WWUH RADIO HISTORY
1988 Text

          The ECOM consisted of: John Ramsey - General Manager; Grant Miller - Operations Director; Susan Mullis - Director of Development; Grant Miller - Program Director; Susan Mullis - At Large Member; John Ramsey - Chief Engineer; Tanya Weiman - Business Manager; Alan Livermore - Community Affairs Director.

Vinny Fuerst - Classical Director; Ed McKeon - Folk Director; Stuart Werner and Pete Beneski - Music Director.

STAFF:

 

The January/February issue of the Program Guide featured an article by volunteer Dan King entitled “Who Owns Broadcasting?”  The article focused on the broadcasting industry, and the deregulation being considered by Congress.

A special program “Fire From The Mountain” was aired on September 28 as part of the “UH Presents” public affairs slot.  “Fire on the Mountain” was the story of a Nicaraguan Revolutionary, Omar Cabezas, and the tribulations endured by one trying to be a guerrilla.

In February, WWUH aired special programming arranged by volunteer Maurice Robertson to correspond with Black History Month.

The station once again manned a checkpoint at the March of Dimes Walkathon in the spring.

The syndicated program “Soundings,” produced by the National Humanities Council was aired on Tuesdays at noon. Some of the shows aired in May were “Education and the National Economy”, “Teaching Standards” and “Classroom Laboratories”

 “UH Sportsline” celebrated its one year anniversary on WWUH.

“Drakes Village Brass Band” debuted on July 11 on Monday Evening Classics.

Comedian George Burns spoke at the UH convocation in March.

The station invited Allen Ginsberg to speak on campus and the event was broadcast live.

Old Time Radio Broadcast featuring actors George Bowe and former WTIC radio announcer Jean Colbert took place in December at Westminster School where it was taped for later broadcast.

The March/April issue of the Guide showed no less than 26 station underwriters.

Record reviews written by station volunteers continued to be an important part of the Program Guide. Reviews included recordings by the bands Crumbsuckers, Starkweather, Human Fly, The Tom Russell Band, Jim Kweskin and the Jub Band and Augie Meyers.

An article in the May/June issue by Rich Dittman, WWUH’s Urban Music Director entitled “Hip Hop and Rap Music, the Connecticut Connection” outlined how Connecticut musicians played a major role in the development of these two relatively new musical art forms.

Several issues of the Guide in the early part of the year included a “Listeners Survey”, and the survey was promoted on the air as well. 

In August, the results of the survey were compiled and the following information gained:  The typical listener spends 5-10 hours each week listening to the station.  This listening is split about 40/40/20 between home, car and work.  The most frequently listened to genre was Jazz according to the survey respondents, with Morning Jazz having a slight edge over Accent on Jazz.  FM On Toast came in second with Evening Classics third.  UH Radio Bluegrass was named in fourth place with Blue Monday in fifth place.

Over two thirds of the people who returned the surveys said that they listen to our Public Affairs programming, with the most listened to show being Assassination Journal.  The Refrigerator Club and Issues of the Eighties were tied for the number two slot.

In response to our question about significant problems facing the Greater Hartford community, over half of the respondents indicated environmental issues at the top of their list.  Education issues were a close second, followed by drug and alcohol abuse.

When asked about fund raising methods, many respondents indicated their preference for over the air Marathons, with their second choice being tied between underwriting and direct mail.

When asked what changes they would like to see, about ten percent of the respondents said “more jazz” with an equal number asking for “more folk”.

          The issue featured interviews with several dozen former managers and staff members, a reproduction of the Western Union telegram from the FCC giving the University of Hartford permission to put their new FM station on the air for the first time, reprints of the program schedule grid from 1968, 1973, 1978 and 1983 and lots of staff and alumni photographs.

          An article entitles “The Future of Bluegrass” written by UH Radio Bluegrass host Sean Brennan was featured, along with a floor plan of the new WWUH studios.

