WUWM (89.7 FM, "Milwaukee's NPR") is the flagship National Public Radio station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is owned and operated by the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and licensed to the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. A unit of the UW-Milwaukee College of Letters and Science, the station transmits from the WITI TV Tower in Shorewood, and is based on the seventh floor of Chase Tower in downtown Milwaukee, moving there from facilities in the nearby Shops of Grand Avenue in mid-January 2010.
|First air date||September 9, 1964|
|Format||Non-commercial Public radio|
|HAAT||289 meters (948 feet)|
|Callsign meaning||University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee|
|Owner||University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee |
(Board of Regents, University of Wisconsin System)
WUWM airs programming from NPR, Public Radio International, American Public Media, and also airs BBC World Service in the overnight hours, with much of the weekend entertainment programming scheduled purposefully to avoid duplication with Wisconsin Public Radio's WHAD (90.7). WUWM also airs considerable amounts of local programming and also fills airtime with adult album alternative music, including a weekly program hosted by longtime Milwaukee radio personality (and early WUWM staff member) Bob Reitman called It's Alright Ma, It's Only Music.
Until December 2013, the station broadcast in HD Radio, with its HD2 subchannel consisted of an automated AAA station known as The Deuce. The HD transmitter broke down in December 2013, and WUWM opted not to replace it due to lack of demand. According to station general manager Dave Edwards (who is also the chairman of the NPR board), the HD2 stream only attracted 200 listeners per week online and very little listenership over the air. With little outside of a small quality jump in audio quality on the main signal to justify the technology, station officials concluded it was not worth the effort to bring the HD transmitter back online.
WUWM signed on the air in September 1964. Originally a student laboratory, it took on a more professional look with the formation of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It was a charter member of NPR in 1971, and remained independently operated from what was then known as the Wisconsin Educational Radio Network, even after the same year's merger of the Wisconsin State University system and the University of Wisconsin into the combined University of Wisconsin System.
However, its signal was spotty at best outside of Milwaukee's East Side. That changed in 1978, when WITI donated space on its tower, giving it a fairly decent signal throughout the Milwaukee area. Originally limited to 1,500 watts due to a glut of stations on the lower end of the FM dial in the Chicago-Milwaukee-Madison axis, a change in FCC regulations allowed it to eventually increase its power to 15,500 watts, giving it a signal comparable to the other major stations in Milwaukee.
- Dudek, Duane (11 February 2014). "It's a streaming world — except when the stream is gone". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- History of WUWM, WUWM website. Retrieved on June 10, 2007.