Throughout the month of November, WUSB 90.1 FM Stony Brook is holding its 2021 Radiothon, an annual fundraising event highlighted by special programming, including a 12-hour special on November 27 that will feature Stony Brook’s rich concert history.
Iconic acts including Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd and many more have performed on campus. Several bands, including the Allman Brothers Band, have officially released concerts recorded at Stony Brook.
“Our first Radiothon took place in 1989 with a goal of getting enough funds to replace our old transmitter,” said Norm Prusslin, the founding general manager of WUSB-FM, now director of the Media Arts Minor and a faculty member in the Department of Theatre Arts at Stony Brook. “Then in the early ‘90’s there was a competitive application process with nearby stations in order to relocate our main transmitter tower to a site in Farmingville that afforded the station a wider coverage area. Listeners came through with funds to offset legal costs and for the purchase of new equipment.”
WUSB, which is staffed by student directors and more than 100 volunteers who work to keep the station on-air every day, 24 hours a day, is completely listener-supported. Over the years, Radiothon supporters have received WUSB hats, shirts, bumper stickers, mugs, CDs, books, concert ticket and more.
“Radiothon has always brought WUSB and the entire Stony Brook community together,” said Isobel Breheny-Schafer, assistant director of Student Media and general manager for WUSB. “We’re proud of the impact we’ve had on the community, and we’re grateful for the generosity of our listeners for more than four decades. Thanks to everyone who helped make our Radiothons a success over the years.”
WUSB celebrated 44 years of continuous non-commercial college radio broadcast service this past summer. Originally an on-campus AM carrier-current student station when it began in 1963, it received Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing for FM transmission in June 1977. In 2017, WUSB acquired an additional frequency and can now also be heard locally on 107.3 FM in addition to 90.1 FM.
The station provided a community forum for innovative and commercial-free radio featuring a variety of musical genres and cultures, community affairs and events, campus and local news, collegiate and national sports, public service announcements, educational use, and other student and community-oriented programming.
Since WUSB-FM’s sign-on in 1977, more than 2,000 campus and community volunteers have served as staff members; thousands of nationally acclaimed artists, musicians, newsmakers, public figures and educators have participated in live broadcasts; more than 30,000 public service announcements have been aired; and tens of thousands of listeners have enjoyed quality, commercial-free, thought-provoking, inspired and creative radio programs.
The station was recently honored by Suffolk County, RESPONSE Crisis Center of Suffolk, and the New York Blood Center for its communication efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. The station and several staff members were recognized for providing continuous and important guidance during the crisis.
All donations are tax exempt. In addition to supporting the station’s operating expenses, donations help foster student success through educational programs and support the greater community through breaking news and public service announcements.
To donate, please visit the website at wusb.fm.
— Robert Emproto