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WPTS

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WPTS is an educational, non-commercial FM station owned by the University of Pittsburgh and operated by its students. Located at a frequency of 92.1 in the commercial band of the FM dial, we have a radiating power of 10 Watts, and an effective radiated output of 17 Watts. Our transmitter is located atop the Cathedral of Learning, 530 feet above the ground in the Oakland Business District of Pittsburgh, PA. This greatly enhances our broadcast radius, which averages about 30 miles in almost all directions due to our directional antenna.

History

WPTS entered the Pittsburgh FM market on August 26, 1984 at 6P, the FM status resulting from a long and grueling application process. WPTS itself evolved from WPGH, an AM carrier-current station which broadcast to the Pitt Student Union and dormitories. WPGH began in the fall of 1957, when 12 students formed the Student Broadcasting Association with the intent of starting a college radio station for Pitt. The group was led by Adrian Cronauer, whose experiences in Vietnam are the basis of the movie Good Morning Vietnam played by Robin Williams.

The group was recognized by the University of Pittsburghin January of '58, and they spent the next year trying to get on the air. With help from KQV and KDKA, WPGH tried to go on-air February 9 of 1959 in Schenley Hall on the Pitt campus. Nobody, however, really checked out the wiring and all PGH managed to do was blow out all the lights in Schenley Hall. WPGH finally got its stuff together in 1961, broadcasting at 820 AM to the Pitt and Carlow campuses via carrier-current transmitters. In 1966, WPGH purchased new transmitters that broadcast at 640 AM and installed new lines (to prevent another explosion) for the Schenley Hall Studios.

The push to get an actual FM station began in the fall of 1977, when WPGH and Pitt's Student Government Board got together to plan for the switch. In the Fall of '78, WPGH approached the Pitt administration for help in the application process, as they felt the FCC never grant a license to a student group. The administration liked the idea, as they realized an operating FM-station functions like a "working classroom", and certainly enhances the learning experience of the University.

Pitt filed for space on the non-commercial band of the FM dial in '79, and began to reserve money for the switch to FM, but conflicts arose with other radio stations. The dial was too crowded, and objections from Carnegie Mellon University, Bethany College radio stations and Channel 6 Johnstown froze the application indefinitely.

Since everyone was being so picky about a new station, Pitt hired consultants, and lawyers to see about amending the FM application. What they came up with was pretty bizarre and unusual.

Pitt requested a space on the commercial FM band, and proved to an FCC commission that the WPTS case was unique and not precedent setting (as the FCC was afraid, the WPTS case might be used to get other non-commercial stations on the commercial band.) As a result, WPTS was granted a class D license with a radiating power of 10W in the fall of 1984, the last 10W station to be licensed by the FCC.

After a breif reduction in power in parts of 2005 and 2006 WPTS at the request of the FCC WPTS got a new directional antenna in the summer of 2006 to reduce interference with a commercial station in the north-west. The new antenna increased the range of the station in almost all directions.

Historical Documents

  • Constitution
  • ummmmmm... other documents?

Present

Since its inception, WPTS has established itself as one of the major college radio stations in the U.S. WPTS is an important outlet in the Pittsburgh market for alternative music. We operate 24 hours a day year round, playing an eclectic mix of music around the clock, including specialty programming like jazz, reggae, metal, world music, folk and the city's award winning rap show. WPTS is serviced by over 200 record labels, and we have a great working relationship with industry representatives. WPTS is also a key player in the Pittsburgh music scene working with all local promoters to support and bring to the city the music we play.

WPTS is a formatted college-radio station, as opposed to a free-form block radio style. We find this works well for two main reasons. First, it gives WPTS a professional sound. While there is a certain merit and a place for college radio stations who follow a more anti-radio outlook ("um, ah, I guess that was Foetus' latest backwards"), such a view is wrong for WPTS. WPTS was conceived of as a "working classroom", a means to expose students to the reality of radio. To do so, we try to walk a fine line, broadcasting experimental music while training as professional a staff as possible. DJ's are trained in "real radio, and the rotation helps them to see how a "real" station would work. While we avoid that annoying "in your face" hit-radio shock-jock approach, our DJs are perfect for a more adult-type format. Former WPTS'ers now work for CBS Records, KDKA-TV, WTAE-TV, WYEP-FM and many others.

The rotation provides a varied and interesting experience for listeners. With block programming, listeners will turn off the blocks with which they are unfamiliar. In a rotation, we can challenge our listeners, playing Black Star next to Belle & Sebastian next to William Hooker next to Oval.

The Basics

We LOVEEEE giving music to people! and news! and sports! we are open 9-5 every weekday the union is open.

Departments

Directors

This is how and why we have directors


Station Manager

Official Position Description
  • Will maintain as least 15 office hours during the station’s regular business week
  • Will have general overall responsibility for coordinating all WPTS station activities
  • Will meet once a week with the General Manager to discuss station operations
  • Will ensure that the General Manager approves all strategic decisions
  • Will represent WPTS at all necessary University functions and meetings
  • Will meet regularly with all department directors
  • Will call meetings of the general station staff at least twice each term
  • Will be conversant with all applicable FCC rules and regulations
  • Will mediate all internal staff disputes subject to appeal to the General Manager
  • Will assure that all expenditures by department heads fall within the scope of the general budget
  • Will assure that all station records are maintained in a neat, orderly, and professional manner
  • Will perform any other duties requested by the General Manager

