SBU campus radio station loses signal, partially interrupted

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Stony Brook University’s campus radio station was partially closed Wednesday as the school sought temporary and permanent replacements for the station’s 30-year-old 4,000-watt transmitter.

The university has launched a search for a temporary transmitter, station general manager Isobel Breheny-Schafer said.
Credit: John Griffin/SBU Communications

WUSB lost its main signal at 90.1 FM on Monday morning due to a power outage, university officials and a disc jockey told Newsday. The university has launched a search for a temporary transmitter, station general manager Isobel Breheny-Schafer said in a statement.

Disc jockey Tyrone Wisdom said the station hopes to return to the air later this week.

“We are looking for a temporary transmitter to alleviate the problem and within a few months I think we will have a new [permanent] incumbent transmitter,” said Wisdom, a volunteer disc jockey in his 50s who is not a Stony Brook student.

A new transmitter could cost between $20,000 and $30,000, estimates Wisdom.

He said the old transmitter was designed to last about 15 years and had long since exceeded its expected lifespan.

“It was enough, but it was lower [power] than we usually are,” he said.

The station could still be heard Tuesday on its website, wusb.fm, and on its second frequency, 107.3 FM, which covers a small part of the North Shore where the main frequency cannot be heard, said said Breheny-Schafer.

“WUSB’s 30+ year old transmitter, which previously broadcast on 90.1 FM, is no longer in service and will be replaced with a temporary low power transmitter while WUSB raises funds for a new full power 3,600 transmitter. watts,” she says.

WUSB broadcasts a mix of news and music programs ranging from rock, jazz, and reggae to country, polka, and classical, as well as on-campus sporting events.

The loss of the transmitter came in the middle of WUSB’s annual fundraiser. Wisdom said the station hopes to raise $20,000 and is about halfway to its goal.

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