|Phillips Academy Radio (WPAA)|
WPAA is a radio station, broadcasting from the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Founded using Phillips alum and then-NBC president Robert Sarnoff's gift of $15,000, the station was launched in 1965 by a host of famous personalities, including Bob Hope, Jack Lemmon, David Brinkley, Sammy Davis Jr., and Hugh Downs. The station's signal was powered by a 33 watt transmitter and reached over 104 square kilometers, which, at launch, had the potential to reach over 150,000 people.
Until 2003, the station broadcast on the frequency 91.7FM from Phillips Academy's Evans Hall. The station was then transitioned to an internet webcast, which is currently available online at www.WPAA.com
Since the demolition of Evans Hall in 2004, WPAA has broadcast from the basement of Morse Hall. The online station, which operates as a student-run organization, continues to stream both talk and music shows on week nights and weekends. The group also offers recording opportunities for student performers and provides live sound equipment for nearly all campus events, including the station's "Battle of the Bands" every spring.
In 2004 The Federal Communications Commission visited and inspected the class-D FM radio station WPAA and determined that WPAA was off the air for more than one year, in violation of federal regulations, so the FCC deleted and revoked the license for WPAA. Ironically the Andover Public School System had offered to adopt the silent station for several years prior, which would have provided for an excellent non-commercial service to the Andover community, given today's lack of dial space for a new LPFM station. The deletion of 91.7 in Andover caused two significant changes to the area's FM dialscape; full-power commercial station 92.5 WXRV changed its community of license from Haverhill to Andover (as Andover's first/only aural broadcast service), and also co-channel 91.7 WNEF in Newburyport immediately altered its directional signal to put more power towards Andover. It remains to be seen if 1st adjacent station 91.5 WUML in Lowell will alter/upgrade its now-obsolete directional signal to go non-directional and put more power towards Andover. In 1967 the Lowell station 91.5 WLTI/WJUL/WUML was originally intended to protect WPAA who began two years prior.
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