|City||Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan|
|Branding||The 46th Parallel Radio|
|Slogan||The Northern Vibes|
|Frequency||90.1 MHz (FM)|
|First air date||1991 (carrier current)
|Format||college radio, adult album alternative|
|Callsign meaning||Lake SuperiOr|
|Owner||Lake Superior State University|
WLSO is a radio station in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, United States, broadcasting at 90.1 on the FM dial under the branding The 46th Parallel Radio. The college radio station of the city's Lake Superior State University, WLSO is the only locally produced, non-simulcasted FM station in the Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan market that isn't owned by Sovereign Communications or Darby Advertising.
The station originally launched in 1991, as an AM carrier current station, broadcasting exclusively to the LSSU campus. After receiving a broadcasting license from the Federal Communications Commission, the station launched on FM in 1993. After a listener contest earlier that year, WLSO rebranded as The 46th Parallel Radio in August 2016, and announced plans to officially launch online streams of the station.
General music rotation on WLSO currently leans towards an adult album alternative format, making WLSO the only station in the Sault Ste. Marie market to focus on indie and folk rock genres. LSSU students can host and program their own radio shows, and air other music genres if desired, though WLSO typically doesn't advertise program schedules online. Regardless, a number of hosts have maintained social media pages for their programs.
Though based out of the Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan market, WLSO can be heard across the border in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and immediately surrounding areas, and has featured student DJs from Canada in the past. Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant also simulcasts their own radio station to the Sault Ste. Marie market at WCMZ-FM, though they air a National Public Radio and jazz format.
WLSO studios are now located in the basement of the Cisler Center. The studio was moved to its new location in 2006 to be more visible in the campus community and easier to access by students. The studio consists of management offices, a recording booth, and the on-air broadcast studio.
The station broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week year-round. WLSO runs on automation whenever there is no live show in the studio; this usually occurs at night and over breaks. On occasion, the station will go dark during holiday breaks, as was the case during the 2016-17 holiday season.
WLSO has recently undertaken remote broadcasting. The station currently broadcasts live from student government meetings, concerts, and open-mic nights on campus. The studio has a 40-second broadcast delay as well as phone patch to take calls and put them on the air.
The station’s transmitter site was moved in October 2007. It was formerly located in the old studio, in the east basement of Brady Hall. It was relocated to another location in Brady Hall where it was re-engineered and re-built.
WLSO operates two transmitters. The primary transmitter is a R.V.R. TEX-300-LCD installed in March 2008. The original, now a backup transmitter, consists of a Bext TEX-20-NV exciter and a separate Bext PJ-200 power amplifier. The station’s antenna system is on the roof of Brady Hall. It is a 2-bay circularly-polarized radiator. Programming is sent to the transmission site utilizing the Tele-Link Studio Transmitter Link (STL) from Energy-Onix.
WLSO utilizes Sine System’s Remote Facilities Controller (RFC-1) at the transmitter site. It allows for remote and automatic controls, system monitoring and acts as an alarm system calling station engineers immediately in the event of a system fault. WLSO's RFC-1 monitors 24 channels of telemetry and logs all data though GetTelemetry software.
WLSO also uses as an Orban Optimod 8200-FM audio processor connected to a controlling computer at the transmitter. WLSO's air signal is continually monitored by an Inovonics FM modulation analyzer model 531 and received audio is sent back to the studio to be checked. All equipment is protected through a Polyphazor lighting-arrestor and several back-up power supplies, allowing uninterrupted broadcasts and relaying notifications from the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to the community in the event of a power disruption or other emergency.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WLSO
- Radio-Locator information on WLSO
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WLSO
- Michiguide.com - WLSO History