WGTB is a student-run internet radio station at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. The station was originally founded as an AM station in 1946 by Rev. Francis Layden, SJ, moving to FM in 1960. In the late 1960s and through the 1970s, the station attracted attention in the Washington, DC area for its blend of alternative rock. Its tag line was WGTB, one nation underground. Strong left-wing sentiments, especially ads for the Washington Free Clinic, caused significant friction between the station's staff and the school's administration. Ultimately, Fr. Timothy Healy, SJ, Georgetown's president, donated the 6700-watt signal, broadcasting at 90.1 FM, to the University of the District of Columbia in 1979 for the sum of one dollar. UDC sold the signal to C-SPAN in 1997 for $25 million.
A new student staff resurrected the College radio station in 1982 as WROX-AM, an album-oriented rock format broadcasting to individual campus buildings over carrier current at 690 AM. The station reverted to its WGTB call sign in 1985, moving to an alternative format. After the move from studios in the Copley dormitory basement to the Leavey Center in 1996, the station broadcast via a "leaky cable" FM system at 92.3 MHz, also intended to ensure that the station could only broadcast around the campus and its immediate environs. Since 2001, WGTB's content has been available exclusively over the web. Broadcasts can be heard every day from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m at georgetownradio.com.
Recorded programming from WGTB, mostly in the 1970s can be heard Wednesdays on internet-radio station, WGAY (found at wgay.fm) Fortunately, hundreds of hours of WGTB were recorded by various listeners, several of whom have allowed WGAY to borrow and digitally dub these historical tapes, so that the sound of WGTB will continue to be heard.
Allie Prescott (COL 2014) is the current General Manager.
Past General Managers include Alexander Podkul (Class of 2013), Caroline Klibanoff ('12), GT Wrobel ('11), and Dan Cook ('10).
- Article on the History of WGTB, from The Georgetown Independent
- "Radio Free Georgetown," Article on WGTB's clashes with the administration of Georgetown University, from the Washington City Paper, January 29, 1999
- Facebook Group "Vintage WGTB-FM"
- Radical Silence: The Story of WGTB-FM
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