|City of license||New Brunswick, New Jersey|
|Broadcast area||Central New Jersey|
|Frequency||88.7 FM (MHz)|
|First air date||April 26, 1948|
|Format||Non-commercial campus radio|
WRSU (88.7 FM) is a non-commercial college radio station serving the greater Central New Jersey area, broadcasting from the campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It is a student-run public radio station with Rutgers faculty member Tim Espar serving as its Broadcast Administrator. WRSU broadcasts on FM and streams all of its programming online.
WRSU currently operates mostly on free-form programming. Shows do not have to fit a certain style on a normal broadcast schedule with DJ's creating their own playlists. Genres of music that the station broadcasts includes various forms of rock, including indie, alternative and metal. The station also broadcasts electronic, rap/hip-hop, and other diverse genres of music.
There is an eclectic level of diversity in WRSU's specialty programming, and many shows focus on one particular brand of music and are broadcast weekly. A few of these shows are listed below:
- The Power of Gospel, Sunday, 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. - gospel and talk radio
- African Kaleidoscope, Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - jazz, blues, urban and africana
- Flexible Vinyl, Thursday, 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - punk and new wave
- Low Budget Blues, Thursday, 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. - blues
- Jazz From The Hub, Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. - jazz
- Sonida Tropical, Friday, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - tropical latin
- Overnight Sensations, Friday, 10:00 p.m. - 12:00 p.m. - local music, originally hosted by future MTV music personality Matt Pinfield
- The Blueprint Radio, Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - hip hop music and underground hip hop
World Music Sundays
The station commits its Sunday programming schedule to members of the diverse New Brunswick community. The current world music programming schedule at WRSU includes:
- The Israel Hour, from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
- The Turkish Hour, from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
- The Pakistani Hour, from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
- The Voice of Greece, from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
- Glimpses of India, from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
- The Hungarian Hour, from 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
- The Voice of Ireland, from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
- African New Dawn, from 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Rutgers Radio has a base within sports related-programming, as the WRSU Sports department works exclusively with the Rutgers athletic department in order to broadcast athletic events, and train students for a career in broadcast media. The station has been broadcasting Rutgers athletics since 1954.
Student broadcasters perform play-by-play coverage for all games - home and away, for Rutgers football, as well as men's and women's basketball. WRSU remains the flagship station for the Rutgers Women's Basketball program. Select home baseball, soccer and lacrosse games are also covered. WRSU also credentials students to cover home games as sports reporters, and allows members of the department to practice writing game stories and opinion pieces to be posted on the WRSU website.
Since 1974, WRSU has hosted a post game show, called Knightline, for listeners to call-in and discuss Rutgers athletics after every Football and Men's Basketball broadcast.
The station currently broadcasts two weekly sports talk shows, hosted by members of the Sports department. These shows feature frequent interviews from members of the regional and national sports media, as well as those within the Rutgers athletic community.
- SportsKnight - every Tuesday, 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
- The Scarlet Fever Show - every Friday, 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
WRSU broadcasts 15-minute "WRSU News at Ten" updates Monday-Thursday nights at 10 PM, and a 15-minute "WRSU News at Noon" update Fridays at Noon. The newscasts cover events, issues, and trends happening at Rutgers, with national and local headline reports and weather forecasts.
The news department also produces KnightBeat, airing every Tuesday at 10 PM. Knight Beat is a news-talk show featuring interviews with campus organizations and leaders, discussions of the latest news headlines, and detailed profiles and discussions of Rutgers issues.
WRSU News is in the process of becoming a fully multimedia equipped operation. The department will focus not only on terrestrial radio broadcasts, but also providing special content like blogs, podcasts, print-form stories, and video. Their multimedia-based blog was launched in April, and features news and opinion on issues both at Rutgers and around the world.
The WRSU news department also provides live coverage of Rutgers events, as well as annual election coverage. In recent years WRSU has played host to both Democratic and Republican Presidential Conventions Headquarters.
WRSU provided live coverage of the 2008 Presidential election on November 4, featuring live reports from the New Jersey Democratic and Republican headquarters, analysis by Rutgers political commentators, up-to-the-minute results, and live reports from College Avenue during student celebrations.
WRSU first went on the air on April 26, 1948. In its earliest inception, WRSU was an AM Carrier Current Station that broadcast from the basements of several Rutgers dormitory buildings. During this period, WRSU ran on the 630 AM band. The station's first General Manager and Founder was Charles Brookwell, Class of '49.
Beginning in the 1950s, the station changed frequencies and changed operating facilities, eventually leaving WRSU on the 680 AM band, with offices in the attic of a building located at 12 College Avenue; the carrier current transmitters remained in the dormitory basements. The current offices of the station began to be utilized in 1971, and are located at 126 College Avenue located in the Rutgers Student Center.
WRSU-AM ceased operation in 1976, two years after the inception of WRSU-FM.
WRSU-FM went on the air at 88.7 MHz with 1365 watts ERP on January 27, 1974. During the 50s and 60s, the station played current popular music, but starting in the 70s, the station underwent a conscious effort to introduce album-oriented progressive/free form movement with a heavy concentration on Community Affairs. The first song ever played was Crosby, Stills, and Nash's "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" The seventies were also a time when live interviews with singers began and ranged from the local band Holmes to Wonder Woman Linda Carter promoting her first album.
WRSU has a station playlist of current music, but it generally consists of several hundred entire albums, and individual DJs have a large amount of control over the format of their shows. The station is strictly non-commercial, and aims for a free-form style of broadcasting.
The station is under the management of Rutgers University, and while operations are on a strictly volunteer level, and no course credit is involved, the station does seek to develop the skills of their student personnel for eventual use in the professional field.
Funding and operations
WRSU receives funding from Rutgers University, and is a strictly non-commercial radio station. However, WRSU does receive grants and underwriting from local businesses and record stores. Usually, this underwriting takes the form of a credit for the station at said record store in exchange for hourly notices broadcast on the station.
For more than 60 years, WRSU has prepared many of its students for a career in sports, news and entertainment media.
- Bernard Goldberg, commentator for Fox News, correspondent for HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel
- Bill Newcott, film critic, host of AARP's "Movies for Grownups"
- Carla Marie, producer, Elvis Duran and the Morning Show on Z100 New York
- Danny Breslauer, sports broadcaster, WCTC
- Erica Herskowitz, sports anchor, WFAN
- Judy Tint, entertainment lawyer
- Matt Pinfield, music personality, TV host on MTV and VH1
- Max Herman, sports anchor, WFAN
- Mike Emanuel, correspondent for Fox News
- Mike Pavlichko, news and sports broadcaster, WCTC
- Mike Vorkunov, reporter for The Star-Ledger
- WRSU official website
- WRSU's page on StylusCity
- WRSU News Blog
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WRSU
- Radio-Locator information on WRSU
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WRSU