WWUH RADIO HISTORY
1994 Text
This section is under construciton 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.

 

The ECOM consisted of:  John Ramsey- General Manager and Chief Engineer; Jim Pressman-Operations Manager; Susan Mullis-Development Director; Nick Vukasinovic, Art Greene-Program Director and Mike DeRosa-Community Affairs Director.

          Alan Livermore was Classics Director, JO Spaak Jazz Director, Ed McKeon-Folk Director, Rich Dittman and Tim Costa Urban Music Directors, Chuck Dube Asst. Chief Engineer. ? Music Director.

          Jim Pressman took over as Operations Director, Art Greene returned as Business Manager.   

          Staff: Paul Aberu,Will Ackerman, McNall Allison, Thomas Aparo, Keith Barrett, Janet Bilan, Larry Lilanski, Paul Bock, Rich Boissoneau, Jim Bolan, Tom Bowman, Bart Bozzi, Keith Brown, Steve Burke, Frank Butash, Warren Byrd, Bob Celmer, Mark Channon, Adena Chernosky, Deborah Conklin, Vanessa Cooper, Rich Cormier, Tim Costa, Lee Courtney, Bill Cunningham, Mary Barrowski, Donna Dauphinais, Todd Dawisowski, Mark Delorenzo, Dave DeMaw, Mike DeRosa, Terrell Dickson, Steve Deiterich, Rich Dittman, Vijay Dixit, Bill Domler, Stuart Donner, Stephen Doughty, Mark Dressler, Chuck Dube, Al Dzikas, Eileen Ego, George Michael Evica, Stuart Feldman, Donna Giddings, Art Greene, Brian Grosjean, Gina Gunn, Jason Jogue, John Holder, Joan Holiday, Harvey Jassem, Wayne Jones, Bruce Kampe, Jeffrey Katz, Tom Kelly, Gregory Laxer, Gary Levin, Allen Livermore, Greg Lynch, Carlos Magno, Tony Magno, Doug Maine, Donald Maitz, Ed Nelson, Mark Melnick, Susan Mullis, Nay Nassar, Ted Neihay, Katryna Nields, Chuck Obuchowski, Kevin O’Toole, Marsha Pelletier, Bill Perrier, Stephen Petke, Kathryn Place, John Prytko, John Ramsey, Mattney Rankin, Henrique Ribeiro, Maurice Robertson, Marcy Rochette, Chet Rotter, Mark Santini, Ed Savage, John Scott, Jack Seidl, Bernie Steben, Andy Taylor, N. Thoreson, Cliff Thornton, Dwight Thurston, Lynnea Villanove, Dave Viveiros, Nick Vukasinovic, Terry Weichand, Lloyd  Weir, Patrick Wright,  Dave Zaluda, Andy Zeldin.

          We lost another member of the WWUH Family when volunteer Mel Quinones passed in 1994.  Mel had been one of the co-hosts of the Saturday afternoon Super Sabado program for a number of years.

WWUH was once again voted “Best College Station” in the Hartford Advocate’s Annual Readers Poll.

 

COMMUNITY

The station received a wonderful letter from a professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa commending the “Asian American Forum” program.  After listening to a number of taped segments of the show, the professor concluded that the producers, volunteers Paul and Phoebe Bock, were  “prefect examples of how people can make a difference in the world today”.   The writer had even incorporated some of the tapes into his classes as “required listening” for his students.  A copy of the letter was sent to University President Humphrey Tonkin.   

Listener reaction to The Pacifica Network News was so favorable that the program was expanded to five nights per week.  It took some creativity to fit the additional days into the schedule, but PNN ended up at 8 pm on Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesdays, at 7:30 pm on Thursdays and at 7 pm on Fridays.  Having the show start at staggered times was by no means perfect, but the different starting times on Thursday and Friday was required to protect the time slots of This Way Out and Gay Spirit on Thursday and Geetanjali on Friday.

