WBAU was located at 90.3 on the FM dial, which it shared with WHPC, owned by Nassau Community College. Under the original agreement, WHPC owned the frequency from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM, and WBAU owned it from 5:00 PM until 1:00 AM. From 1:00 AM until 9:00 AM, the two stations switched ownership of the frequency on an "odd–even day" basis, although neither station generally operated between 1:00 and 9:00 AM until 1982, when the agreement was amended to allow WBAU to operate daily between 6:30 and 9:00 AM. WBAU did take advantage of its time during its annual "Radiothon" fundraiser.
WBAU was originally called WALI, and broadcast entirely through carrier current at 640 on the AM dial. When, in 1971, the school decided to expand broadcast to the FM band, a protest by nearby WHLI (based on the call letters sounding so similar) led to the change to WBAU. Under these new call letters, the station began FM broadcasting in July 1972. They also continued broadcasting via carrier current to the school's dormitories and were piped directly into Post Hall (the resident students' dining hall) and the cafeteria in the Student Center. The first record played was "Long Time Gone" by Crosby, Stills and Nash.
WBAU's broadcast tower was originally located in Mitchel Field; however when the tower was taken down in 1981, the station reduced power to 130 watts and moved their antenna to the top of the student center. Three years later they secured a new, higher location atop the Marriott Hotel in Uniondale, New York. The new antenna broadcast WBAU's signal at an effective radiated power of 1100 watts, making it one of the strongest signals on Long Island at the time.
In August 1995, due to a clash of philosophies between the university president and the student-run radio station, WBAU was abruptly shut down by the university. Its license and equipment were reportedly "voluntarily" sold to WHPC. The remnants of the dual control room, multichannel studios and the 10,000+ album record/CD library, which took over 40 years to collect, were discarded by the university.
Alumni and former radio staff
- Chris Gampat [Former President]
- Ben Guralnik [Former Vice-President]
- Chuckie D. Rapper Chuck D, Keith Boxley Keith Shocklee, and Hank Boxley Hank Shocklee of Public Enemy
- Doctor Dré (former Yo! MTV Raps Today host), T-Money (also a former Yo! MTV Raps Today host), Rapper G, Easy G and Wildman Steve of Original Concept
- J.D. Walker (Jim White) Host of the WBAU's Overnight Flight - http://www.linkedin.com/in/voiceimagingbydakar http://voiceimagingbydakar.net
- Adario Strange
- Jonathan Wolfert, founder of Jam Creative Productions
- D.J. Riz
- Ken Norian
- Gary Dell'Abate
- Mark Alan Biggs .
- Doug Miles 1981-1986 Sports Director, Newscaster, Host Big Band Sound. Currently broadcaster/writer/producer in Sarasota,FL (www.dougmilesmedia.com)
- Vitamin C. (Craig Campbell)
- Rusty J.
- Laura J. Scott (Who Knows What, ASM 1981-82) - http://www.laurajudithscott.com
- Receiver Z.
- Thaddeus Robinson
- Ken Deep
- N.Y. Polka Bob
- Gary on the Radio (Sat Mornings)
- Amy "The Night Nurse" Wachtel
- Mr. Billy (Bill Stephney)
- John Schmidt
- Jim Doig-Jazz Fusion, The Who Knows What Show—call in trivia program
- Kevin J. Doran
- Michael R. Glaser http://www.linkedin.com/pub/michael-glaser/7/671/48b
- John Rosenblatt
- Frank Van Brunt ("Spark in the Dark" Christian Rock n' Roll Show, Fridays 8-10pm 1988-1994)
- John W. Cronin ("Spark in the Dark" Christian Rock n' Roll Show, Fridays 8-10pm 1994-1995)
- M.C. D.J. Flavor Flav of Public Enemy
- WHPC — radio station at 90.3 FM that used to share time with WBAU