WJCU is a noncommercial FM broadcast station owned and operated by John Carroll University. With both studio and transmitter facilities located on the JCU campus in University Heights, Ohio, WJCU operates on a non-stop schedule with an effective radiated power of 2500 watts at 88.7 MHz.
WJCU’s mission is characterized by three equally important dimensions. First among these is a mandate to deliver unique and diverse radio programming that serves community interests and tastes. WJCU attempts to meet this goal by offering an eclectic mix of music, sports, poetry, ethnic, informational, and public service programming not found elsewhere on the dial.
Another of the station’s key functions is to provide an opportunity for students to gain real-world experience in an ongoing media production and delivery process. With the exception of a professional director, all day to day management and operations are performed by student managers and directors appointed by their peers. The fact that the station is operated under the aegis of JCU’s Department of Communication and Theatre Arts reflects the University’s belief that the best way for students to learn is by doing.
Finally, WJCU serves as an important link between the University and surrounding communities. Not only does the station carry news about university programs, special events, and activities—it also provides free air time for community broadcasters who serve the unique needs of diverse ethnic and cultural groups. Public service and community event announcements, along with short form programming provided by national, regional, and local service organizations are a few more ways John Carroll University serves the community and Northeast Ohio through its radio outlet.
A Brief History
Like many other non-commercial FM radio stations, WJCU’s inception has its roots in the social and academic ferment of the late 1960’s, a period in which FM broadcasting was finally gaining wide acceptance with radio listeners across the nation.
Licensed in 1969 with the temporary call letters WABU on 88.9 MHz, and with a 10 watt authorization affording just a fraction of its current coverage, the station was realized through the efforts of a group of students that included Milt Roney, Bill Butala, and Bob Beda, II. The station first signed on June 7, 1969, and was organized and funded through JCU’s Student Union. Although the group lost their original appeal to the FCC for the call sign WJCR (John Carroll Radio), they were successful in licensing the station as WUJC. Within a few years, WJCU had changed frequency to the current 88.7 dial position and increased the power of its signal.
The year 1987 marks the point at which a decision was made to hire a radio professional, Mr. David Reese, to oversee the radio station and place it under the guidance of the University’s Department of Communications. Dave spent 17 years working with the station and students, and the success of many JCU grads who are now working professionals in electronic mass media bear witness to his skill and dedication.
WJCU is particularly proud to note that the late Tim Russert, known to millions for his signature career with NBC TV, began his broadcast career on WJCU.
In 1997, the call letters WJCU finally became available, and were granted by the FCC in January of 1998. And in late 2006, we rebuilt our transmission facility, increasing our power to 2.5 Kilowatts (directional).
Today, WJCU continues to expand its horizons. We now offer the Heights 887, a triple AAA music and community format, between the hour of 6 AM-6 PM Monday thru Friday. The Heights offers exclusive world and local news, community affairs, and arts programming along with an incredibly diverse musical playlist.
The balance of our schedule will continue to feature quality genre and community-based specialty programming found nowhere else. In addition to our continous online streaming of WJCU FM, we now multicast additional web-only programming on the Internet and are completing our conversion of the station to an all-digital environment. Future plans include community-based initiatives to provide you, our listeners, with new information and services.
You’ll be hearing more from us—stay tuned!