WELH AND LATER WEIU

RADIO AND TELEVISION FOR CENTRAL ILLINOIS

PART F

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EIU SPECIAL SECTION:  202   203  204  205  206  208


207.

EASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY USES OLD MAIN TOWER AS STUDIO


 

OLD MAIN TOWER SERVES AS HOME FOR EASTERN'S FIRST RADIO STATION

J.R. Livesay, President Buzzard, Dr. Ross and Dr. Moses got the radio programs started. The broadcasts were made from the tower of the Main building. Problems arose in the tower, because immediately under the studio was the Eastern music department. The acoustics were terrible. It would be a couple of years (1948) before the radio studio would be sound-proofed. After two years of broadcasting (since 1946) the studio in Old Main would have equipment matching that of a commercial studio of the day. A tape recorder made it possible to record out-of-studio events such as speeches or music events. Many events were recorded on the then-common discs. The College station was already attending campus events and department activities (whatever was news or interesting for its listeners). The station allowed performers to listen to themselves in order to self-critique and improve their skills. Until several years later, the Eastern radio station would use WLBH for its broadcast needs.

EASTERN STUDIO ACQUIRES MODERN TECHNOLOGY

The Old Main studio had FM reception equipment and was making plans for television reception was in the planning state. Leaders of the College station were already thinking about its future "Hopes for the future envisage a College transmitting station and a full-day program. As one of the students working with the program said: 'Lets Go to College' program is only the lusty wailing of a robust and rapidly growing infant that Someday will be the best radio station on a mid-western campus."

1947-1949 WITNESSED GROWTH IN EIU RADIO BROADCASTS & COURSES

By 1947 several courses were added to the speech curriculum. "Radio Speaking" was a required course for all speech majors, By June 1, 1949, 14,370 minutes of radio time were donated to the college by WLBH. The "Lets Go to College" had developed a definite pattern. Here's a sample of the programming for 1947-1949 Monday: Music Appreciation; Tuesday: Social Science Forum; Wednesday: The Children's Hour; Thursday: The Radio Workshop; Friday: Meet Your High School.

 

EASTERN ENTERS A NEW AGE OF RADIO BROADCASTING WITH THE STARTING OF WELH RADIO

Until 1950, Eastern's limited radio program operated from the tower of Old Main, from which it broadcast through station WLBH in Mattoon. Radio broadcasting was conducted through the Eastern Radio Guild. Various programs including dramatic production short story reading, and presentation of campus news were included. In 1955 Alpha Epsilon Rho, the national television and radio fraternity was organized on the Eastern campus. This would be the extent of radio broadcasting for EIU through 1963.

WELH APPROVED BY PRESIDENT QUINCY DOUDNA FOR'63-'64 SCHOOL YEAR

The first studio for WELH was located in the Booth Library Lecture Room. The station had a thirty-three member staff. Its first manager was Larry Stigelbauer. Interestingly enough, the station was determined, through a student survey to be only beat by the then very popular Chicago's WLS. Nearly 2,000 students could listen to WELH. The station could only be heard on-campus.

1968 BRINGS NEW QUARTERS FOR WELH

Easternís new Coleman Hall was chosen for the headquarters of WELH.    Still the station was a "carrier current" station (the signal ran through university phone lines.

LIBERTY CABLE IN CHARLESTON  PROVIDES WELH BROADCASTS IN TOWN

Also in 1972, WELH became financially self-sufficient. The station ran commercials for local commercial businesses of Charleston. The University Union was wired so it could receive its signal. The station only operated for a few hours a day.

PROFESSOR CLAYLAND WATTE, FACULTY RADIO ADVISOR IN 1973 MAKES STATEMENT:

WELH is a fully functioning radio station. It is a carrier current station which broadcasts specifically for student listeners. It is also used as a laboratory for students interested in broadcasting. The station is completely student manage, programmed, and controlled with the professional advisement of a . . . (go to page 208 for the conclusion).


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