Sixty years is a long time for a radio station to remain on the air. Even more so if it has remained at the same location and under the same ownership. And if that isn’t enough, how about making it a community radio station based at a high school?
John Timpane of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes the story of WHHS, the radio station of Haverford High School in the township of Haverford, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia.
The station was started in 1949 after Principal Oscar Granger noticed students playing records and pretending to be their own DJs. A Class D educational license put the station on the air into the surrounding neighborhoods.
WHHS has remained on since — with one exception, not of its own doing. In 2005, due to frequency shuffling, WHHS found itself without a home frequency in the crowded Philly market. Thanks to a station in nearby Wilmington, Del., 99.9 FM was made available a year later. Beasley’s WJBR, at 99.5, was willing to overlook interference within the small range of the WHHS transmitter.
WHHS is student-run, with a staff of volunteers numbering in the dozens. Often it is funded in the manner many student operations are, through low-level fundraising such as raffles. News, sports and community activities make up the programs along with the prerequisite spinning of the wax.
Not surprisingly many station alums move onto college radio and even a few have continued into professional radio broadcasting.
Read the Inquirer story here.