H I S T O R Y
The award-winning Voice offers an ever molding and expanding music selection, with rotation and specialty show formats. Rotation shows feature the latest Heavy and Medium rotation albums selected by the music directors and music staff while specialty shows focus on a specific genre, style or concept.
The radio station also offers news, public affairs and sports programming. WVUM is the flagship station for Hurricane baseball, and cover women’s volleyball, basketball and Men’s football and basketball as well. The news department offers hourly newscasts, featured news, public service announcements and community outreach.
While WVUM has a corporate board and an advisory board consisting of staff advisors, the station is student-run and lead with the main decision-making entity: the Executive Board, which consists of 13 students. The WVUM staff focuses on diverse programming, community involvement and creative ways of engaging with the local art and music scene.
While WVUM has undergone many categorical “format” changes over its history, the long-standing tradition to bring the latest, most diverse and original programming in Miami is the guiding principle that transcends each new class of WVUM members.
Listeners of WVUM tend to be within the age range of 16 – 49 years old. The station’s online stream is well above the average for college radio stations, and receives hits internationally. Because of WVUM’s unique position in the Miami community as the only radio station playing innovative underground music, listeners are often very loyal to the station and its mission.
WVUM’s has also worked and continues to work with many quality institutions in the Miami music and arts scene (and elsewhere), whether it is through promotion of quality local endeavors, collaboration, informal consulting, or just offering a forum for communication. Some of these organizations include but are not limited to: Ultra Music Festival, Sweat Records, MoMA’s WPS1 Art Radio (during Art Basel Miami Beach), The Electric Pickle, CMJ, Friends With You, Poplife / Grand Central, Nightdrive, FREEGUMS, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), IamYourVillain, Miami Art Museum (MAM), The Fillmore (Live Nation), The Vagabond, OHWOW, The Overthrow, Roofless Records, SCOPE Art Fair, WSVA Radio (NYC), Bardot.
The station has been recognized by both the community and the press, as the Miami New Times’ Reader’s Choice as Best FM Radio Station (2010 / 2009) and Editor’s Choice Best FM Radio Station (2007 / 2006), as well as a slew of other titles for individual hosts and shows. Zoom Out has recognized WVUM as one of the top noncommercial streaming radio stations in the country, among heavyweights such as KEXP, WFMU, WNYU and others. In 2010, WVUM was the recipient of two first prize places in the National Broadcasting Society's regional competition. The entries were submitted into the national competition and currently awaiting judging.
WVUM’s online presence continues to expand, with wvum.org hitting well over 1 million hits since it’s re-launch in 2009. The station’s Facebook page has over 5,100 fans, and its newly launched Twitter account continues to grow in followers.
The Raw Beginning
In 1967, a group of engineering students in Mahoney Hall (a dormitory on campus) created a transmitter and began operating a radio station. Shortly afterwards, the University of Miami decided to register the station and create what expanded to be WVUM 90.5fm.
So on February of 1968, WVUM received its license to broadcast a 10-watt non-commercial, educational radio station (it was not even enough power to be heard all over the university campus!). The Station was located on the second floor of the Whitten University Center. The first call letters were WVOH (Voice of Hurricanes) and later changed to WBIS (IBIS) which was later changed to WVUM (Voice of the University of Miami).
At the time, the radio station was controlled by the Menâï¿½ï¿½s Residence Hall Association, Inc. In the Spring of 1977, Menâï¿½ï¿½s Residence Hall association, Inc changed its name to WVUM, Inc, the company that still runs today.
Physical and Technical Expansion
In 1972, WVUM went stereo and in 1978, the station completely renovated the studio facilities on the second floor of the Whitten University Center. The station would remain there until a larger space downstairs was renovated in 1999 offering two studios and an office. Previously, this new space had been a barber shop that had fallen bankrupt and a bowling alley motor room. In 2008, for the 40th year of WVUM, IKEA completely aesthetically renovated the office in the University Center.
More Power Please!
In 1981, the FCC requested all 10-watt stations to increase to at least 100 watts. At that time, WVUM made the necessary arrangements to increase to 365 watts and in 1993, the station expanded to 1,300 watts. In 2000, the station began broadcasting online on wvum.org. In October 2012 the station expanded to 5 kilowatts, and doubled the radius range from 15 miles to 45 miles.
In these past 41 years, there has been a variety of music and political movements as well as over 10 generations of WVUM staff members. In the early 1960s, the Voice broadcasted University of Miami events and news. By the early 70s, the station had shifted to broadcasting mostly community news programming and a top-40 format. The Voice began the underground programming revolution of the early 1980s that focused on the unknown new wave, punk rock of the era. At one point, the station’s name was even changed to 90-X in the mid-1990s to represent its grunge, underground style.
Though we do not really know what the next phase may be for the station’s music format, the long-standing tradition to bring the latest, most diverse, and original programming to Miami is the guiding principle that transcends each new class of WVUM members.
-Miami New Times Best FM Station in Miami Award: 2006/07
-Miami New Times People’s Choice for Best FM Station in Miami: 2009
-Miami New Times Best DJ: Laura of Miami 2012
-Miami New Times People’s Choice for Best FM Station Personality: Laura of Miami 2009
-Miami New Times Best Rock Radio Program: It Came from a Garage 2003
-Miami New Times Best Hip Hop Radio Program: Hip Hop Shop 2003
-Miami New Times Best Classical Radio Program: Classical Lunch Hour 2002