WHCL is a non-profit, student-run, super-cool, free-form station. Located atop College Hill in the beeaaauutiful village of Clinton, New York, it boasts 270 watts of power, and has been known to take over cellular phones and cause cancer in laboratory rats. WHCL runs 22 hours a day, 7 days a week, blasting through the Mohawk Valley and its barely legal 40-mile radius.|
In all seriousness, we're just a bunch of college kids trying to provide the world (well...) with music, sports, public affairs, and other programming. We are a station that is dedicated to maintaining professional, yet exciting and thought-provoking entertainment. Owned by the College but run by students, we have a broad programming schedule with anything from Hip-Hop to Baroque.... live Sports broadcasts to Public Affairs debates. We provide over 200 students and professors on the hill with the unique opportunity of expression, making WHCL the largest student organization on campus.
WHCL was started on this campus during the fall of 1941 pioneered by Wentworth D. Fling, a young professor of Romance Languages. Fling was skilled in phonetics and began to experiment with radio signals. On January 29, 1942 Hamilton President W.H. Crowley read a message over the air proclaiming the beginning of WHC, a "radiator pipe" station which broadcast on 640 Kilohertz A.M. "Radiator Pipe" radio sends a signal through the outlets of specific buildings and allows people to tune into the station by placing their radios within 25 feet of the nearest outlet. In the beginning, WHC broadcast for only 2-1/2 hours per day, 7 days per week. During 1948 WHC ceased operation because of serious equipment failure.
1958 marked the re-birth of WHC under the direction of Lee Ostrander '61, and Dave Eckerman and Don Dunfee '62. These men built a new transmitter out of new and used equipment. This transmitter allowed WHC's signal to be broadcast to one-half of the campus. In 1960 the FCC ordered WHC to add another call letter and thus WHCL was born. During the winter of 1963 WHCL moved from the basement of Root Hall to a new location in the basement of Minor Theatre. On February 18, 1963 WHCL was granted a FM class D license by the FCC. WHCL's signal strength was 16 watts, and was broadcast from a tower on the top of South Dormitory. The programming day at this time was 7-1/2 hours long 7 days a week.
Stereo broadcasting was introduced to WHCL in 1982. Under the direction of Charles Osgood '83, WHCL expanded it's signal strength to 210 watts which covered a 22-mile radius of the Hamilton Campus. 1983 brought another expansion of the WHCL signal strength to 270 watts 1984 marked a programming format change for WHCL with a move to "New Music" provoked by Chris Muran '84, and Mark Pisani '85. WHCL dropped it's slogan "The voice of Hamilton College," which it had been since 1942, and took on the new slogan "One Step Beyond," which was to reflect the style of the music of up and coming bands. The "New Music" format allowed more than 100 students to be involved in the radio station and expanded the programming schedule to 19 hours on weekdays and 24 hours on weekends.
1986 marked a time when WHCL had some internal problems and was forced to go through tremendous re-organization. After the station was reorganized WHCL made its first move towards a 24-hour broadcast day, 7 days a week in 1988. This move which was originated by Ken Applebaum '90 and has continued ever since it was made. In 1990 Keoki Kerr '90 and Beck Sassi '91 introduced the six o'clock news to WHCL. This was a student-run newscast which lasted for one-half hour and is still used today. 1990 was also the time when WHCL dropped its slogan "One Step Beyond" and instituted its slogan "Clinton's #1 Radio Station." This was done to show broadcasting for community involvement as well as campus involvement.
In 1992 WHCL moved once again, from it's delapidated studios in Minor Theatre to the basement of Bristol Campus Center. These state-of-the-art studios feature sound-proofing and many other luxuries that Minor plain didn't have. The 1990's have proven to be successful years for WHCL, and as the later years of the century pass by, WHCL seems to keep up with it all.