There had always been talk of WWUH producing a campus “film series,” and although this never got off the ground, WWUH did get into the movie biz, albeit for only for a single showing in 1994. The movie “High Lonesome, the Story of Bluegrass Music” was shown in Wilde Auditorium as benefit for the station on June 11.  The movie had its premier at the Kennedy Center in DC and at the International BG Music Association World of BG in Owensboro KY.  Volunteer Kevin Lynch produced the event that brought in $800 for the station.

In the fall of 1993, the junior class of Leadership Greater Hartford (LGH) approached the station.  They were planning a concert to feature the diverse music of Hartford’s neighborhoods as their Senior Project for the following year, and they came to us for advice since they knew that we had produced large, outside events in the past.  It wasn’t long before we realized that this was the perfect opportunity for WWUH to present music in concert that represented the diversity that is aired each week on the station, something we had wanted to do for a long time.

We made a proposal:  WWUH co-sponsor the concert, host the show be held on campus, and record it for release on CD!  The folks at LGH immediately realized the benefits.  First, the costs of producing the show would be greatly reduced by having it on campus.  Second, they would be able to have a “permanent record” of the event in the form of a CD, and help promote the local artists performing at the concert at the same time.  Thus, the “Sounds of Hartford” was born. 

The original idea was to accept demo tapes from traditional and ethnic groups only from Hartford, but it quickly became apparent that this was too limiting so we changed the criteria to include tapes from groups in the greater Hartford area. Each artist would perform three compositions at a free concert to be held outside in front of the Harry Jack Gray Center using the successful format that had worked so well for our Folk Next Door Series.

Over the next six months the LGH folks secured funding to the tune of $13,000 donated by the Connecticut Mutual Foundation and Bank of Boston to cover the cost of staging, the sound system and the pressing of the CDs.  To make sure that the word got out that we were looking for demos, small groups of “talent scouts” made up of members of LGH and WWUH went out into the community, visiting countless neighborhood clubs looking for appropriate acts.

We received dozens of tapes from area performers hoping to get a fifteen minute slot on stage at  the "Sounds of Hartford"  The selection committee, made up of  Rich Oettinger, Brian Grosjean, Kevin Lynch and Susan Mullis from WWUH met with their counterparts at LGH on Sunday, March 11 to listen to the audition tapes.  A dozen performance units were chosen at that time to perform at a free, outdoor concert to be held in front of the Gray Center on Saturday. The show will be recorded by WWUH for release as a CD on our UH OH record label.  Funding for the event is being supplied by LGH.

Over 800 people attended the April 27 show which featured the following bands:  Greater Hartford Academy Jazz Ensemble, Menko Orchestra, Valeriano Ramo, Jr, Island Riddims, Rozmarin, Temple Sinai Klezmer Band, Sanjeer Ramabhadran, Home Cookin’, Mestizo Manta, Nzinga’s Daughters, Full Circle Drum Society, Morrigu and People of Good Will.

Hartford Mayor Mike Peters and UH President Humphry Tonkin were on hand and the event received excellent press coverage, including segment on both Channel 3 and Channel 30 News the following day.

Having these two organizations working so closely together was an amazing thing. 

          Recording this event was a monumental task, which was undertaken by the WWUH engineering department, including Chuck Dube, Dave Gardiner and John Ramsey.  Over three hundred feet of heavy multi-channel audio cable had to be run from the stage at the front of the building across the roof to the station’s recording studio where the music was recorded onto an ADAT eight track digital system.

Mark DeLorenzo was the stage manager, and Susan Mullis took care of all of the administrative duties.  Other station volunteers included Larry Bilanski, Ann Carmody, Josh Lafayette, Scott Tuffish, Brian Grossjean, Rich Oettinger, Kevin Lynch, Tony Magno and  Mary Dowst.

          Volunteer Chuck Dube edited the six hours of live tapes into a 70 minute CD, which made it’s debut at a release party at the Charter Oak Cultural Center on Thursday, October 3.

The ECOM reviewed WWUH’s unique CD policy at the fall meeting: Unlike most other radio stations, the management of WWUH didn’t take home all of the duplicate CDs as fringe benefits of the job.  In fact, station policy stipulates that no one at the station may receive any more than 4 free CDs a month.  Duplicates that are not held for Marathon are given away at the monthly staff meetings.  While it’s not possible for everyone to get 4 free CDs a month, rest assured that no one is getting more than that.      

