and copyright infringement, but not FCC violations.

          For the first time, holiday cards were sent to staff and friends of the station.  The cards were purchased from the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford.

          December marked 12 months of broadcasting with no off airtime, the longest time of continuous operation in the station’s history!

          Reacting to the increased demands on the position of Director of Development, the ECOM decided to creation of Guide Editor position separate from Director of Development.

          John Longobardi resigned from the Community Affairs position he had given so much to because he was moving out of state.

          Several students who had been working at WSAM presented the ECOM with a demo tape for a sports show.  The show was approved and a digital delay was purchased so the live callers could be placed on the air.

The Hartford Courant ran an excellent article about WWUH Jazz on December 28.  The article-featured pictures of jazz host Monica Capezza and General Manager John Ramsey.

          Student Grant Miller was trained by Don Harris for the position of Operations Director.

Station jackets were made available to staff for the first time.  The jackets were black with red embroidered WWUH.

The ECOM started a campaign to recruit commuter students for the spring semester. The ECOM felt that commuter students were desirable since they lived in the area and would be able to do shows over the breaks, so a letter was sent to these students.

Local underwriter Sky Stone and Silver wrote a letter to the station raving about the incredible amount of business they had received as a result of underwriting.

Operations Director Don Harris was charged by the ECOM with spearheading the job of finalizing the paid GM contract and job description to the satisfaction of the ECOM, the staff, and the university.  The University had approved a paid GM for WWUH in concept, and created a position that where the person reported to Dean of Students. The stations would be able to interview candidates and make a final recommendation, but the Dean would have the ultimate hiring and firing authority.  The job was initially set up as a part time position due to the fact that the station could not afford the minimum full-time manager salary per university policy.

The University had also approved getting someone to fill the job on an interim basis, as a “consultant,” so that station operations could continue while the search was conducted.

The staff chose John Ramsey to serve as Interim GM, and he worked for the first ninety days without charge.  After that, he was paid as a consultant until the selection was made and UH approval received.

Ads went into the papers for the Paid GM position in July.

On September 15, 1986, John Ramsey was hired as General Manager.  Having served as Chief Engineer since 1978, John was familiar with the station and the staff, which made the actual hiring decision easier for the Committee since he was a known quantity.  They felt that he was the best candidate for the job.   Starting salary was $11,400 for the part time GM position.  While the position was considered “part time” for reasons stated above, the actual understanding was that the unusual hours and on-call nature of the job made it the equivalent of a full-time position.

Kim Eaton took over from John Merleu as Business Manager.

Carol Stevens made up advertising packages for the new guide that she brought to interested and perspective merchants in the area.  She investigated the cost of a 24-page guide and two colors and posted signs at the Art School asking for people to help with the design work.

The band “The Not Quite” appeared on Stuart’s Synthesis show.

`        WWUH call lettered “mike flags” were purchased for the microphones used by the news department to record UH Presents.  Not only did this add professionalism but also it guaranteed that the university administration would notice our presence at important campus functions.

Carol started working on A TV PSA for the station using the facilities of TV20 which were offered by former WWUHer Andy Brownstein.

          A proposal to change Wednesday morning jazz show to Blues was presented to the ECOM, but rejected 1-4-0.  The minutes indicated that the consensus was that maintaining the station’s commitment to having Jazz on five days a week in the morning took priority to adding another blues program.

          The station’s commitment to staying on the air 24/7 had been working well for the last year, but to make sure that programming emergencies would be handled in a timely manner, the ECOM decided to get a pager for the Program Director.

          Addition of a 5th training session is being considered to provide for more “hands on” time during the levels two and three.

          In an effort to improve communications within genre departments, genre meetings tried at the beginning of General Meetings with success.

          Music Director Mark Greenland represented WWUH at the CMJ New Music Marathon in NYC.

The ECOM discussed the possibly of hosting a Holiday Party with other student media.

          Formal equipment bids were requested from vendors in December for new building.  Sealed bids were required since Federal funding was involved.

          The Hartford Courant ran an excellent article about jazz on WWUH written by Owen McNally.  Mr. McNally, a jazz reviewer for the Courant, was ill at home for part of the summer, but he was able to write a review of the shows he “missed” by listening to the live broadcast on WWUH.  This made him realize for the first time how important WWUH is to the jazz community.

          FM On Toast hosts included: Bill Domler, Ed Savage, Ed McKeon, Tom Bowman, John Merino.

          Jazz hosts included: Peter McCormack, John Longobardi, Harvey Jassem, Donna Gidding, H. Mann (Morning Jazz).  Jim Bolan, Maurice Robertson, Peter Michaelson, Laurel Aronstamm (Accent on Jazz).

          Synthesis hosts included: Janet Bilan, Andy Taylor, Stuart Werner, Bill Yourman, Rob Rosenthall.

          Pubic Affairs Producers included: Frank Butash, GM Evica, Carol Bozena, Keith Brown, John Ramsey.

          Classical hosts included: Holly, Susan Mullis, Ann, Howard Bruce, Vinny Fuerst. Tom Kelly did Suites for a Sunday Morning.

          Gothics and All Night Show hosts included: Carol Stevens, Captain Hog, Steve Burke, Gary Levin, Mark Greenland, Marissa Donza, Lascelles Horrabin, Dave Young, Dave Wazheer, John Levine, Bob Orem, Norm Zimmer, Lee Courtney, Dan Mei.

          Special Show producers included:  Misashawn (Algonquin Radio), Carol and Alphee Lavoy (Astrology Almanac), John Ramsey (Shortwave Alternative), Keith Brown (Gay Spirit), Marianna Evica (Ambience), Ken Karpowicz (Mbira), Wayne Jones (Memory Machine), Nay Nasser and Paul Bezanker (St. Corner Serenade), Felix Viera (Con Salsa), Tony and Carlo Magno (Italian), Henrique Ribeiro (Cultura E Vida), Phillip Mitchell (West Indian Rhythms).

Some of the events making new in 1986 included: President Reagan freezes Libyan assets in US (Jan. 8). US planes attack Libyan "terrorist centers" (April 14); Union Carbide agrees to settlement with victims of Bhopal gas leak in India (March 22); Major nuclear accident at Soviet Union's Chernobyl power station alarms world (April 26 et seq.); Space shuttle Challenger explodes after launch at Cape Canaveral, Fla., killing all seven aboard (Jan. 28); House votes arms appropriations bill rejecting Administration's "star wars" policy (Aug. 15); Secret initiative to send arms to Iran revealed (Nov. 6 et seq.); Reagan denies exchanging arms for hostages and halts arms sales (Nov. 19); diversion of funds from arms sales to Nicaraguan Contras revealed (Nov. 25).


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