Monday, August 10, 2009

WXPN's Scandalous Past Unearthed by Arcane Radio Trivia

If you've never checked out Jose Fritz's fabulous blog Arcane Radio Trivia, it's worth taking a look as it contains a goldmine of radio-related lore. I just interviewed Jose Fritz over on Radio Survivor, so head on over if you want more juicy details on his fascination with non-commercial radio and his love for college radio.

Just this week he dug up a crazy old scandal that happened at University of Pennsylvania's student radio station in the 1970s. He writes:

"I had heard rumors for years of unspecific wildness, of a rowdy past of punk rock and college kids. WXPN wasn't always a monument to middle-aged blandness. Once, long ago they were a wholly different station. Finally I bumped into the history of a little carrier current station WQHS. Their story is also the story of WXPN."

He goes on to describe a specific sexually-laced incident involving vegetable talk and the ensuing fallout from listeners, the FCC, and the administration. He writes that from that point on:

"...everything changed. the students were kicked out good and bad alike. The University decided to re-staff and re-build WXPN as a more commercial entity. It had paid staff, a format, and no damn kids. The course of history had been change forever by a dirty joke."

Crazy...But the good news is that student radio still lives at University of Pennsylvania at online station WQHS.

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