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WUTK-FM logo.png
City of license Knoxville, Tennessee
Broadcast area Metro Knoxville
Branding "90.3 The Rock"
Slogan "UT's College of Rock"
Frequency 90.3 FM MHz
Format Variety
Power 800 Watts
HAAT 21 meters (69 ft)
Class A
Facility ID 69329
Transmitter coordinates 35°57′9.00″N 83°55′34.00″W / 35.9525000°N 83.9261111°W / 35.9525000; -83.9261111
Callsign meaning W University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Former callsigns WUTK (1981-1988)
Owner University of Tennessee
Webcast WUTK Webstream
Website WUTK Online

WUTK-FM is a Variety formatted non-commercial broadcast radio station licensed to Knoxville, Tennessee and serving Metro Knoxville. WUTK is owned and operated by the University of Tennessee.[1] WUTK-FM signed on in 1982 from studios in P-103 of the Andy Holt Tower with an antenna on the roof of the building and an effective radiated power of just 128 watts.


All music, news, and sports shows are volunteer or student-produced. In 2007, WUTK began cooperating with Comcast to produce TV programs featuring local and visiting musicians who were interviewed at the station live on-air, and recorded on video for later broadcast on Comcast channel 194 on the University of Tennessee's Knoxville campus. The WUTK sports show, "Rock Solid Sports," airs live on UTTV on Monday and Friday nights at 7.

WUTK has a wide variety of specialty shows covering specific genres, including funk (The Mothership), hip-hop/rap (Edutainment Hip-hop Show and Gold Standard Hip-Hop), jamband (Fire On the Mountain), international music (Simmer Down), Shoegaze(Daydream Nation) and music from the Knoxville area (Locals Only), in addition to shows focusing on classic rock(Kill Ugly Radio), heavy metal(The Funeral Directory), and Americana music(Y'allternative). Specialty shows publish their playlists on their own individual Facebook pages or The Rock's Facebook page.

WUTK currently receives no funding from the University, relying on donations from listeners and area businesses. The station has received numerous awards and honors from various media outlets, including Metro Pulse [1] and CMJ(College Music Journal) [2].

WUTK's nickname is "The Rock." Previous names associated with WUTK are "New Rock 90", "The Last One Left," "The Torch", and "Knoxville's Alternative". Upon sign-on in 1982, WUTK had a college rock/alternative and jazz format.

A popular new wave rock program aired on Sunday nights from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. entitled "NEW AIRWAVES" (Title borrowed from an article of the same name that appeared in a local community magazine at the time). The idea for the show was inspired by Charlie Lytle's Show entitled "Music for a Different Society" in 1982.

NEW AIRWAVES began with broadcast student D.J.s Vik Moore (Q) and Mike Moore (Zero) - no relation - and featured "college rock" "punk" "British Invasion New Wave" and was heavily invested in the local music scene featuring "The Out-House Tapes" a segment of the show that only played local artists. One such artist - Todd Steed (Clutch Cargo),(Smokin' Dave & The Premo Dopes, Sons of Phere), - later became co-host of the show with Vik Moore in 1984 who also hosted with Kevin Latham (Echo) before Steed.

The show was wildly popular. Moore and Moore would often get in the show's official roving vehicle "The Quadmobile" (1962 Chevy Impala with spray painted graffiti) and record "live" breaks up and down the UT strip that they later aired in between the music. The show's theme music was supplied by a fictional band "The William Tanner Orchestra" (named after the sound effects library at the station) and "Willard" their leader.

The show also featured hardcore punk sets with the likes of Dead Kennedy's, JFA, TSOL, Black Flag, & Butthole Surfers. One evening Henry Rollins and his band Black Flag came to the station for an interview, Vik gave the band a ride back to their van parked outside Vic & Bills on the Cumberland Avenue strip concert locale in his Quadmobile. New Airwaves was on the air from 1982 until 1984 every Sunday night (Every song was played from the station's twin turn tables using vinyl LPs). Some early mornings Vik would stay on the air after 2:00 a.m. (traditional sign off time) and continue the show.

Vik also contributed to WUTK with his weekly space adventure series "THE CAPTAIN SPACE SHOW". First created and aired in 1978 on Local Top 40 Hits (at that time) station WOKI-FM 100, the show told the antics of a cosmic super hero, his crew, robot 'Biti', and Starship Eagle-1. The 4 minute show ran for ten episodes and starred various WUTK staffers including: Mike Moore (Sargent Aimes),Jeff Cutshaw (Commander Samson), Gary Carr ( The Evil Zobar), Tom Rutledge, Sharon Haigh, Tony Stoutt, Kay Manley, Bill Ottinger, Keith Arnold, Gene Westburg, Charlie Lytle, Kevin Latham, and Greg McMurray.

Benny Smith is the current (and long-running) General Manager.


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