          While conducting an introductory meeting for students interested in joining the station. the ECOM was talking about the different departments of the station when Grant noticed that Dan had a distressed look on his face.  After a short period of time, Dan gestured for Grant to meet him outside the room.  In the hall Dan told Grant that he had noticed that a student was carrying a gun in his back pocket!  After going back into the room, Grant offered to distribute handouts so that he could check out the student in question.  Yes indeed, there was the butt of a pistol sticking out of his back pocket.  A state of confusion ensued behind the scenes while Grant and Dan figured out the best way to inform the General Manager, who was conducting the meeting.  Grant finally realized that he had seen a sign posted for the annual assassin game, which involved toy pistols.  He let Dan stew for about 30 minutes.

          Channel 30 visited the station in January to do a special news segment on alternative music.  General Manager Rob Rosenthal was featured along with PD Bill Yousman.

Marathon scheduled for March 6-13.  The goal was set at Marathon goal of $37,500 with Donna Giddings as Marathon Manager.  The weeklong event brought in $39,500, with $3,000 additional from direct mail.

          The staff was treated to pizza and beer at the Keg to celebrate the Marathon success.

Extra small shirts that were left over from the fund drive were donated to south end Community Childcare in Hartford.

          A special Canvas tote bag was given as a staff gift in 1988 in celebration of the station’s birthday.

The new At Large ECOM position was approved in March.  The by creating the position, the ECOM hopes to accomplish several things.  First, to have someone on the board who would be able to represent the staff and listeners, and in essence play “devils advocate” in the decision making process. And second, to have another person to share the work load of the ECOM.

Susan Mullis was voted in as the first At Large member.  Later in August, Susan became Director of Development.

Grant spent a tremendous amount of time working on 20th anniversary edition of the Guide.  He sent letters to station alum asking for their recollections and got a very good response.

          Discussions within the ECOM continued as to whether or not the Music Director position should be made part of the ECOM. There were pros and cons.  On the pro side, there are few management positions at the station that require so many hours.  On the con side, music has always been considered a subset of programming, and since the music director reported to the program director, many felt that the music department was already represented.

Other ECOM discussions during the year involved the behind the scenes work policy, the creation of evaluation form for training and the station’s Club policy.

Channel 3 approved our request to replace our antenna with a new one on the tower.

          Approval for the new antenna arrived from the FCC in January, and it was put on the air for the first time on April 21, 1988.  Prescott Towers of Burlington, VT was contracted to do the installation work.  WHCN donated 160-feet of transmission line to the project.  The new antenna resulted in a moderate improvement in coverage.  Area where the signal had been weak or noisy before saw the most benefit. 

The May/June issue of the Guide included pictures of the installation, which was overseen by our faculty advisor, Ed Nelson.

Throughout the year, engineering staff worked closely with the University, contractors and Savage Engineering to coordinate the work on the new studio.  A thousand details needed to be checked and coordinated.

          Requests for equipment quotes were sent out through a formal bid process. Major equipment ordered for the new studio included Autogram 12-channel and 20-channel consoles, 2 reel machines, a cart recorder, 2 cart playback units, and an Optimod 8100 processors.

Equipment started to arrive, and upon arrival the engineering staff would check each piece for proper operation.  The new remote control system and Optimod were installed in advance of the move so that there would be one less thing for which to be concerned.  Staff prewired both new boards to facilitate installation.

          Part way through the process of purchasing the new equipment, the university-supplied budget ran out, even though ECOM had spent only $50,000 of the $90,000 promised!  Too many people had been promised too much money by the person in charge of the budget, who had since left the university.  ECOM convinced the Operations Department of the University to donate an additional $20,000, and the station ultimately raised an additional $20,000 from listeners in the fall of 1989 during the station’s first Fall Fund Drive.                  

