WOBC-FM is a student-run freeform community FM radio station at Oberlin College, located in Oberlin, Ohio. WOBC broadcasts 24 hours a day at 91.5-FM in Lorain County, Ohio. The station also runs an internet simulcast via streaming mp3.
|Broadcast area||Oberlin, Ohio|
|First air date||1950 as KOCN-AM|
1961 as WOBC-FM
WOBC broadcasts more than 150 programs weekly, each conceived by volunteer hosts and DJs. The shows are then chosen by the democratically elected station board. WOBC airs an eclectic mix of music and public affairs programming including new and old pop music, punk, folk, classical, blues, R&B, metal, hip-hop, jazz, electronic, radio dramas, talk shows, and news including the independently syndicated news program Democracy Now!.
A radio station at Oberlin College was first established in 1949 as KOCN, the Oberlin College Student Network, which made its first broadcast November 5, 1950 at 590-AM. The first broadcast originated from a building located at 32 East College Street that was later demolished to allow the construction of the Oberlin Inn. When construction of the Inn began in the mid-1950s, the radio station moved to the garage behind Grey Gables, a building on West College Street that was later demolished to construct the Mudd Center. The station’s call letters changed from KOCN to WOBC in the early 1950s to comply with new call-letter standards.
During this early period, studio equipment and broadcast electronics were built by Oberlin College students, save the purchase of used turntables and microphones. The AM signal was broadcast directly to dormitories over a network of wire and transmission boxes attached to electrical poles in town. In 1953, the station acquired a Teletype machine as a result of a sponsorship deal with Lucky Strike which provided news updates. During the first two decades of the station’s operation, programming consisted largely of classical music, news, jazz and popular music. The station is notable in recent years for efforts to reach out beyond the Oberlin College student body that makes up the majority of volunteer DJs and listener to the wider Lorain County community.
WOBC began broadcasting at 88.7-FM in 1961. The studio remained at the garage behind Grey Gables until 1964 when the station moved to its current location in Wilder Hall. It now broadcasts on 91.5-FM and through webcast.
- Scott, James. "WOBC: The Birth of a Station". oberlincollegearchivesstudents.tumblr.com. Oberlin College Archives. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- Salsich, Anne Cuyler. "Student Life: WOBC Radio Station Records, 1942, 1949-2000, 2002-2011". www.oberlinlibstaff.com. Oberlin College Archives. Retrieved 6 August 2014.