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Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy 30th birthday, WFAE!

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 10:06 AM

click to enlarge WFAE Logo 30

The NPR affiliate plans to host an open house on Aug. 19, and all are invited (just be sure to RSVP). Here's the press release, which will fill you in on the station's history:

In 1981 WFAE 90.7fm hit the Charlotte airwaves with Morning Edition, All Things Considered, jazz and classical music from basement studios at UNC Charlotte. To commemorate this milestone, the station is hosting an open house at its studios in the University area on Fri., Aug. 19, 4-8 p.m.

“This is an opportunity to thank members, listeners and businesses who have been so generous with their support,” said Roger Sarow, WFAE president and general manager. “We're privileged to be part of this community and look forward to serving for another 30 years.”

One of the evening's highlights is a recording of Charlotte Talks for future broadcast. At 6 p.m. Host Mike Collins will talk about the art of grilling with Peter Reinhart, Chef-on-Assignment at Johnson & Wales University, Scott Graf, WFAE Morning Edition host and amateur griller, and others. They'll discuss grilling equipment, what to grill, tried and true methods, and the latest grilling techniques.

The party will also feature tours, in-studio demonstrations, the music of Gena Chambers, hors d'oeuvres and cash bar. Admission is free. RSVP is requested at wfae.org/openhouse.

Although the station has evolved over the years, WFAE’s mission to provide Charlotte-area listeners with quality radio programming has remained the same.

WFAE 90.7fm Highlights 1981-2011:

When WFAE went on the air in 1981, the station was licensed to UNC Charlotte. By 1986, WFAE traded its campus basement studios for bigger basement studios in the newly-built One University Place. A state budget crisis and record revenue shortfall ultimately reduced state support for the station, and in 1993 WFAE separated from the university to become a community-licensed station. University Radio Foundation Inc., a volunteer board comprised of members from the community, became the stewards of the station. In 1995 WFHE 90.3fm signed on the air to better serve Hickory-area listeners.

In 1996 WFAE changed its daytime format of contemporary jazz to include news and information programming, such as The Diane Rehm Show, Fresh Air with Terry Gross and Talk of the Nation. The station launched its own local call-in program, Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins, in 1998.

As the 21st century began, WFAE embarked on technical projects to improve its signal coverage over Lake Norman and to become the first radio station in Charlotte to broadcast its signal using HD Radio technology. This cutting-edge technology allows WFAE to divide its signal into multiple streams. Jazz returned to the station on WFAE HD2 and an eclectic blend of rock, blues and more is available on WFAE HD3 .

In the midst of the Great Recession, demand for social agencies' services was soaring and budgets were slashed. To help Charlotte residents understand the charitable needs in the community, WFAE joined a coalition of media outlets called Charlotte: Mission Possible.

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