WVBU-FM (90.5 FM) is a college radio station broadcasting a free radio format. Licensed to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, United States, the station is currently owned by Bucknell University. WVBU calls itself “The Voice of Bucknell University”, and is Bucknell’s only student-run radio station. The station predominantly plays a format of modern and alternative rock, with a number specialty shows in such genres as classical, jazz, and classical rock. In addition to its musical content, WVBU issues public service announcements and relevant news, such as information about Bison Athletics, to Bucknell's campus and the Lewisburg community. A remote services division of WVBU plays music for on-campus entertainment.
|Slogan||The Voice of Bucknell University|
|First air date||1933|
|HAAT||−10.0 meters (−32.8 ft)|
|Transmitter coordinates||40°57′18.00″N 76°52′55.00″W|
In 1933, the original Bucknell Campus Radio Station was sold to a C.S. Blue in Northumberland. In 1948 Stanley C. Marshall, Alice Z. Marshall, and Paul N. Bosted successfully reclaimed the station. Early plans indicate that WVBU members believed the station could reach a potential audience of a quarter million people in Montour, Northumberland, Lycoming, Union, and Snyder counties. After considering both AM and FM broadcasting options, the station initially settled on the AM frequency. However, the AM line eventually became a closed circuit, to be heard only within the Bucknell community. In response to listener concerns and requests, WVBU switched to FM broadcasting on March 1, 1963.
In the mid-1970s, WVBU's AM and FM studios were located in the Freshman Quad Carnegie Building basement "Fallout Shelter". The stations had fallen into disarray until a major revitalization was undertaken by Terry Ginn ('77; FM Program Director),Paul "The round mound of sound" Hill ('78; Production Manager, recently deceased), Brad Joblin ('77; AM Program Director and subsequently Station Manager) and Rick Ambrose ('77) & John Cox ('78) (Music Directors). Ambrose completely restored the album library by securing promotional status from all the major record labels. In a three-year period, more than 10,000 LPs were replaced or added. The FM station format went 24-hour progressive album rock while in February 1975, Joblin re-branded WVBU(AM) as Super64 Non-Stop Music, converting the format from progressive rock to Top 40, due to listener demand and to avoid both stations competing under the same format.
Ambrose also established the Intercollegiate Broadcasting Network where major artists were interviewed and 90-minute taped specials were created. Participating college radio stations across the country received free copies in exchange for a blank reel of tape and postage. Artists interviewed by Ambrose and Joblin included Gerry Beckley of America, Elton John, Todd Rundgren, George Harrison, Alice Cooper, John Entwistle of The Who, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, and Rick Wakeman of Yes. These artists also recorded promo IDs for WVBU which aired throughout the broadcast day for many years.
In the same mid-70s time period that WVBU AM and FM were revitalized, Brad Joblin and Jim Vose ‘75 took the Bucknell Concert Committee independent from outside promoters and booked Todd Rundgren, America, Santana, Billy Joel, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen. The Springsteen booking coincided with him the gracing the covers of both Time and Newsweek magazines. Ambrose succeeded Joblin as Chairman and produced the Bruce Springsteen concert, as well as booking Loggins & Messina and Marshall Tucker. Another WVBU staff member, Gary Huerich ('79), booked the band Boston. These concerts were presented in Bucknell's Davis Gym to 3,000 to 4,000 people, from both Bucknell and the central Pennsylvania area. Although Aerosmith had also been scheduled in 1976, the university administration deemed them "too loud" and cancelled the date.
On March 21, 1980, the station received financial approval from the student-run ABS Congress for the purchase of necessary equipment to convert from 10 to 190 watts. The ABS Congress granted WVBU $22,000, allowing it to comply with an FCC order that all 10-watt stations either up their power to 100 watts or go off the air entirely. This endowment provided the means for the station to continue its operations, and ultimately helped get WVBU to where it currently stands today.
In 2016, WVBU moved to a new location in Stuck House, which is located on the 7th Street entry street onto Bucknell's main campus.
On April 23, 2019, it was announced that Bucknell University had agreed to sell WVBU-FM to Northeastern Pennsylvania Educational TV Association, owner of WVIA-FM in Scranton. The buyer has operated an FM translator relaying WVIA-FM to the Lewisburg area on 100.1 FM for several decades.
- "Station Information Profile". Arbitron. Summer 2009. Archived from the original on September 23, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
- "WVBU-FM Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-09-14. Retrieved 2019-09-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Politician Says Staff And Funding Cuts At KHSU 'An Outright Slaughter.' (last paragraph)". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WVBU
- Radio-Locator information on WVBU
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WVBU