Bart Bozzi Blue Monday

          The WWUH Listener Line expanded in 1994 when student Matt Rankin started producing a Rock Line segment.  Peter Roost took over Blues Line from Gina Gunn.

          Donna Giddings, a.k.a. “Lady Jazz,” did her last show after 11 years on Thursday Morning Jazz.   A small celebration was held in her honor in the air studio during the last hour of her final show.

          The station entered into an agreement with the Athletics Department to broadcast 11 Hawks Women’s Basketball games during the 95/96 season.  The number chosen was compromise reached to minimize the impact on WWUH’s programming.  This issue was discussed at the October and November General Meetings; and the staff agreed to this compromise because it is in the best interest of the station and the University of Hartford.  The department agreed to pay all of the costs involved, provided the courtside announcers, and paid a staff member to board tech the games at our studio.  Nick Vukasinovic ran the board, and former WWUH staff member Jon Esterbrooks was the play-by-play announcer assisted by Leah Secondo, a veteran area sportscaster.

          While some rearrangement of the schedule was required on game nights, the programming department endeavored to minimize the disruption.   In general, whenever possible, Specialty shows were not be preempted, but were simply aired later in the day.   With the help of the staff members whose shows are being rescheduled, the transition was a smooth one.

          High winds knocked out power to the transmitter site on two occasions in November, but we were able to continue to broadcast using the emergency power generator installed at the site.

          WWUH was mentioned in the print media a number of times in the last few months.  The Informer, the school newspaper, has made 9 positive mentions of WWUH out of 10 issues this semester, including a wonderful review of our November Jez Lowe concert.  The Hartford Courant printed several articles on the Jazz in the Wilde Concert, and The Hartford Advocate and the West Hartford News also featured information about the concert.

          There were also several articles about the complaints that volunteer Paul Bock filed against a New Haven radio station. His complaints were based on the unfair treatment he had received while appearing on their morning show.  Racially disparaging remarks were allegedly used. The articles mentioned his involvement at WWUH Radio in a very positive light.

          The NY Times ran a story on the resurgence of shortwave listening in America in the wake of the Persian Golf war.  The producer of The Shortwave Alternative was quoted in the article.

Art Greene worked with a parent’s group from West Hartford’s Duffy elementary school in West Hartford to record a number of children’s books and stories onto tape.  These tapes were used in the Special Education program in the school system.

Negotiations continued with the Board of Education in Somers, Connecticut, the licensee of WDJW, a 10-watt station that had been silent for a number of years. WWUH’s interest was two-fold. First, because the new Communications Act enacted the previous year, WDJW was about to lose their license for good since the station had been silent and off the air for almost one year.   Once the license was lost, it was gone forever due to the grandfathered nature of the station’s class-D license. The ECOM felt that it would be a tragic loss to the Somers community if this were to happen and decided to advocate to get the station off the air. 

The second reason why we were interested was that the hills and mountains in the Somers area produced some reception problems for WWUH, and it was thought that WDJW might be able to rebroadcast some of our programming.

It turned out to be a perfect match. John Ramsey attended a series of meetings and made the Somers Board of Education, the licensee of the station, realize that they were going to lose their station.  While there weren’t any resources to create their own programming at the time, they decided they wanted to keep their options open by keeping the license. This required that they get back on the air, but they lacked an operating transmitter (as well as programming).  

John Ramsey writes “I went to a special Board of Education meeting where the fate of the station was going to be discussed, and it wasn’t hard to convince them of the importance of keeping the license. Once they saw the wisdom of retaining the ability to broadcast, we were able to help them by loaning them a transmitter and working out a rebroadcast agreement that would have them carry WWUH programming when their student programming was not available.

It was fitting that new life was breathed into WDJW through the use of one of WWUH’s first transmitter exciters.  Over the years, we have continued to provide WDJW with technical and administrative support and they continue to hold up their part of the bargain by carrying our programming.”

          The music department, was responsible for the acquisition of over 6262 CD’s in 1994!  That’s 120 per week!  The breakdown by genre is as follows:  20- Blues, 393-Classical, 3-Comedy, 494-Folk and Bluegrass, 704-Jazz, 418-Urban, 3419-Rock, 630-Other.

