WFUV (90.7 FM) is a non–commercial radio station licensed to New York, New York. The station is owned by Fordham University, with studios on its Bronx campus and its antenna atop the nearby Montefiore Medical Center. WFUV first went on the air in 1947. It became a professional public radio station in 1990 and is one of three NPR member stations in New York City. Its on-air staff has included radio veterans Dennis Elsas, Vin Scelsa, Pete Fornatale, and Rita Houston.

Frequency90.7 MHz (HD Radio) [1]
Branding90.7 WFUV
SubchannelsHD2: "FUV All Music" (Adult album alternative)
OwnerFordham University
First air date
September 24, 1947 (76 years ago) (1947-09-24)
Call sign meaning
Fordham University's Voice
Technical information[2]
Licensing authority
Facility ID22033
ERP47,000 watts
HAAT155 meters (509 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
40°52′48.4″N 73°52′38.5″W / 40.880111°N 73.877361°W / 40.880111; -73.877361
Repeater(s)90.7 WFUV-FM3 (New York)
Public license information
WebcastListen Live

Background edit

Founded in 1947 by Fordham University, WFUV became a student-run 50,000-watt station in 1968-1969 before transitioning to a public station during the late 1980s.[3] WFUV is a National Public Radio affiliate. The station's call letters stand for "Fordham University's Voice." Though operated as a professional public radio station, WFUV's mission also includes a strong training component for Fordham students. Students receive intensive instruction and are heard on the air in news and sports programming.[4][5] The station is known for its adult album alternative (AAA) format – a mix of adult rock, singer songwriters, world and other music, formerly branded as "City Folk" as well as Celtic music.

The station serves 375,000 weekly listeners in the New York area and 100,000 more worldwide on the web each month.[6] As of January 2021, WFUV is the third most popular station in any rock music format in the New York market after WAXQ and WNYL.[7] In terms of weekly audience, it is the most listened to noncommercial alternative music station[a] in the United States.[8] Of all noncommercial stations regardless of format, it is the third most popular in the New York market (after WNYC and WQXR) and 22nd most popular nationally (as of May 2018).[9]

Programming edit

Outside of its weekday AAA programming, WFUV airs a variety of specialty shows, which include genres such as folk music and early pop and jazz. National programs heard on WFUV, as of 2021, include World Cafe, The Grateful Dead Hour, and The Thistle and Shamrock. The station has a longstanding Sunday tradition of airing a mix of Celtic music and Fordham University programming during the day and eclectic folk in the evening.[10]

In-studio interviews and performances are also a prominent feature of its programming. On-air guests have included Radio Hall of Famer Arthur Godfrey (in 1947), Pete Hamill, Steve Buscemi, Tim Robbins, Jefferson Airplane, The Association, Graham Nash, Roger McGuinn, The Washington Squares, Suzanne Vega, Jimmy Webb, Peter, Paul & Mary, Cyndi Lauper, Sting, Bo Diddley, Judy Collins, Lou Reed, Brian Wilson, Robert Klein, Kevin Bacon, Dick Cavett, Glen Campbell, Ringo Starr, Joshua Bell, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Robbie Robertson, Los Lobos, Tony Bennett, John Zacherle, The Bad Plus, Buddy Guy, Rosanne Cash, Elvis Costello, Ani DiFranco, The Polyphonic Spree, Jackson Browne, Ben Harper, Richard Barone, The Decemberists, Moby, Uncle Tupelo, Josh Ritter, Neil Young, Of Monsters and Men, Violent Femmes, Mavis Staples, Brian Fallon, and Norah Jones (in her radio debut). WFUV has introduced many other new artists over the years.

