The following history of the early years at WGSU is excerpted from a station manual published in 1968.
Radio activities at the State University College at Geneseo began in 1951 when a Radio Production Workshop was instituted under the auspices and supervision of the Speech Department. On April 15, 1951, equipment sufficient to furnish a small control room in the Administration Building was ready for use. Programs were sent via a line to a speaker located elsewhere in the building.
In 1953 the Student Government appropriated funds for the purchase of a wired-wireless (carrier current) transmitter. This provided a means of transmitting electrical impulses (according to Federal Communications Commission regulations) for a distance not greater than 250 feet from their point of origin using cable or telephone lines for carrying the current. The Radio Club was instrumental in the development of WGTC, as the station was then called.
The third phase in the development of radio at Geneseo started in 1962 when an application was filed for an Educational FM station Construction Permit. The construction permit was granted. Then the station license application was completed and sent via the State University legal staff in Albany to the Federal Communications Commission in Washington on February 18, 1963. Finally, in 1968, on Feburary 18, WGSU(FM), with permission from the Federal Communications Commission increased its power from 10 watts to 1850 watts of effective radiated power and moved from 88.1 mc. to the present location of 89.3 on the FM band.
Thus WGSU(FM) is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to the State University of New York. It is under the supervision of the Division of Speech, State University College at Geneseo. A full time Station Manager/Program Director and three faculty members of the Division of Speech exercise immediate control over a student staff which operates the station. All matters of policy are the responsibility of the Station Manager in consultation with his faculty colleagues.
WGSU(FM) engages primarily in educational rather than instructional (in-class) broadcasting. It aims to serve the Geneseo student body as well as the larger surrounding community. To achieve this goal, the station operates AM carrier-current transmitters in all of the existing dormitories on campus by means of telephone lines. Programming reaches the larger community by means of a 1000 watt FM transmitter whose signal can be received on the average within a forty mile radius.
The programming schedule of WGSU(FM) has expanded from one hour of news and music per day in the early days to the current schedule of over 100 hours of varied programming per week.
Watch the 50th anniversary celebration at Geneseo!
’84 In 1984 WGSU put together a 20th anniversary music countdown. Listen to a playlist of the top songs!
’68 Read about the history of WGSU in a station manual (PDF) from 1968.