 

          A Folk Next Door Committee was formed and the decision was made to move forward with plans for Folk Next Door III, “Local Color”. The committee was made up of Steve Dietrich, Bill Domler, Amy Gallatin, Brian Grosjean, Kevin Lynch, Ed McKeon, Sue Mullis, John Ramsey, Dwight Thurston and Nick V.

Audition tapes were solicited, and the ten members of the committee met in February to listen to the 115 demo tapes that had been submitted.  Sixteen artists were chosen to perform.  This meant that sixteen phone calls had to be made and 99 letters had to be sent out!

Tickets went on sale in March and all 400 seats sold out more than two weeks before the date of the show.  Once the show was sold out, the decision was made to broadcast the event live on the air.  Lee Courtney did an excellent job selling ads for a FND 4 program. If fact, he brought in enough money though ads to pay for the printing of the program.

The Local Color concert was held on May 20 and featured the following artists: Andrew Calhoun, Bobbi Carmitchell, Dave Drouillard, Greg Greenway, Jim Henry, Michael Jerling, Madwoman in the Attic, Suzanne McDermott, Kate McDonnell, New Middle Class, Sally Rogers, Les Sampou, Cyd Slotteroff, Traver Hollow and Erica Wheeler.

The four hour show came off without a hitch, and an excellent review appeared in the Hartford Courant the next day. 

The combined Folk Next Door release party, listener appreciation open house, and staff holiday party was held in December was a huge success.    Over to 100 listeners and 30 staffers attended the event, which was held in the 1877 Club directly above the station.   Madwoman, Hugh Blumenfeld, Ed Smith, Mark Saunders, Donna Martin, Amy Gallatin and Still Waters, and Patrick McGinley all performed.  Special thanks to Kevin Lynch, Steve Dieterich, Steve Brecther, Nick, Kevin Lynch, Dave DeMaw, Sandra DeBorger, Johnny Prytko Jr, Chuck Dube, Steve Petke, Bill Domler for helping put the event together.

          Two hundred copies of the disc were went out to folk radio stations and to various magazines and other periodicals for review.  The exceptional artwork on the cover and in the liner notes was designed by volunteer Don Carter.

          Local Color was available for purchase through the station, and via retail at Borders Books.  Copies are available for free for WWUH staff members.

 

 

 

Folk Director Ed McKeon wrote:  In 1994, we pulled in the reins and had a "Hoot." With fifteen acts again, the evening regained a sense of sanity, and the Folk Next Door machine was gassed and humming. Everyone (on the staff) seemed to know what to do, where to do it, and our innovative red light let the acts know when they were out of time. Highlights: Madwoman in the Attic dropping a verse without anyone noticing, Pete Lehndorff knocking them dead, Jeter Le Pont getting the audience involved

The event was held on May 21 in Wilde and featured the following artists: Chanting House, Madwoman In the Attic, Peter Lehndorff, J.P. Jones, Jeter La Ponte, Lucy Kaplansky, Steve Nystrup, Kim Trusty, Peg Loughran, Patrick McGinley, Gypsy Reel, Ed Smith, Madwoman In the Attic, Amy Gallatin, Tim Cote and Gospel Stars. 

Pre-show publicity included the cover of Advocate, an article in NE Magazine, segments on Ch 3, 30 and 8 news, articles in many papers.

          Folk Next Door 3 was released in December in a combined release party, listener appreciation party, staff holiday party and open house.  The event, which was held in the 1877 Club upstairs from the station, drew100 listeners and about forty staff members.   Many of the Folk Next Door 3 performers volunteered to perform at the event.  Many college stations started playing the compilation, and within a month of its release we had received paying orders for the CD from as far away as New Zealand, Australia and Japan!         

John Ramsey relates “I had never submitted anything to a Public Access station before, so I started making calls to explain about the Folk Next Door tapes I planned on sending out with the hope of getting some airplay, I was met with a very positive response at each of the stations.  I was floored when they asked me “how many times can we air it”!  Since some public access programming is time sensitive, this was a legitimate question, but since I thought it might be hard to get the show scheduled on the air, I was taken by surprise.  The public access folks were equally surprised when I told them that there was no limit to the number of times they could air it.