Programming Director

Official Position Description
  • Will maintain as least 10 office hours during the station’s regular business week
  • Will work with the Station Manager and General Manager to develop program strategies for WPTS
  • Will be conversant with all applicable FCC regulations
  • Will approve all materials broadcast on WPTS
  • Will become familiar with all competitive stations in the market
  • Will develop on-air schedule
  • Will hold meetings of on-air personnel at least once every two weeks
  • Will be responsible for supervising the execution and scheduling of on-air promos
  • Will ensure that all promos in the automator and Music Master database are up-to-date
  • Will perform any other duties requested by the Station Manager and General Manager
Music Director
Official Position Description
  • Will maintain as least 10 office hours during the station’s regular business week
  • Will select genre directors
  • Will recruit, maintain, and supervise a music staff
  • Will, along with the genre directors, handle all communication with record companies
  • Will merge logs into the automator on a daily basis
  • Will update rotation on a weekly basis
  • Will ensure that the Music Master database is up-to-date and reflects current rotation
  • Will compile and file CMJ charts on a weekly basis
  • Will ensure all music media are kept in an orderly fashion
  • Will log all new music received by the radio station
  • Will perform any other duties requested by the Station Manager
News Director
Official Position Description
  • Will maintain as least 10 office hours during the station’s regular business week
  • Will be conversant with all applicable FCC regulations
  • Will recruit, maintain, and supervise a news staff
  • Will hold regular meetings of the news staff
  • Will maintain all files and records in a neat and orderly manner
  • Will perform any other duties requested by the Station Manager
Sports Director
Official Position Description
  • Will maintain as least 10 office hours during the station’s regular business week
  • Will be conversant with all applicable FCC regulations
  • Will recruit, maintain, and supervise a sports staff
  • Will hold regular meetings of the sports staff
  • Will maintain all files and records in a neat and orderly manner
  • Will submit all travel requests and expenses to the General Manager
  • Will perform any other duties requested by the Station Manager and General Manager
Production Director
Official Position Description
  • Will maintain as least 2 consultation hours during the station’s regular business week, and be available by appointment
  • Will maintain as least 8 work hours weekly, and log those hours with the station manager
  • Will perform or coordinate all audio production for WPTS
  • Will schedule and maintain production facilities
  • Will recruit, maintain, and supervise a production staff
  • Will hold regular meetings of the production staff
  • Will submit a weekly written report to the Station Manager outlining all current activities of the production department
  • Will maintain all records in a neat and orderly manner
  • Will assure that production materials are secure
  • Will be responsible for scheduling and executing a weekly Live Show. Live show responsibilities cannot be more than 50% of weekly work hours.
  • Will perform any other duties requested by the Station Manager
Underwriting
Official Position Description
  • Will maintain as least 5 office hours during the station’s regular business week
  • Will obtain underwriters who will pay money or trade for WPTS air time
  • Will be conversant with all applicable FCC regulations
  • Will recruit, maintain, and supervise an underwriting staff
  • Will hold regular meetings of the underwriting staff
  • Will keep accurate records of contracts, payments received, and airing of announcements
  • Will attempt collection on all accounts
  • Will ensure all copy complies with FCC underwriting guidelines
  • Will add and delete underwriting announcements from the automator and Music Master database
  • Will perform any other duties requested by the Station Manager and General Manager
Traffic and Continuity
Official Position Description
  • Will maintain as least 10 office hours during the station’s regular business week
  • Will maintain all program and operations logs and other documents related to traffic and continuity
  • Will recruit, maintain, and supervise a traffic and continuity staff
  • Will hold regular meetings of the traffic and continuity staff
  • Will be responsible for creating and scheduling all PSA’s and KT’s
  • Will ensure that all PSA’s and KT’s are added and deleted from the automator and Music Master database in a timely fashion
  • Will perform any other duties requested by the Station Manager and General Manager

Promotions Director

Official Position Description
  • Will maintain as least 10 office hours during the station’s regular business week
  • Will coordinate all internal and external station promotional activities
  • Will recruit, maintain, and supervise a promotions staff
  • Will hold regular meetings of the promotions staff
  • Will maintain all files and records in a neat and orderly manner
  • Will submit a weekly written report to the Station Manager outlining all current activities of the promotions department
  • Will perform any other duties requested by the Station Manager

Graphic Media Coordinator

Official Position Description
  • Will maintain as least 2 consultation hours during the station’s regular business week, and be available by appointment
  • Will maintain as least 3 work hours weekly, and log those hours with the station manager
  • Will recruit, maintain, and supervise a staff
  • Will hold regular meetings with his/her staff
  • Will maintain and update WPTS online calendars, concert calendars, and local event calendars
  • Will solicit fresh material for the WPTS website
  • Will create and distribute a calendar each year
  • Will be responsible for all written materials created by WPTS
  • Will create general WPTS flyers
  • Will be available for any other duties requested by the Station Manager

Engineering

Official Position Description
  • Will maintain as least 2 consultation hours during the station’s regular business week, and be available by appointment
  • Will maintain as least 8 work hours weekly, and log those hours with the station manager
  • Will be conversant with all applicable FCC regulations
  • Will recruit, maintain, and supervise an engineering staff
  • Will hold regular meetings of the engineering staff
  • Will attend and participate in all on-air and station meetings
  • Will ensure that security is maintained on all WPTS facilities
  • Will handle engineering requests and keep track of all engineering and computer equipment
  • Will attend or send a representative of the engineering department to attend all station events using engineering equipment
  • Will be responsible for responding to transmitter alarms immediately
  • Will submit a weekly written report to the Station Manager outlining all current activities of the engineering department
  • Will perform any other duties requested by the Station Manager, General Manager, or Chief Engineer

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