WVUA-FM is the University’s only student operated radio station. Its history dates back to 1940 when the Department of Radio Arts began operation of an AM carrier-current station (the signal was transmitted to dormitories and other buildings on campus through electrical wiring). The station was known as BRN (the Bama Radio Network). In 1947, the signal was extended and the station became known as WABP. The station was operated as a commercial venture at 570 on the AM dial. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, as more students moved off campus, the station’s listenership dwindled.
There was also another station on campus during the 1960’s, known as WUOA. This was a 30 watt FM station operated under the aegis of the Extension Division. The station was terminated because of insufficient funds to properly upgrade the station’s equipment. The call letters were appropriated for another commercial station after the University closed the campus station down.
The Broadcast and Film Department (as the Telecommunication and Film Department was known at the time) decided to apply for a 10 watt non-commercial stereo FM license in the late 1960’s. The FCC construction permit for the station was granted in early 1970, and the license itself was granted September 7, 1972. The station’s call letters were WUAL and it used the antenna previously used by WUOA. Interestingly, Professor Knox Hagood, then Department Chairman, attempted to get the call letters WTYD in 1971 for the station. It is not known why his attempt was unsuccessful.
In the late 1970’s, the University decided to add a public radio station. A decision was made to appropriate the student station and apply for an upgrade in power. It was felt that it would be easier to apply for an increase in power than to apply for a new 100,000 watt station license. The Faculty of the Broadcast and Film Communication Department, primarily Associate Dean Kieth Barze, then undertook the effort to apply for a non-commercial educational license in order to have a student run station. Experimental Authority was granted by the FCC on April 1, 1981 to operate WVUA (the Voice of the University of Alabama). The station received its 7-year non-commercial educational broadcasting license from the FCC in 1989.
Today the station, operating out of Telecommunication and Film Department facilities, transmits a stereo FM signal 24 hours a day to the University community and much of the city of Tuscaloosa. WVUA-FM is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to the University of Alabama Board of Trustees. WVUA-FM is a chartered student organization and is staffed by approximately 50-70 student volunteers from both College of Communication and the University at large. Students do not receive course credit for working at the station.
The head of the Telecommunication and Film Department is the general manager of the station and works in conjunction with the faculty adviser to oversee the station. The general manager reports to the University of Alabama Board of Trustees, who is the licensee.
The Media Planning Board (MPB) became involved with the station in 1994. The MPB provides the station with stable funding, helps with the annual budget, and also conducts the annual interview for WVUA-FM station manager.
WVUA’s mission is two-fold. First, the station strives to provide the University community with the best possible news, public affairs, and entertainment programming to meet its special needs as a diverse academic community. The station’s second goal is to provide a vehicle for the basic training and education of University students who have a general interest in the field of broadcasting as well as those who want to pursue broadcasting as a career. As volunteers at WVUA, students learn about most aspects of modern radio station operation including news and public affairs programming, budgeting, underwriting solicitation, personnel management, music programming, promotions, community service and on-air performance, within the context of a federally licensed “real world” radio station operation.
Programming decisions and music selections are made on a non-discriminatory basis.
Materials should be sent to the attention of :
WVUA 90.7 FM
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
WVUA 90.7FM accepts new music submissions via CD. MP3 files and other forms of electronic media may also be accepted, but, WVUA 90.7FM suggests submission of music via CD when possible.
Please include a bio, one page is fine, just enough so that we know a little more about you.
Also, include a track listing and indicate any tracks that have defamatory, profane, indecent or obscene material. You may also want to point out which tracks you feel are your strongest.
Music submitted must be of broadcast quality.
Music submitted will not be returned.
WVUA 90.7 FM does not sell or barter access to its programmers.
The Music Director have established office hours for dealing with artists and labels. Artists and labels are encouraged to respect those windows. Please be aware that our programmers have many competing demands on their time and thus may not be able to return all calls or respond to all correspondence, particularly within time periods artists or labels might desire.
NOTE: With regard to musical work performance rights, WVUA 90.7 FM holds non-dramatic public performance licenses with ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC only. By submitting music for consideration, submitting entities and individuals represent and warrant that submitted music has been registered with one of these three performing rights organizations. Alternatively, if you are not a member of these organizations, you represent and warrant that you hold these rights personally and grant WVUA 90.7 FM the right to broadcast your material.
Contact info: wvuafm.ua.edu/staff/