AfDM|page=WIDB|date=October 2008|substed=yes

Infobox Radio station
name = WIDB

city = Carbondale, Illinois
area =
branding =
slogan =
frequency = Carrier current, Cable TV-FM, SHOUTcast
translator =
repeater =
airdate = April 12, 1970
share =
share as of =
share source =
format = Alternative rock and Hip hop
power =
erp =
haat =
class =
facility_id =
coordinates =
callsign_meaning = Inter-Dormitory Broadcasting
former_callsigns =
affiliations =
owner = Southern Illinois University
licensee = Student operated
sister_stations =
webcast = [ The Remedy]
[ The Revolution]
website = http://www.widb.net/

WIDB is an unlicensed carrier current radio station on the campus of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. It can also be heard via Cable FM and as streaming audio over the internet.


The station currently operates a dual radio format consisting of The Revolution and The Remedy:WIDB. [http://www.widb.net/About_Us.htm About Us] . Accessed October 11, 2008.]
*The Revolution is an alternative rock radio station featuring music from artists such as Beck, TV on the Radio, and Spoon.
*The Remedy is a hip hop radio station featuring music from artists such as Mos Def, Talib Kweli, De La Soul, and Handsome Boy Modeling School.

Both stations also feature broadcasts of several of the University's athletics programs.WIDB. [http://www.widb.net/About_Us.htm About Us] . Accessed October 11, 2008.]


WIDB launched in Spring 1970 due, in part, to long frustration about the lack of quality radio stations in the area. The process for creating WIDB started in September 1967 by Jerry Chabrian and George Bourus. Through their months of effort they eventually got the support of 2 senators from SIU's Student Senate who passed a bill in January 1968 formally starting the planning process on creating a student radio station. After more months of work Chabrain and Bourus presented the final proposal for a student radio station to the Student Govenrnment, and was eventually approved by the Student Government in May 1968.

During this period also the campus had many "grass roots" pirate radio stations that popped up in the residence halls and the nearby houses. Eventually these pirate stations became increasingly organized and larger signal strengths. Some students had gotten larger transmitters placed on the roofs of Boomer hall and eventually it was rumored that one was on the roof of the high rise Schnider Tower. Bourus and Chabrian used the popularity of these pirate radio stations to fuel their efforts in creating a legitimate student ran radio station. Also, from these pirate radio stations is where WIDB got its first staff.

On May 5, 1969 after all approvals were met, the board of directors of the, unnamed student radio station met for the first time. They worked on budgeting for the initial start up costs and funding for the 69-70 school year.widbnetwork.org [http://www.widbnetwork.org/history13.htm History - Chapter 13] . Accessed October 12, 2008.] In October 1969 members of the station agreed to call letters of WIDB which stood for "Inter-Dormitory Broadcasting" (although local lore had it that WIDB stood for "In Da Basement" referring to the studio location).widbnetwork.org [http://www.widbnetwork.org/history14.htm History - Chapter 14] . Accessed October 12, 2008.] The station was recognized, funded, and now had a name. It was ready to flip the switch.

In February 1970 the basement of the Wright I residence Hall was selected to be the station's home.widbnetwork.org [http://www.widbnetwork.org/history15.htm History - Chapter 15] . Accessed October 12, 2008.] It took them six months to construct and wire the station and to install transmitters in most of the residence hall buildings around campus. Initially, WIDB was only accessible via an AM radio signal passed as Common Carrier in the university power grid by a transmitter installed in each of the buildings.

This step alone made WIDB unique; in that it was the original, "Cellular System". Transformers in the power grid would break down the AM wave, separate transmitters were needed after every power transformer, to complete total coverage of the campus. Bourus and Chabrian decided the best way to carry the audio signals to the various transmitters would be by leasing phone lines by the mile from AT&T, (they didn't care that WIDB wouldn't be using them for regular phone conversation), and then hooking each transmitter to its own dedicated audio (phone) line. In that way, it became impossible to cancel out the signal by eliminating just one transmitter. All the transmitters would have to be found, and the tracking systems were overwhelmed.

After the success of Bourus and Chabrian's system, other "Pirate" stations couldn't hold a candle to WIDB. The signal in each Dorm was impeccable, the audio better than any other available at the time on the AM band. The system was adopted by other campus's all over, and that is the special place WIDB holds in the annals of Student Radio...

This is not unlike later concerns that would use phone lines to deliver cell phone signals to their respective transmitters. Bourus and Chabrian led the field in the use of multiple transmitters in a cellular network to provide coverage to the entire campus on regular AM radios. Their audio fidelity was unsurpassed for the medium . AM was chosen only for the fact that in 1967 FM was not as available to the ordinary student at SIU.

Once all that was said and done on April 12, 1970 the switch was flipped and WIDB was on the air, legally.widbnetwork.org [http://www.widbnetwork.org/history19.htm History - Chapter 19] . Accessed October 12, 2008.] An extensive and vivid history of the station's beginnings set against the backdrop of the turbulent 1960s and early 1970s can be found on the [http://www.widbnetwork.org/history.htm WIDB alumni website] .

