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WCDB station open house is a UAlbany Go2!Event

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UAlbany's WCDB - 25 Years of Broadcast Memories

On March 1, 1978 in a small room in UAlbany’s campus center, WCDB signed on atTisha Lewis on the air 90.9 FM with 10 watts of power transmitted from Mohawk Tower. Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run” inaugurated the event. Since its fledgling beginnings as Albany State Radio Guild in the 1940s and ‘50s, to its AM status as WSUA in 1963, the station has grown – both in staff and wattage.

The 1990’s brought WCDB to a 24 hour expanded music menu, as well as routine broadcasts of athletic events. In 1999 WCDB made its first webcast and in 2002 acquired a new transmitter and antenna. But more than its technological improvements and the thousands of hours of listening pleasure it has given, the station has touched the lives of more than 2,000 alumni who have participated in the station’s activities. Many have gone on to careers in the broadcast and entertainment industry. “It’s been a wonderful training ground for students,” said James Doellefeld, UAlbany’s vice president for Student Affairs. “Its strength is its durability and the opportunity it has provided to students for personal growth.”

Marc Gronich, B.A.’81, joined WCDB as a freshman in 1978, the year it went on air as an FM station.  He got involved by attending an interest meeting, where an upperclassman suggested he try the news department. Gronich’s first assignment was to interview then Governor Nelson Rockefeller and other dignitaries at the dedication ceremony of the Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany. Since that first one-on-one, Gronich got the “news bug” and founded his own radio station news operation, Statewide News Service that covered New York’s state legislature and governor for 16 years. Now Gronich runs GeoPolitical Strategies, a political campaign and fund-raising firm based in Albany. “WCDB was an absolutely phenomenal experience for me and it helped develop my passion for news,” said Gronich.

90.9FM WCDBSeveral alumni are now organizing a drive to raise funds for WCDB. The money will help support a renovation and equipment upgrade, increase in the station’s power, and possibly provide an endowment to ensure WCDB’s ongoing success and growth. This initiative will be part of the anniversary celebration during Homecoming weekend, October 24-26.  Alumni are invited to participate in the festivities and sign up for a guest DJ slot or to go on the air to reminisce.

Just a sampling of alumni whose WCDB experience launched a career:
Lawrence Berger, B.A.’92, senior producer, NBA Entertainment; Dean Chang, B.A.’87, city editor, New York Daily News; Kevin Kelton, B.A.’78, television writer/producer (“Saturday Night Live,” “Night Court,” “Boy Meets World.”); Diarmuid Quinn, B.A.’83, executive vice president, Warner Bros. Records.

If you would like more information about WCDB’s 25th anniversary celebration, contact Bill McCann at wmccann@elections.state.ny.us or Marc Gronich at mgalbany@juno.com.

Students: WCDB's open house is a UAlbany Go2!Event. Bring your Go2!Events ID card to the radio station in the Campus Center Room 316 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 25, 2003. If you haven't registered yet, there's still time to win great prizes, just visit, UAlbany Go2!Events.

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