Definitions

hospital record

WHRB

WHRB is a commercial FM radio station in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It broadcasts at 95.3 MHz and is operated by students at Harvard College.

History

WHRB was one of America's first college radio stations, initially signing on the "air" (closed-circuit AM distributed through the campus electrical system) on December 2, 1940. After acquiring funding from The Harvard Crimson the station's first call sign was WHCN (Harvard Crimson Network). It broke from the Crimson in 1943 and adopted the call sign WHRV (Harvard Radio Voice). Harvard Radio Broadcasting Co., Inc., the non-profit corporation that owns the station, was formed February 1, 1951, and the current call sign adopted.

In order to reach audiences beyond Harvard's campus, the corporation acquired a commercial FM broadcast license from the FCC and began regular broadcasting on May 17, 1957 at 107.1 MHz (at that time called "megacycles"). A few years later, the station changed frequency to 95.3 MHz, where it has remained since. The broadcast area expanded considerably in 1995 when the transmitter was relocated from atop Holyoke Center in Harvard Square to its present location atop One Financial Center in downtown Boston. Broadcasts went global when internet retransmission of its programs began on November 18, 1999.

Programming

WHRB is a confederacy of on-air departments, each with its own staff, training requirements, and allocation of airtime. During the academic year, the station publishes detailed bimonthly program guides, describing its regular programming as well as the Orgy periods that end each semester.

Orgies (the term is a registered trademark of the station) are consecutive presentations of the entire musical output of composers, record labels, or genres, sometimes running 24 hours a day for a solid week or more. Station legend has it that these began when an exuberant undergraduate in 1943 decided to celebrate his passing a difficult exam by broadcasting all nine Symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven in order. Orgies continue to take place during exam periods, allowing the station to be run with a reduced on-air staff at these busy times. "Orgies" are broadcast each year throughout the month of January, and again from the beginning of May through Harvard's commencement ceremony in early June.

Some of WHRB's regular programs have long histories of their own. For example, the country music program Hillbilly at Harvard dates back to 1948, and Sunday Night at the Opera is one of the longest-running programs in its genre in the United States. The station's underground rock department, Record Hospital, began in 1984 and hosts an annual music "fest".

WHRB also broadcasts live play-by-play coverage of Harvard University football and men's hockey games, and is the Boston area home, in season, for the weekly broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera.

Notable alumni

Prominent broadcasters who began their careers at WHRB include Martin Bookspan (voice of the New York Philharmonic), Steve Curwood (host of Living on Earth on NPR), Bruce Morton (CNN), Dan Raviv (CBS), and Chris Wallace (Fox News). Harpsichordist Igor Kipnis, New York Times critics John Rockwell and Kelefa Sanneh, New Yorker critic Alex Ross, pianist and composer Robert D. Levin, ZDNet founder Michael Kolowich, Karl Rove's personal attorney Robert Luskin, visual artist Alex Kahn, and the members of the chimp rock band Fat Day have been on the station's staff. David Mays, the founder of The Source magazine, hosted a popular show, Street Beat.

WHRB alumni are called ghosts in the elaborate and idiosyncratic lingo which has developed at the station; the term refers to their tendency to "haunt" the station after "death" (graduation).

References

External links

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