The “Rhythm of the City” is finally moving to its new home.
After being evicted by Yale from its base at Hendrie Hall last summer, undergraduate-run radio station WYBC is moving this weekend to 142 Temple St., opposite the Omni-New Haven Hotel. WYBC’s FM station has been acclaimed as New Haven’s most popular radio station and is one of the country’s few commercial college stations.
Last summer the University decided to convert Hendrie Hall into a School of Music facility, effectively throwing out the radio station. When deciding where to move, the radio board looked at properties owned by the University — including a space on Chapel Street — but found no Yale-owned location convenient enough. The new office boasts brand new hi-tech equipment, four studios, a reception and a news desk from which broadcasting can take place.
The facility was recently renovated and does not have loud air conditioners or heaters that would disturb radio shows.
Funding the rental remains difficult. WYBC receives money through a deal with Cox Broadcasting, which sells advertisements for WYBC. However, the amount of income WYBC receives just covers its current expenses — the station is a non-profit organization run mostly by volunteers.
WYBC general manager Katherine Kunz said that the eviction from Hendrie Hall was upsetting, but that although it came as an unwanted shock, it is now a great opportunity.
The new WYBC looks to be bigger and better than ever before, she said. Bolstered by an inexhaustible freshman class, WYBC plans to take itself to the next level by completely digitizing in five years — a move that would take WYBC to the level of commercial radio stations, Kunz said.
“There are more options for people at WYBC,” Kunz said. “There are a variety of slots available, for example in news and music. We have better training and mentoring programs, to prevent DJs from slipping through the cracks. The new equipment is fantastic. And the excitement is great.”
By having the AM and FM stations use automated DJ systems, WYBC plans to have no dead air time from 5 p.m. on Sunday. It plans to have its first board meeting this Friday and an open house next month.