History edit

WFUV was founded in 1947 by Fordham University's communication department. Early programming was a mix of classical, popular, ethnic music and the University's sports broadcasts. Many chamber music and piano recitals were broadcast live from now-defunct Studio B in the 1950s. The station also broadcast a long-running series of live Sunday classical broadcasts from The Ethical Culture Society in Manhattan.[11]

WFUV was on the verge of going off the air in September 1968, due to budgetary cuts by the university, but the student-staff went on strike and organized rallies and demonstrations to save the station. Around this time, the station became part of the school's Student Affairs division and was run by students. It had been a 3,500-watt station from its inception until February 21, 1969, when its effective radiated power was increased to 50,000 watts.[3][5] WFUV's daily rock music programming also began in the late 1960s.[11]

WFUV began broadcasting in stereo on March 31, 1973.[3] In the mid 1980s, the station began to transition to a professionally-operated public station "to increase its public service and community impact".[11][5] WFUV has been a professional noncommercial radio station since 1990.[12] To be more competitive in the New York market at this time, it introduced a more folk and alternative music sound under the name "City Folk", as well as news/talk radio elements such as weather and traffic reports.[13] The station also adopted the nascent adult album alternative format.[14] This shift was overseen by longtime general manager Dr. Ralph Jennings and program director Chuck Singleton.[15]

In May 1994, Fordham started building a 480-foot-tall (150 m) transmission tower for WFUV on its Rose Hill campus, directly across from the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG)'s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.[16] The NYBG, which did not know about the tower's construction, subsequently requested that construction of the tower be halted.[17] Construction was delayed for several months before the New York City Department of Buildings ruled that the tower could be built 25 feet (7.6 m) away from its originally proposed location.[18] However, both the NYBG and Fordham disagreed with the proposed compromise.[19] In 1997, the FCC ruled that the tower would negatively affect the NYBG if it were finished,[20] but a New York state court upheld its legality.[21] In 2002, Montefiore Medical Center offered to move WFUV's antenna to its own facilities on Gun Hill Road, one of the highest locations in the Bronx, and Fordham agreed. Fordham subsequently announced in 2004 that it intended to destroy the half-built tower on Rose Hill.[22][23]

In 2005, the studios, offices, and transmitter moved from the third floor of Keating Hall on Fordham's Rose Hill campus to Keating Hall's basement. The move allowed the station to improve its equipment and gain more space.[5] In 2011, music director Rita Houston took over as the station's program director from Chuck Singleton, who, in turn, became general manager;[24][25] Houston held the position through 2020. In June 2021, the station named Rich McLaughlin as program director; in addition to his career in radio and streaming music programming, McLaughlin is a Fordham University alumnus who worked for the station as an undergraduate as well as for its digital offering, The Alternate Side.[26][27]

Notable former staff edit

Former professional staff edit

Notable past-staff at WFUV include DJs Pete Fornatale and Vin Scelsa. Alan Light, former editor-in-chief of music magazines Vibe and Spin and music critic at the New York Times, was an on-air contributor and music critic during the mid-2000s at WFUV. Longtime DJ Rich Conaty presented his big band show The Big Broadcast on the station from 1972-1992, and again from 1998 until his death in 2016. Former program director and DJ Rita Houston, who worked at the station from 1994 until her death in 2020, was a noted New York tastemaker and early champion of artists like Brandi Carlile, Mumford & Sons, Adele, and the Indigo Girls.[28] Binky Griptite, best known as part of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, hosted the weekly show The Boogie Down from 2017 to 2021.[29]

Radio announcer Marty Glickman instructed students in the sports department after his retirement. Glickman was the radio announcer of the New York Knicks, New York Giants, and New York Jets, and the subject of the Martin Scorsese-produced 2013 HBO documentary film Glickman.

Former student staff edit

WFUV's rock music shows were formerly hosted by Fordham students, most notably Pete Fornatale, whose first show began in November 1964, when he was a sophomore and who returned to WFUV in 2001 after a 30-year hiatus, remaining until his 2012 death. Other alumni include:

News department alumni are/were heard on many stations and networks nationally. These include:

The sports department has produced numerous notable alumni, most notably, Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers announcer and Baseball Hall of Famer Vin Scully, who helped found WFUV. Other alumni include:

Recognition edit

WFUV has received numerous awards and nominations from professional organizations on local, state, and national levels. In the early 2000s, the station was named one of the best radio stations in its category on multiple occasions by trade organizations. The Princeton Review named it one of the top twenty college radio stations every year from 2012 to 2020.[44][45][46] In 2013, Complex listed it as the eighth best college radio station in the country.[47]

