14, Wesleyan's student radio station, WESU 88.1 FM, introduced a new
broadcast schedule that combines original programs by students and community
members with program feeds from WSHU in Fairfield, Conn.
first time, WESU will begin to broadcast via the Internet, a move that
should add listeners both on campus and among alumni and parents. In
addition, WESU will begin to raise funds from its alumni, local
underwriters, and its listeners.
streaming of the stations broadcasts can be heard here:
format changes are intended to provide additional programming options, to
enable the station to meet FCC broadcasting requirements when local
programming is not available, and to add crucial financial support that can
allow it to upgrade its operations and equipment, according to University
Communications Director Justin Harmon, who serves as administrative liaison
to the station.
produced by students and community members will continue as the mainstay of
the WESU lineup. An eclectic mix of ethnic and alternative music will remain
the primary feature of the station's original programming. In addition, WESU
is initiating a program to produce public affairs shows about local issues as part of a plan to further serve the listening community and the
educational mission of the University. Monday's community-based show "Talk
For Your Rights" (4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.) will serve as a model for such
programming. Other talk shows, such as "The Audio MTO" on Sunday nights at
10:30 p.m., feature comedic and other live talent.
leaders at WESU and the Wesleyan administration have developed a weekday
schedule that features National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" from 5 a.m.
until 10 a.m., "The Diane Rehm Show" from 10 a.m. until noon, and "Talk of
the Nation" from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. On weekends, the lineup will include
NPR's "Weekend Edition" and "Car Talk."
have re-organized WESU's board and operations to put programming and
operating decisions firmly in the hands of students while at the same
recognizing Wesleyan's ownership of the license and broadcast equipment.
Wesleyan will hire a general manager for the station who will be
accountable to the board and will report through the University
Communications Office. Ben Michael, a long-time station volunteer, will serve as consulting manager for the
station pending a search for a full-time general manager. Wesleyan students
and members of the community will continue to serve as on-air talent,
producers and technicians.
maintained WESU's distinctive blend of music and community programming and
added high-quality programs from NPR," says WESU President and Station
Manager Jesse Sommer '05. "We intend to build our listener base on campus
and in the greater Middletown community, and we hope that our alumni will
tune in to our new online service. We are counting on the active support of
all these audiences as we move forward with our campaign to revitalize the
station's financial support will come from a variety of sources. The
University will continue to subsidize the station by providing offices and
utilities. The station will continue to depend on allocations of student
activity fees through the Wesleyan Student Assembly. A new non-profit
affinity group, the Friends of WESU, will provide fund-raising support and
WESU will receive a portion of the receipts generated
by WSHU's fund-raising staff from listeners to the NPR programs WESU
carries. Wesleyan will cover the station's remaining budget until these
fund-raising sources can sustain the new cost associated with hiring the
general manager. It is hoped that, in the third year, fund-raising will
attain levels needed to begin investments in much needed production
equipment and facilities.
contract with WSHU runs for 18 months. It places no limits on the content or
format of WESU's original programming.
purpose is to provide Wesleyan students the opportunity to learn radio as a
medium for culture and public service," says Harmon. "Our goal is to keep
the station strong and independent. We think this partnership of students
and community members, alumni and broadcast professionals best serves this