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|Broadcast area||Central Connecticut|
|Branding||All the Way Left 88.1 FM|
|First air date||1939 (as a carrier current campus radio station)|
February 25, 1961 (as an FM station)
|Callsign meaning||'WES'leyan 'U'niversity|
|Affiliations||National Public Radio|
Public Radio International
Pacifica Radio Network
WESU is a college/community non-commercial FM radio station owned by Wesleyan University and licensed to Middletown, Connecticut. It was founded in 1939 as an unofficial AM carrier current campus radio station in the basement of Clark Hall. Upon gaining recognition, the station operated under the unofficial call sign WES. In the 1950s, the call sign became WESU. Then on February 25, 1961, it began operating an FM station at 88.1 MHz, eventually abandoning the AM station. Between 1967 and 1990, WESU was owned and operated by an independent student group, the now-defunct Wesleyan Broadcast Association, Inc. Today, it is owned by the Trustees of Wesleyan University, and operated by students and community volunteers. In 1999, the station moved offices and studios from the basement of Clark Hall to its current location next the Wesleyan Argus on 45 Broad Street.
WESU operates 24 hours a day. Until 2004, WESU's format had been entirely freeform, with DJs and student staff having complete freedom to program what they wanted. The university then announced its intention to seek an affiliation with National Public Radio (NPR), and to change the station's daytime format. Douglas Bennet, then president of Wesleyan University, was a former president of NPR. The station now broadcasts news and information shows during the day. Nights and weekends, WESU continues to operate as a free-form station.
WESU broadcasts with 6,000 watts effective radiated power (ERP), circular polarization, from the top of Wesleyan University's Exley Science Center in Middletown. The programming is a mix of freeform music, National Public Radio, Public Radio International (PRI) and Pacifica Radio Network programs. From NPR and PRI, WESU airs Morning Edition, Diane Rehm, The Takeaway, Weekend Edition, The Best of Car Talk and Science Friday. From Pacifica, it broadcasts Democracy Now!, Free Speech Radio News, The Ralph Nader Hour and Exploration in Science with Dr. Michio Kaku. Most hours during the day, it airs NPR News at the beginning of the hour.
The radio station was featured in a plot on the TV comedy series "How I Met Your Mother." At the end of the episode "The Possimpible", Ted Mosby (played by Josh Radnor) is deleting his work experience from the radio station from his resume.
- Doug Berman - Producer of Car Talk and Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!.
- John Perry Barlow - former lyricist for the Grateful Dead.
- Pete Ganbarg (also known as Pistol Pete)(Music Director - late 1980s) - Executive Vice President/Head Of A&R for Atlantic Records
- Damian Hess (also known as MC Frontalot) - Disc jockey of Nerdcore hip hop fame.
- "Call Letter Origins". Radio History on the Web.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1977
- "WESU History". WESU. Archived from the original on 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2008-08-29.
- 23 November 2004 WESU press release, originally on the WESU-FM site; archived on the Internet Archive, 30 April 2008, retrieved 21 February 2011.
- (Home page), WESU-FM.