Just 10 years ago WESU was in disrepair. The institutional memory was shot and the studios, music libraries, and business records were in shambles. The station’s license was nearly lost. Fortunately a dedicated group of student and community volunteers worked hard with the Wesleyan University administration to develop a plan to get the station back on its feet.
Currently, WESU operates 24 hrs per day, 7 days per week, and is supported by a volunteer staff of over 150 student and community volunteers, 2 part-time paid staffers, and one full-time General Manager. WESU is supported by a partnership between Wesleyan University and listeners, organizations, and businesses throughout the CT River Valley. As evidence of WESU’s transformation over the last decade, for the first time, WESU was crowned “The Best College Radio Station” in the 2013 Hartford Advocate’s Annual Readers’ Poll!
WESU receives no federal funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting or any other grant or foundation sources. WESU depends on listener support to cover roughly one third of their lean $120,000 annual budget. When other public radio stations around the country, including right here in CT, have budgets so huge they can afford to pay their General Managers more than twice WESU’s entire annual budget, WESU continues to grow and develop as a community service. With Public affairs programming from NPR, Pacifica, local and independent sources in addition to a plethora of free-form music and community programming, WESU offers more perspectives than any other radio station in the region.
In addition to bringing listeners hard to access news, music, public affairs, art, and perspectives from across the world, WESU enables our local communities to inform, share, organize, educate, celebrate life, and connect with the world around them. Thanks to the growth in internet broadcasting, WESU now also serves thousands of listeners from around the globe each month. WESU has come a long way since a young student named Arch Doty built that first one-watt radio station in his Wesleyan University Clark Hall dorm room back in 1939.
As an innovative listener-supported community radio station, WESU is constantly exploring new ground. This spring, WESU is taking another risk by exploring a kinder, gentler approach to fundraising in an effort to avoid disrupting the airwaves with another traditional on-air public radio pledge drive.
You can help prevent an over-the-top pledge drive from taking over the WESU airwaves by donating online at www.wesufm.org or by sending a check to WESU Radio, 45 Broad St, 2nd fl, Middletown, CT 06457 . WESU is also asking supporters to help spread the word throughout their communities and social networks that reaching new donors is critical to sustaining WESU. Past donors will be receiving letters of appeal in the mail as well.
Community support during this drive specifically supports locally produced free-form radio created by student and community volunteers. WESU offers a truly unique mix of public affairs and cultural programming that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve. With your support, WESU can further distinguish itself from the radio pack and avoid resorting to interrupting regular programming in order to continue doing what it does best!
“They have a program for everyone. They’re very diversified, I love it!”
“Still free form after all these years and some of the best music and alternative community affairs programs available.”
“WESU is a great resource for Connecticut as it plays unique music and hosts thoughtful talk shows. Homegrown! Rob DeRosa!”
We are excited to announce that WESU is co-sponsoring a talk by Ian MacKaye at the Center for the Arts Hall, located at 287 Washington Terrace in Middletown, CT. This event will take place February 27th at 8 PM. It will be free and open to the public. Be sure to show up early to make sure you can get a seat. The talk will be made up entirely of questions and answers, so please think of questions in advance!
Ian MacKaye is co-founder and owner of Dischord Records, an independent Washington D.C.-based label that has existed since 1980. He has been lead singer, songwriter, bassist and guitarist for world-changing rockbands The Teen Idles, Minor Threat, Embrace, Fugazi, and The Evens. His latest album with The Evens, The Odds was released on November 20, 2012. The Needle Drop’s Anthony Fantano (past WESU lecture guest) describes the concoction, “great songwriting, strong messages, and tight playing are the main ingredients.” An awe-inspiring documentary about his band Fugazi, Instrument directed by Wesleyan alum Jem Cohen was released in 1999. It shows the band playing at such locations as prisons and college gyms, and getting interviewed by an eighth-grade girl on public access TV.
Get psychedelically psyched, because tonight the first show in WESU’s Spring Concert series is going down in Wesleyan’s Memorial Chapel. The show is free and open to the public.
If you can’t join us in the Chapel, located at 221 High Street in Middletown, CT, you can stream the show live beginning at 7:30.
Doors open at 7:30. Featherwood Bee will take the stage at 8:00, Sidewalk Dave will take over at 8:45 and the Stepkids will melt faces at 10:00.
Special thanks to the Wesleyan Concert Committee & TuneIn, a service which you can use to listen to the world’s radio including WESU. TuneIn is available as a app on all smartphones and tablets and online at TuneIn.com.
We unveiled our Spring Concert Series on Monday. Now we’ve got some updates on the first of these shows that WESU will be presenting.
Our first concert will take place Friday February 22 in the Memorial Chapel at Wesleyan University, located at 221 High St in Middletown, CT. Doors will open at 7:30 PM and the show starts at 8:00 PM.
8:00 Featherwood Bee
8:45 Sidewalk Dave
10:00 The Stepkids
The show is free and open to the public! Brought to you by WESU, The Wesleyan Concert Committee & TuneIn, a service which you can use to listen to the world’s radio including WESU. TuneIn is available as a app on all smartphones and tablets and online at TuneIn.com.
The Stepkids put on a very psychedelic live show complete with video projection. The band comes from Bridgeport, CT and is signed to the legendary Stones Throw (owned by Peanut Butter Wolf and home to Madlib and J Dilla (RIP)). They call their music “futuristic electro soul” and their guitarist was once in Alicia Keys‘ touring band. Their debut album, The Stepkids, was released in 2011 and they are set to release a new album, Troubador in 2013.
Sidewalk Dave is a WESU favorite and fellow CT native. Here’s an interview we did with him last November. He plays rock & roll and his last album, Hard on Romance came out last year. Sometimes he wears pants!
Featherwood Bee is a self-described psychedelic merman surf rockin’ band straight out of Middletown, CT.
Here’s the Facebook Event. Enjoy the concerts! WESU loves you.