WSOE has been sending tunes over the airspace of the Elon/Burlington area since 1977 when we first got our charter from the FCC. We obtained our call letters (WSOE), which was actually pretty low on our list of preferred choices (but we still love ‘em!). Rumors have circulated that we originally were WELN, but this was never the case. We have always been WSOE: the Wonderful Sounds Of Elon. The previous holder of these letters that are now so near and dear to our hearts was the Wisconsin School of Engineering. But hey, they didn’t need it!
All along we have been run by students, for students, with a little bit of help from a faculty mentor. We continuously have a large staff of student DJ’s who volunteer to host a radio show once a week. And then there are our executives. These brave, highly-qualified soldiers do all the legwork to keep WSOE up and running. While the number of executives, their titles, and their responsibilities have changed over time, we have always had a Music Director to keep our tunes up to date, a Program Director for the technical stuff, and a General Manager to keep us all from having too much fun. Thanks to the dedication of execs in the past, we joined CBI in 2000, being one of the first stations to become a member.
Our original studio, news room, office, and production room was located across from Harden Dining Hall. Our entire operation was moved over the winter of 1994 into the brand new Moseley Center, but we did leave our transmitter and antenna at Harden. Unfortunately, the school decided they needed more room to build things, so they destroyed Harden and our radio tower along with it. So, in the summer of 2012, we invested in a temporary tower that was put on Moseley. Now our range is much weaker, but you still get a good signal for a few miles! We are looking to get a new tower: one better than any we’ve had before, but we’re lacking funding. Hopefully we will find a cell carrier who will agree to split the cost with us. A note to any fabulously wealthy Elon alumni: contributions are being accepted now.
While we have been been rockin’ the airwaves around our university for decades, we have expanded our reach to the globe (for anyone with internet that is). In spring of 2009, we started our webcast which was available through iTunes. As of late 2012, our dedicated plans have had the pleasure of listening in through TuneIn through their website or mobile app.
The station is now operated with our brand new software, Zetta. DJs import their songs into the system then run their show entirely through the program. This replaced the old system of plugging in your iPod and playing songs for an hour. We still make use of RCS software to run automation while there is no DJ in the booth. In the near future, we plan to have our website keep an up-to-the-minute archive of what songs we’ve played, so stay tuned for that! Over the years, we have hosted a bunch of local artists for interviews and live sets and continue to try to get them as often as we can. We also send in charts of what’s playing to CMJ and Spinitron, who keep track of what college and noncommercial stations are playing across the nation.
Now that the addition to the McEwen School of Communications is complete, you can find us in McEwen 002! When we get our new tower, you will be able to hear us crystal clear in Elon, Burlington, Graham, and parts of Mebane. Unfortunately, we can’t increase our range much due to how close WXYC is in Chapel Hill, who also use 89.3 as their frequency. Why the FCC gave two stations so near each other the same frequency is something I will never understand.
You can tune in at WSOE 89.3 FM or listen to our webcast here.