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WSRU represents the call letters of two different organizations at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, both the student-run television station, WSRU-TV, as well as the student-run FM radio station, WSRU-FM (88.1).


WSRU-TV is completely student produced and run television broadcast production company.

WSRU-TV has been covering sporting events, such as football, basketball and soccer games, campus events, such as Jack Hanna's visit to Slippery Rock, and has been creating an outside the studio news broadcast continuing with the "Around the Rock" program.

In 2013, WSRU-TV received a brand-new production studio.


Broadcast area Pennsylvania
Branding '
Slogan The voice of the Rock
Frequency 88.1 (MHz)
First air date September 20, 1991
Format Rock
ERP 100 watts
Class A
Owner Student Government Association and the Board of Trustees of SRU

WSRU (88.1 FM) is a the student operated radio station in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, in western Pennsylvania. The station licensee, Slippery Rock University Board of Trustees and Student Government Association (SGA) is authorized by the Federal Communications Commission.


WSRU is Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania's campus radio station. It is owned by the Student Government Association and the Board of Trustees of SRU. It is operated at a "whopping" 100 watts of power (according to the station's legal sign-off for DJs), serving SRU and the surrounding community. WSRU is run entirely by SRU students and prides itself on providing diversity in its programming for the diverse student population.


WSRU's history:

  • Fall 1960 - In the first semester of 1960, a closed circuit radio station operated on a nightly schedule in Patterson hall with a power output of less than 1/10 of one watt. This station originated in room 38 of Patterson Hall and broadcast an hour of recorded music and campus news each evening to the three hundred men living in the dorm. The call letters chosen for the station came from the four initial letters of "News from Thirty-Eight." Hence the call letters "NFTE" and its nickname "Nifty" were adopted. Near the end of the Fall 1960 the transmitting equipment was damaged, and Patterson Hall's radio station went off the air. Several attempts were made to repair the equipment, but the semester came to an end along with the enthusiasm for "NFTE".
A great deal of research was done to investigate the possibilities of a campus-wide closed circuit radio station for Slippery Rock State College. Through the assiduous efforts of Mr. Carl Laughner (who we believe was a professor in the Education Department) the answers were found and were considered to be extremely promising.
Slippery Rock becomes a member of the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (I.B.S.) The climax of weeks of letter writing and meeting on the part of Mr. Laughner, Dave Perry and James Wentz came when they were informed that Slippery Rock State College had become a member of the I.B.S.. A form was sent to the Federal Communications Commission requesting a call sign. They were glad to hear their first choice "WNFT" was approved and that the license was granted to Slippery Rock State College permitting a 10 watt transmitter to operate on a designated frequency of the broadcast band using the call letter WNFT.
The question remained when would WNFT be campus-wide? The foremost issue was money. The WNFT treasury had $110. They did not have enough money at the time to purchase the amount of equipment needed to operate a suitable system. Secondly a room would have to be approved for use as a studio. They determined that the room should be in a relatively central location on campus. Key people involved in getting WNFT on the air at the time included Jim Wentz, Don Nesbitt, Dave Parry and Mr. Carl Laughner. This included building the consol and the transmitter! In addition to equipment they were also procuring records and tapping all free sources known. These sources included 10 to 30 minute spots of music from the armed services. In December of 1961, "NFTE" staff sold "Tag Day" tickets for $0.25 each to students to continue to raise the funds needed.
The "proposed but not approved" weekday schedule at the time was:
7:00 a.m. - News, meal menus, weekday calendar, special events and music until 8:30 a.m.
8:30 p.m. - Introductory late news compiled during the day, music until 9:00 p.m.
9:00 p.m. - Jazz, classical concert and show music.
10:00 p.m. - Interviews, debates, discussions, taped shows or popular music until 11:00 p.m.
11:00 p.m. - News and sign off
  • Sunday April 15, 1962 - After two years of cooperative student and faculty efforts, station WNFT held an open house in North Hall in what at one time was called "The little library" on Sunday, April 15, 1962 that began at 2:00 p.m. Everyone was invited to view and to hear the new 600 kc., 25 watts Slippery Rock radio station. The broadcast radius covered 3 dormitories. Twelve representatives of area radio stations observed at the open house. The first official broadcast was at 6:00 p.m. and broadcast to all dorms with a tape of light classical music performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. But in what became typical "Nifty Radio " fashion they were in need of funds. On April 15, 1962 according to now "faculty sponsor" Mr. Carl Laughner, the station still needs $50 for records and expendable items. Of the $283.00 that had been donated, only $10.00 was left in the treasury for repairs. He indicated that this could end WNFT's broadcasts at any time and donations from organizations and students would be accepted with gratitude.
  • 1962 - 1980's - The station's radio programming was heard eventually by carrier current in the on campus residence halls, off campus residence halls and college apartments on Kiester Road and Cooper Street and student union on SRSC campus. It broadcast from North Hall lobby until the opening of the Student Union in 1970 when the broadcast facilities are moved to the 2nd floor of the Student Union which is where the station under new call letters resides today. In its "prime" the station's programming schedule continuously broadcast from 7:00 am until 2:00 am daily (19 hours a day - 7 days a week) with a significant library of music geared primarily to a Top-40 rock format launching several student careers into the broadcast marketplace. Most shifts lasted 2 – 3 hours utilizing as many as 8 shifts a day with 25 different "disc jockeys" each semester. Additional programming included news, weather, sports and public affairs programs. There was a continuity, news, engineering, production, advertising (yes advertising dollars were raised to offset operating costs) and programming staff under the direction of the station general manager. During that time, the ABC Radio Network was utilized for a 5-minute national news hourly update and an associated press machine was installed in the offices for the collection and presentation of additional news, sports and weather broadcasts. Between 1970 and until at least 1978, WNFT with the help of the school administration launched and maintained the Slippery Rock Radio Network broadcasting both home and away football and basketball games not only to the campus but simulcast to commercial stations WBUT and WKST radio in Butler and New Castle, PA. The above researched and collected by former WNFT General Manager Kevin Krepinevich '76
  • 1980 - WNFT changes its student organization name to WRCK and logo "The Rock", for better association with college's nickname and music programming.
  • 1981 - The WRCK staff select Gregory Beat, Coordinator of Residence Education and Student Activities (Interim Director of University Union 1982-1983) during this time period, to serve as faculty advisor. He led the station based on his previous work and advisory experience with college radio facilities (WIUM, WVKC, WRKC).
  • 1983 - During Homecoming weekend, the original version of WSRU goes on the air as an FM Educational station, broadcasting from the 2nd floor of the Eisenberg Classroom Building. The programming consists of "block programming," including Jazz, Classical and Orchestral music, Rock, Easy Listening/Soft Rock, Country and Christian themed selections. The Communication Department-run station runs concurrently with the existing WRCK until the department ceases operations of their station in 1991.
  • 1990 - Slippery Rock University installs and activates a campus-wide digital telephone system. This, in effect, eliminates the broadcast of WRCK-AM, as its carrier current AM transmission was dependent on the old analog telephone lines to the campus residence halls. WRCK broadcasts to the lobby of the University Union for the entire 1990 - 1991 academic year .
  • 1990 - WRCK received a construction permit, number BPED-890424MK, for a non-commercial/educational FM license. The carrier current equipment is retired.
  • 1990 - Call letters: WRSK becomes effective on November 30.
  • 1991 - September 20, 1991—First day on-air for WRSK.
  • 1992 - November 2, 1992—Presidential hopeful Jerry Brown calls and is interviewed by Richard Hart, host of WSRU's only talk radio program, "Straight to the Hart."
  • 1994 - Torey Verts becomes the first female General Manager of WRSK.
  • 1995 - Dr. Deborah Cohen becomes advisor of WRSK.
  • 2003 - Paul Miller from the P-Money show interviews WWE Legend Mick "Mankind" Foley on the Low Blow Show. Foley then spoke at the University's Union about his time in the WWE.
  • 2006 - On December 1, WRSK becomes WSRU.
  • 2007 - Dr. Kurt Pitluga serves as faculty advisor for WSRU.
  • 2012 - WSRU celebrates the 50th Anniversary of radio at Slippery Rock University.
  • 2013 - WSRU-FM goes digital, and begins broadcasting online.

Notable Alumni

WSRU FM has had a few of its former members find careers in mainstream radio.

  • Alex Stoyanoff - Summer Class Of 2013, Co-Host of Integrity 3.0 on 88.1 FM WSRU. Former producer for WBGG AM Pittsburgh 970 ESPN (In The Locker Room With Tunch and Wolf, Savran On Sports, Savran/Benz), Producer/Former Call Screener for WXDX FM Pittsburgh 105.9 The X (Pen's Week, The Mark Madden Show). Appears in various commercials.
  • James Garrity - Spring Class Of 2014, Co-Host of The Sunday Sauce on 88.1 FM WSRU. Current News Anchor for News Radio 1020 KDKA.

External links

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