WFUV is regularly distinguished for their newscasts and public affairs coverage.[48][49] Nationally, the newsroom has been awarded nearly every year over the past two decades by the Public Radio Journalist Association and the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation's Gracie Awards on both professional and student levels. Since 2009, assistant news and public affairs director Robin Shannon has been awarded six times by these two organizations for Best News Anchor/Newscast.[50] Former music and program director Rita Houston was awarded on multiple occasions by trade organizations FMQB, JBE, Gavin Report, and ASCAP for her work.[51]

Selected national professional awards (1998–present)[50]

  • 2000: ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards – Broadcast Award for WFUV's City Folk, The Big Broadcast and Swing Time (Rita Houston and Rich Conaty)[52]
  • 2001: Gavin Music Director of the Year – Rita Houston
  • 2001: Gavin Station of the Year – WFUV
  • 2001: FMQB Triple A Conference – Progressive Noncommercial Radio Station of the Year
  • 2002: FMQB Triple A Conference – Progressive Noncommercial Radio Station of the Year
  • 2003: FMQB Triple A Conference – Progressive Noncommercial Radio Station of the Year
  • 2003: R&R Triple A Summit Industry Achievement Awards – Music Director of the Year – Rita Houston
  • 2004: R&R Triple A Summit Industry Achievement Awards – Air Personality Of The Year – Rita Houston
  • 2004: Lincoln University’s Unity Awards in Media – Outstanding Reporting of Education for "Cityscape: Education Beat"
  • 2004: National Federation of Community Broadcasters' Golden Reels Awards – Best National Public Affairs Programming for "Democracy on the Block" (Finalist)
  • 2005: RTDNA's National Edward R. Murrow Awards – Best News Series (Radio Large Market) for Subculture
  • 2007: ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards – Broadcast Award for WFUV's Idiot’s Delight (Vin Sclesa)[53]
  • 2011: Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Awards – Best Radio Feature Reporting for "Ernie Harwell: Our Friend in the Booth"
  • 2012: FMQB Triple A Conference – Program Director of the Year – Rita Houston[54]
  • 2019: FMQB Triple A Conference – Program Director of the Year (Noncommercial) – Rita Houston
  • 2020: JBE Triple A Awards – Program Director of the Year (Noncommercial) – Rita Houston[55]