Through the years WIDB's popularity grew there was an increased demand for the station to be heard throughout the campus. In the 90's WIDB started broadcasting on Cable FM, which was simply an FM signal broadcast through a cable line. WIDB staff passed out converters to attach to their radios to pick up the signal. The 104.7 FM signal still exists on SIU's campus cable network but is not used nor marketed. There were attempts to get WIDB on the Carbondale Cable network but, the setup was never approved by local cable company.

Because WIDB is not a broadcast station, it does not possess a license from the Federal Communications Commission. Various attempts to apply for a broadcast license have been complicated by the university's lack of interest (SIU already is a licensee of WSIU FM and WUSI-FM (simulcasts WSIU-FM with tower near Olney, Illinois) and alleged legal threats from local commercial radio stations. In addition, the only available non-commercial FM radio frequency was awarded by the FCC to WDBX in Carbondale, Illinois. In late 1990s WIDB started broadcasting over the internet using a University provided Real Audio signal. However, this signal had bad audio and was shut down during University sports to provide a link to the broadcast of University sports. In 2000 Chief Engineer Bob Piet and Webmaster Mike Palic installed a Shoutcast server and later purchased a server for the station, greatly increasing the stations online capacity and quality.

In 1999 WIDB approached the University to approve the station obtaining a Low Power FM license.The station fronted the money for the engineering study and it looked like WIDB's dream of obtaining a broadcast license would come true. However, the application was never approved due to the FCC adding a third channel protection clause to the LPFM regulations. Thus WIDB had to find other methods.

In 2000, Station Manager, Steve "Slimb" Landgraf and Chief Engineer Piet started several. projects to restore the station back to the way it was to its glory as it was back in the 70's. Landgraf noticed that the station was still paying for its phone lines used to for sportscasts. Through a few months of discovery and bothering university officials WIDB started broadcasting sports games again in March 2001. Jimmy Michaels and Evan O'Donnell were the stations sports commentators for the next 2 years.

Piet and Landgraf, tried a WIDB in the dining halls programed that fell through because some vocal members of University Housing Government we not fans of the station and protested, claiming it would disturb students who studied while eating. Also agreement could not be reached on the volume level between WIDB and University Housing.

Piet and Landgraf's last project was to restore the news department into a department that could compete with student newspaper. To get assist with creating the news studio Piet and his engineering staff went up to St. Louis and sought donations from local radio stations. Piet returned with a bounty of unused but working equipment and started construction of the News Studio. This project also never came to be; however it did light the way for WIDB's split formats. When Landgraf and Piet left WIDB the news studio and the equipment in it became the studio for WIDB - The Remedy its 100% hip-hop format stream.

WIDB is recognized as a Registered Student Organization of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. [SIU. [http://www.stddev.siu.edu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=66 List of Registered Student Organizations] .] WIDB is directly operated by students of Southern Illinois University Carbondale and supervised by faculty advisers (usually Department of Radio-Television professors from the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts.


WIDB is also broadcast via cable FM through the campus's cable network. This is achieved by sending the signal through a phone line to the cable head end room located in the Communications Building. The audio signal goes into an FM modulator then is mixed into the rest of the cable signal with the other channels. Any person can then spit their cable line and using a 75 ohm converter hook it into the FM antenna of any FM receiver. At the same location WIDB's signal is sent to one of university housing's cable channels by using a radio tuned to 104.7 then using it as the audio source for the info channel it is plugged into.

WIDB operates out of a large space on the fourth floor of the SIUC Student Center.WIDB. [http://www.widb.net/About_Us.htm About Us] . Accessed October 11, 2008.] The stream is broadcast via Icecast and in 2004 automation was handled by the Stewie Radio Automation Project which was written for WIDB in 2000 by Jason Schindler, the acting program director. [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20040813014451/http://www.wolfteck.com/~jschind/stewie/ Stewie Radio Automation Project] via webarchive.org. Aug 13, 2004.]

WIDB in pop culture

In the film, "Amazon Women on the Moon" (1987), WIDB is featured as a television station broadcasting from Carbondale, Illinois on Channel 8, the frequency of the university's PBS station. The film's director and producer, Robert K. Weiss, is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale and hosted WIDB's first live weekly broadcast from a local nightclub.

Famous alumni

* Bob Odenkirk of Mr. Show with Bob and David
* Susan Schumake, radio and broadcasting student at SIU. Raped and murdered following a WIDB staff meeting by Daniel M. Woloson. [ [http://southsubs.com/Memorial_Scholarship.htm Memorial Scolarship] .] [ [http://spotlight.siu.edu/03232006/Schumake.html Susan Schumake murder case resolved] . March 23, 2006.] Featured on A&E's Cold Case Files program in 2007. [ [http://media.www.siude.com/media/storage/paper1096/news/2006/10/06/News/Cold-Case.Files.Airing.Segment.On.Schumake-2335563.shtml Cold Case Files airing segment on Schumake] . October 2006.]

ee also

*College of Mass Communication & Media Arts
*Southern Illinois University Carbondale


External links

* [http://www.widb.net/ WIDB.net]
* [http://www.widbnetwork.org/history.htm widbnetwork.org - History]
* [http://www.widbnetwork.org/ widbnetwork.org - WIDB Alumni]
* [http://www.siucstudentcenter.org/ SIUC Student Center]
* [http://rtv.siu.edu SIUC Department of Radio-Television]
* [http://mcma.siu.edu SIUC College of Mass Communication & Media Arts]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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