          Also, the choice was made to relocate the STL equipment from the old studio to the penthouse on the roof of Gengras in advance so the change over from the old facility to the new one could be made smoothly.  The space atop Gengras was renovated to Engineering's specifications, and had new cabling run from the STL antennas to the new equipment rack.  Because the STL transmission line was going to be almost twice as long, new larger antennas were installed and fed with larger 7/8" cable.  Delta Electronics of West Hartford was hired to strengthen the guying of the tower by installing a torque bar at the top connected to two guy wires.  That would insure that the tower would not twist in the wind with the addition of the two new larger antennas.

Also installed was the new audio processor, an Optimod 8100 resulting in a significant improvement in on-air sound.

Engineering labeled the studio equipment with Braille labeling so that a new volunteer who was visually handicapped could start producing shows.

          Thanks to local commercial station WHCN, arrangements were made to pick up a 10 kilowatt Bird dummy load donated by WHCN's sister station, WBLI in Babylon, Long Island.  This dummy load allowed for testing the transmitter at full power.   

During the summer, we were contacted by Hartford's Public Access TV station, HC-TV who requested permission to carry our signal on their channel.  Arrangements were quickly made for them put WWUH's audio on their channel whenever they were running their character generator community calendar.  This arrangement remains in place to this day.

          In July, the station had its 20th birthday, and the event was celebrated with a special staff/alumni picnic on the Gengras patio. The event was attended by over one hundred persons, including close to 40 alumni, some of who traveled hundreds of miles for the occasion.  Tours of the studio under construction in the new building were the high point.  While many of the “old timers” were sad at the thought of WWUH leaving its original home in the Gengras Student Union, most of them saw the potential that the new facility offered and were in fact excited about the station’s future.

The September/October issue of the Guide was a special Anniversary Issues, consisting of 32 pages and printed in white paper.  Grant Miller wrote the preface to the edition, and many current staffers, including Don Harris worked fill the issues with historical information.

          The issue featured interviews with several dozen former managers and staff members, a reproduction of the Western Union telegram from the FCC giving the University of Hartford permission to put their new FM station on the air for the first time, reprints of the program schedule grid from 1968, 1973, 1978 and 1983 and lots of staff and alumni photographs.

          An article entitles “The Future of Bluegrass” written by UH Radio Bluegrass host Sean Brennan was featured, along with a floor plan of the new WWUH studios were featured in the Program Guide.

          FM On Toast hosts included: Sean Brennan, Ed Savage, Ed McKeon, Tom Bowman, Bill Domler.

          Jazz hosts included: Carol Miller, Monica Capezza, Jim McMahon, Donna Giddings, Doug Maine (Morning Jazz).  JJ. Henriques, Maurice Robertson, Peter Michaelson, Laurel Arnostamm (Accent on Jazz)

          Synthesis hosts included: Bill Yousman, Andy Taylor, Lee Courtney, Janet Bilan.

          Pubic Affairs Producers included:  GM Evica (Assassination Journal), Carol Bozena (Lunch Date), Frank Butash (Refrigerator Club), John Ramsey (Shortwave Alternative), Keith Brown (Gay Spirit).

          Classical hosts included: Vinny Fuerst, Yurri Henriques, Susan Mullis, Alan Livermore.

          Gothics and All Night Show hosts included:  Grant Miller, Steve Winot, Stu Werner, Joe Quirk, Fran Cmara, Lloyd Weir, Matt Everest, Don Rovero, Dave Zaluda, Ron Paul, DJ Dick,

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

 

 

News stories making the headlines in 1988 include: US and Canada reach free trade agreement (Jan. 2). Background: NAFTA; Pan-Am 747 explodes from terrorist bomb and crashes in Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 aboard and 11 on ground (Dec. 21); US Navy ship shoots down Iranian airliner in Persian Gulf, mistaking it for jet fighter; 290 killed (July 3); Republicans sweep 40 states in election, and Bush beats Dukakis (Nov. 8).

 

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