References edit

  1. ^ "HD Radio station guide". Archived from the original on December 23, 2015. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  2. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WFUV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  3. ^ a b c "Lew Goodman's Farewell Show". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  4. ^ "WFUV Student Workshops | WFUV". Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d Waits, Jennifer (July 6, 2017). "Radio Station Visit #139 - WFUV at Fordham University". Radio Survivor. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  6. ^ "WFUV Online Media Kitt" (PDF). WFUV. 2019. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  7. ^ "NEW YORK RADIO RATINGS FOR SUBSCRIBING STATIONS". Nielsen. January 2021. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  8. ^ Llc, Ken Mills Agency (May 15, 2018). "SPARK NEWS: THE STATE OF TRIPLE AMUSIC ON NONCOMM RADIO IN 2018". SPARK NEWS. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  9. ^ Llc, Ken Mills Agency (June 19, 2018). "SPARK NEWS: WNYC-FM, KQED, KPCC & KSBJ LEAD LIST OF TOP 30 NONCOMMERCIAL STATIONS". SPARK NEWS. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  10. ^ "Programs | WFUV". Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  11. ^ a b c Strauss, Neil (August 25, 1996). "From the Local Radio Swamp, A Fresher Sound Is Rising". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  12. ^ "Looking back to the past | WFUV". Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  13. ^ The Paley Center in New York (1996). "SECOND ANNUAL RADIO FESTIVAL: DRIVE-TIME RADIO: CITY FOLK MORNING SHOW, WFUV-FM, NEW YORK". Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  14. ^ "Triple A Through the Years: Adult Alternative Program Directors Discuss the History and Evolution of the Radio Format". Billboard. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  15. ^ Dwyer, Jim (June 29, 2011). "After 26 Years, Shaper of an Influential Radio Station Signs Off". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  16. ^ Alvarez, Lizette (November 3, 1996). "Fordham and Garden Renew Tower Dispute". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  17. ^ Dunlap, David W. (July 6, 1994). "A Tower Pits Fordham vs. Botanical Garden". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  18. ^ Barron, James (November 18, 1994). "Bronx Tower Can Rise, But a Little to the Right". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  19. ^ Nossiter, Adam (June 15, 1995). "Fordham Radio Tower Ruling Satisfies No One". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  20. ^ Finder, Alan (May 24, 1997). "F.C.C. Staff Says Tower Would Harm Bronx Garden". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  21. ^ Hernandez, Raymond (April 3, 1998). "Ruling Upholds Legality of Fordham Radio Tower". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  22. ^ Elliott, Andrea (May 14, 2004). "Deal Would End 10-Year Feud on Fordham's Radio Tower". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  23. ^ Ramirez, Anthony (April 29, 2006). "Radio Tower in Bronx Falls; Botanical Garden Hears It, Happily". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  24. ^ "Tastemaker Rita Houston Celebrates 25 Years at WFUV". Fordham Newsroom. April 24, 2019. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  25. ^ "Chuck Singleton | WFUV". Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  26. ^ Stellabotte, Ryan (June 23, 2021). "At WFUV, a New Champion of Music Discovery". Fordham Newsroom. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  27. ^ Marszalek, Paul (2021). "Rich McLaughlin Returns as WFUV Program Director". The Top 22. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  28. ^ Sandomir, Richard (December 30, 2020). "Rita Houston, WFUV D.J. Who Lifted Music Careers, Dies at 59". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  29. ^ "The Boogie Down, 2017-2021 | WFUV". July 1, 2021. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  30. ^ a b c Parisi, Albert J. (April 24, 1994). "New Jersey Q & A: Charles Osgood; A New Face at CBS 'Sunday Morning'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  31. ^ "Media with a Mission". Fordham Newsroom. December 23, 2016. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  32. ^ Goodman, Fred (October 15, 2000). "TELEVISION/RADIO; In Search of New Music, Both Ancient and Modern". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  33. ^ "Scott Detrow". Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  34. ^ "Fordham Alumni in Media Grapple with Challenges of Covering COVID-19". Fordham Newsroom. March 26, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  35. ^ Taylor, Derrick Bryson (April 25, 2020). "Richard Hake, Longtime WNYC Radio Reporter and Host, Dies at 51". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  36. ^ Short, Aaron. "Meet Greg Kelly, Trump's tireless defender on right-wing TV". Insider. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  37. ^ "Jonathan Vigliotti". Pulitzer Center. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  38. ^ a b c d e f g "One on One's 40th Anniversary Celebration | WFUV". Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  39. ^ "Jack Curry Talks Yankees | WFUV". Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  40. ^ "Sal Marchiano Joins One on One—Feb. 13, 2021 | WFUV". Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  41. ^ "Bob Papa Joins One on One 8/24/19 | WFUV". Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  42. ^ "Charlie Slowes Joins One on One 10/26/19 | WFUV". Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  43. ^ "Off The Air: Mike Yam | WFUV". Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  44. ^ Waits, Jennifer (August 17, 2011). "2012 Princeton Review's 20 "Most Popular" College Radio Stations". Radio Survivor. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  45. ^ Waits, Jennifer (August 22, 2012). "2013 Princeton Review's Best College Radio Stations List". Radio Survivor. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  46. ^ Waits, Jennifer (September 3, 2019). "Princeton Review's 2020 "Best College Radio Stations" List". Radio Survivor. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  47. ^ "The 25 Best College Radio Stations". Complex. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  48. ^ "WFUV Sweeps Awards, again". Fordham Newsroom. June 6, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  49. ^ "WFUV Brings in Record Award Haul". Fordham Newsroom. June 27, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  50. ^ a b "Awards and Accolades | WFUV". Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  51. ^ "Rita Houston, WFUV Program Director and National Music Tastemaker, Dies at 59". Fordham Newsroom. December 15, 2020. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  52. ^ "33rd Annual ASCAP Deems Taylor Award Recipients". Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  53. ^ "Scelsa Honored With ASCAP Award". Radio World. November 2, 2007. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  54. ^ "Congratulations, Rita! | WFUV". Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  55. ^ "2020 Triple A Award Winners | Jack Barton Entertainment". Jack Barton Ent. Retrieved March 22, 2021.


  1. ^ Excluding KCRW which has a dual talk radio and AAA format.

External links edit