The Station

  • Post Author
    by Web manager
  • Post Date
    Thu Jun 27 2013

WSUM is the University of Wisconsin-Madison student-run community radio station. Our Mission is:

  • To act in a service and outreach capacity for the students of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and people of Madison and surrounding communities
  • To provide an educational environment and valuable hands-on experiences as a teaching and learning tool for students
  • To provide an alternative source of information and entertainment to the campus and community

In a city with a thriving ecosystem of top-notch community radio, WSUM is a one-of-a-kind source of outstanding and innovative programming. WSUM provides students and community members at any skill level with the tools they need to contribute to the station's unique sound. Given the nature of college radio stations, in which new members join at the start of each term, the sound of the station evolves with the seasons – never stale, and always authentic.

Today, WSUM is an award-winning station with over 200 members. However, the journey to this point was far from easy. Between 1952 and 1993, five different stations attempted to achieve success on campus, including WMHA, WLHA, WSSO, WSRM, and WLHA (again). Each station failed for reasons spanning from money to trouble with the FCC over, let's say, “creative student wiring.”
In 1993, UW student radio gained the support of two men whose efforts would become essential to its success: Dr. James Hoyt, who had been involved in previous efforts to create student radio on campus, and Dave Black, who would become WSUM's first general manager.

By 1997, things were looking up for WSUM, but the station was not completely in the clear. Before WSUM could debut on the air, a series of legal battles over its “eyesore” of a radio tower with the town of Montrose, Wisconsin threatened its existence. Thanks to the continued efforts of Dr. Hoyt and Dave Black, along with the support of UW-Madison's Chancellor John Wiley, WSUM was eventually granted the right to continue construction on its tower.

WSUM officially began broadcasting on February 22, 2002, at 2:22 pm from Vilas Hall and has been going strong ever since. The station can now be found at 333 East Campus Mall, Suite 4100 in the Student Activities Center.

In the years since, WSUM has gone global, with thousands of listeners in multiple countries around the world. WSUM has earned and maintained a reputation as an eminent voice in college broadcasting. WSUM is a proud and active member of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association and College Broadcasters, Inc. and has won a myriad of statewide and national awards for its dynamic music and talk programming, live sports broadcasts, and news coverage.

WSUM has made a lasting impact within the greater Madison community, on and off the airwaves. From its annual end-of-summer music festival to collaborations with local organizations, including WKOW, Wisconsin Athletics, and the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, WSUM continuously strives to serve both its members and its listeners.