The videotape of the second Folk Next Door video was sent to public access TV stations throughout the state during the first quarter of the year, and was aired frequently judging from the calls we received from viewers.

          The station's music department had been doing such a wonderful job getting CDs sent to us that our library was rapidly overflowing.  Record shelving was installed on the South wall of the station's main office, and a good portion of the classical LPs were moved into them.

WWUH sponsored many folk and acoustic concerts in 1994. 

In May, folk artist John Gorka appeared with Dar Williams as a special guest. 194 tickets were sold, which netted $800 for the station.  On October we presented a concert featuring Richard Shindell, The Five Chinese Brothers and Donna Martin. It was a wonderful success, bringing in over $650 for the station.  The Hartford Courant gave the event a great review. Volunteer Ed McKeon produced the event.

          Steve Dietrich’s Celticairs series included Old Blind Dogs and Ceolbeg.

The release party for the Sounds of Hartford disc was held at the Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford.

          The annual International Bluegrass Music Awards Program was once again aired on WWUH in September with technical help from WHCN in Hartford

Marathon ‘94 was held from March 20 through March 27 with a $45,000 goal. Once again our listeners came to our aid and a total of $48,000 was pledged.

          Amazingly, Marathon received an additional $3000 in pledges after the event was over, bring total pledged amount to $51,000. The T-shirt was Grey with WWUH Logo.

          In June, volunteer Kevin Lynch arranged for the movie  The High, Lonesome of Bluegrass Music" to be shown in Wilde Auditorium as a benefit to WWUH.

Instead of a regular fall fundraiser, the ECOM decided to make the fall event a New Member Drive instead.  The primary goal of this on-air event, which was held during the last week of October, was two fold:  First, to thank those listeners who had already pledged to the station this year; and second, to invite listeners who haven't pledged to the station in the recent past to become members. We raised over $8,000 from close to 350 listeners!

          In early October, we started getting complaints from listeners south of Hartford who couldn't hear the station as well as they were used to.  The engineering department's investigation revealed that a local station’s new transmitting equipment was defective, and that it was putting out a signal on our frequency, making it hard for listeners within ten miles or so of their Meriden transmitter site to hear WWUH!  The Engineering Department wasted no time in contacting the management of the other station who immediately shut down their defective equipment. 

The attempted fire bombing of the station's transmission facilities the previous year made us concerned about system redundancy.  If the bomber had been successful, we would have been off the air for weeks.  In addition to creating a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, the engineering department designed and installed a low power back up transmitter system atop Gengras. This transmitter could be turned on in the event of a Avon or STL system failure:  it's 20 watt mono signal would saturate the campus, and provide a usable signal for a several mile radius around the campus.  While the difference between 1000 watts and 20 watts was great, it is not as great as the difference between 20 watts and zero watts! 

          Since the station was committed to an ongoing series of concerts, a new sound system was purchased.

The new antenna arrived on November 21.  Installation had to wait until we could schedule time for WTIC radio and WFSB TV-3, as well as the tower riggers and the antenna engineer (who will be traveling here from Indiana).   The project, which had been in the works for well over five years, gave us an antenna that was mounted about 250-feet higher than the old antenna, and greatly enhanced the station's coverage, particularly in the Hartford area and the station's "fringe areas”.

In July, a series of violent thunderstorms rolled across the state and knocked power out to our transmitter site.  Our generator took over automatically and kept us on the air for the duration of the power failure 90 minutes.   Two hours after the utility company restored power, engineering was notified that once again the power to our transmitter was out, and yet a quick check revealed that WTIC and channel 3 were still on, even though they got their power from the same feed as us!  The utility company was called to the site, and they discovered that a large snake had crawled inside the high voltage transformer at the site and, in the process of trying to get warm, blew a HV fuse on a pole.  The CL&P crew removed the dead snake, inspected the transformer and replaces the fuse.

The Third annual tour of the WWUH transmitter site took place for the staff on September 22. 

