Friday, March 14, 2008

Clemson Radio Station Turns 50 and Shares Its History

It's great to keep reading stories about college stations that are still thriving, including 50-year-old WSBF-88.1FM (Clemson University, South Carolina), which is profiled in an article in the Anderson-Independent Mail today. According to the piece:

"WSBF started in 1958 with music peppered with sports and news coverage specific to Clemson. Over the years, that focus went to music-only and playlists ranged from country and show tunes to hard rock and, eventually, Top 40 fare.

Music aside, it’s the technology that has shifted most, even in just eight years.

'To give you an idea, when I arrived in fall of 2000, we were still paper-logging the songs we played,' said David Larson, former WSBF general manager and current professor of engineering at Clemson. 'Now, we offer the entire station on the Web, we put together podcasts, we have a fully functioning recording studio on site and everything is electronic. Much of that has happened in the last five years, even.'"

I had a feeling that paper playlists were still in use until very recently! The piece goes on to describe the station's programming as emphasizing independent music:

"Whatever the students think, is best is the format taken...that meant alternative and punk music in the mid-‘80s, rap in the ‘90s and, as the new millennium arrived, a shift to an independent music scene...Weekly shows delve into progressive rock of the '60s and '70s, '90s-era punk, heavy metal, upcoming artists with funked-out beats and even a little sports and news."

More college stations are reaching out to alumni and one of the coolest things I've seen thus far is the history section on WSBF's website that includes stories from the station's past submitted by alums and a page full of alumni bios. This is a great way to capture tales from former DJs and I'd love to see that kind of feature on more radio station websites.

1 comment:

Joe said...

As the current General Manager of WSBF FM Clemson, I am so proud of our DJs and the product we have worked so hard to establish. Our programming is better than ever and the student/community support continues to grow. We have a live DJ on the air nearly 24/7, which not many college radio stations can boast. WSBF is a family, and we are continuing to work hard to offer the best college radio experience possible.