Sunday, February 24, 2008

Happy 50th Birthday to WFMU

A piece in the New York Times today profiles the amazing New Jersey free-form radio station WFMU, which used to be a college station before their Lutheran school (Upsala College) went bankrupt. Since 1994 they have been an independent, non-commercial station after WFMU purchased the FCC license from Upsala College. WFMU starts its fundraiser this week and in March will also be doing a 50th anniversary benefit show in Austin at South by Southwest. Their programming is eclectic and well-loved and the station has been named "best station" in the U.S. and New York by a number of publications and surveys.

According to WFMU's website:

"WFMU's programming ranges from Edison Cylinders to Punk Rock to Breakcore and beyond; lots of flat-out uncategorizable strangeness, psychedelia, experimental, obscure 50's-60's blues, R&B, soul, hot-rod music, demonic world music, 78's, 8-tracks, indiepop, schlock-a-billy, exotica, Downtown art music,Radio Improvisation, dopey call-in shows, interviews with obscure radio personalites,interviews with notable science-world luminaries, Spoken Word collages, Gospel, Good Ol' Country Music, and much, much more."

It's amazing to me that WFMU persisted and was able to raise the funds to buy the license from their former campus, especially in light of so many stories about campus radio stations that do not survive financial crises and dwindling support from universities.

No comments: