Monday, October 19, 2009

WOUB Radio Turns 60

It's a big year in radio history, with many college-based stations celebrating significant anniversaries. This week WOUB marked 60 years on FM (it actually began transmitting as a carrier current station in 1942 under the call letters WOUI) at Ohio University. According to an article on the WOUB website, the station was the first college radio station in Ohio to broadcast over FM in 1949.

WOUB, which has undergone a number of format changes over the years (from country to classical/jazz to news/talk), is now part of a larger WOUB "Network" and can be heard all over Ohio.

These days, WOUB-FM is a public radio station that emphasizes talk programming along with some specialty music shows. Their sister station WOUB-AM plays a mixture of music (including blocks focused on adult album alternative, "college alternative rock," hip hop and soul, and an "eclectic" mix on Saturdays with "Radio Free Athens"), talk, and syndicated public radio programming.

According to the piece on WOUB's website, the station's anniversary celebration was held during homecoming weekend on October 16th and 17th:

"Former staff and students gathered to celebrate the anniversary with a reception and tour of the station on Friday evening, which featured photos and memorabilia from throughout WOUB Radio's history.

...Alumni participated in activities on Saturday, which included a float in the homecoming parade, a tailgate party and recognition during the OU football game."

That's awesome. I can't imagine anything cooler than a college radio float during homecoming!

Even though WOUB provides some educational opportunities for students, these days it seems to have much more in common with public radio than with its college radio roots. For those who want more of a classic college radio experience, Ohio University also has an online station called ACRN (All Campus Radio Network) "The Rock Lobster." It's run entirely by students and airs "college rock" and specialty music programming.

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