Staff awards were given out at the December General Meeting and the following staff members received awards:  Nay Nassar for 5 years of volunteer service, Mark Channon for 5 years of volunteer service, Mel Quinones for 5 years of volunteer service, Tony Magno for 10 years of volunteer service, and Andy Taylor for 15 years of volunteer service to WWUH.  

          The following awards were given out at the December general staff meeting:

          5-Year Awards:  Paul Bock, Warren Byrd, Rich Cormier, Dorian Miner. 

          10 Year Awards:  Paul Bezanker, Bart Bozzi, Harvey Jassem, Alan Livermore, Ed McKeon.

          15-Year Awards:  Keith Brown, Bill Domler, and Dave Viveiros

          20-Year Awards:  George Michael Evica,

          “Most volunteer organizations are happy if their volunteers stay with them for a year or two.  We are extremely fortunate to have these dedicated people lending their considerable talents to the station” said Susan Mullis, Station Director of Development, at the award ceremony.

          The station installed its first fax machine in the fall.

          Simsbury's Public Access TV station approached us and asked permission to rebroadcast our signal.   Needless to say, we said yes!  The engineering department supplied and installed the necessary equipment to put station audio on their pubic access channel.

At the request of several print handicapped listeners, we decided to expend the Listener Line to include Program Schedule information. 

During the 27 day period ending 11/29/94, the WWUH 5913 Listener Line received 475 calls!  The phone consisted of the  Folkfone, Bluegrass Line, Celtic Line, Jazzline, Polka Line, Rockline, Bluesline, Classical Line and the Community Affairs Event LIne.  In addition, 50 calls were received on our new Program Notes line.

          Program Guide had 2,600 subscribers.

          In an effort to take a first step on the information superhighway, the station set itself up on the Hawknet, the campus-wide information bulletin board system. This system is available not only to students, faculty and visitors on campus, but to outsiders via the internet

          In December, the station held a combined staff holiday party/FND 3 release party/open house.  The event was held in the 1877 Club above the radio station and was attended by close to one hundred listeners.

From the September/October 1994 Program Guide:

In Defense of Women’s Music

By Ann Marie Vorisek, WWUH host.

“As a Woman’s Music DJ at various area college station’s since 1991 and as the frequency fill-in for the WWUH Women’s Music Hour. I have encountered the questions of “What is Women’s Music?, How does Women’s music Differ? And the most-often-asked isn’t that reverse discrimination?

“What is Women’s Music?”  In a strict definition, Women’s Music would be any music where women are predominantly featured.  I.e., as more than just a vocalist.  During the Woman’s Music Hour, we go one step further where our selection tried to gather music by women which feature women in strong, affirmative position.  This means that although we sometimes play a silly song or even a long song, we try to choose songs which offer more than woman pining hopelessly for a man.  This is NOT an anti-male relationship stance.   On the contrary, this means that we choose songs which express a healthy, co-partnership of love, where both members (whether it is woman-woman, woman-man, or man-man) is based on the equality of importance and integrity of feeling of both members of the relationship.

          FM On Toast hosts included:

          Jazz hosts included:

          Synthesis hosts included:

          Pubic Affairs Producers included:

          Classical hosts included:

          Gothics and All Night Show hosts included:

          Special Show producers included:

          In April, Dorienne Miner, producer of "Cease Fire," did a segment on the Federalist Movement.

News headlines in 1994 included: Serbs' heavy weapons pound Sarajevo (Jan. 5-6); South Africa holds first interracial national election (April 29); Nelson Mandela elected President; Israel signs accord with Palestinians (May 4), peace treaty with Jordan (Oct. 17); IRA declares cease-fire in Northern Ireland (Aug. 31). Ulster Protestants declare cease-fire (Oct. 13); US sends forces to Persian Gulf (Oct. 7); Russians attack secessionist Republic of Chechnya (Dec. 11 et seq.); Clinton accused of sexual harassment while Governor of Arkansas (May 6); O. J. Simpson arrested in killings of wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and friend, Ronald Goldman (June 18); Newt Gingrich named House Speaker (Dec. 5).

 

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