Celebrate WWNO's 40th Anniversary!

Feb 27, 2012

Amid everything that we are doing here at 89.9 WWNO, we are also squeezing in a commemoration of our 40th Anniversary.

You may ask, “When is that?” The other local food radio personality, Tom Fitzmorris, was present at the station’s birth as a UNO student worker, and he told us:

“WWNO signed on Sunday, February 27, 1972, at 11 a.m., with an effective radiated power of 11,300 watts, from the lower levels of the WDSU-TV tower in Chalmette. The first program was an address by [the late Chancellor] Homer Hitt. I will never forget the date, but just to make sure I checked my daily journal, which I kept assiduously in those days.”

Our intention has been to celebrate the station’s anniversary all year, but today, Monday, February 27, 2012, we will begin by airing Fred Kasten’s interview with Tom about WWNO’s first broadcast. Listen at 7:35 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. We will also have a congratulatory message from NPR All Things Considered host (and official friend of the station), Robert Siegel, on Monday. And throughout the week we will give away tickets to “Reinventing Radio: An Evening with Ira Glass” to help celebrate.

We have a collection of photographs from the station’s history that we will be posting on the website, along with John Batson’s history of the station. We’ll invite friends and former staff and advisory board members to share their memories there too. Over the course of the year we will interview many of them as “Fortieth Anniversary Conversations” about the station’s past and future, and about the progress of New Orleans’ cultural community.  We hope to have additional live events in this anniversary year too. Our intention is to showcase some of our local and national programs, and give everyone an opportunity to reflect on accomplishments while also looking ahead to the future.

I would like to also take this opportunity to recognize everything our staff and our community has done over four decades to keep quality public radio on the air in southeast Louisiana.

Here's to 40 years of great broadcasting, and continued success for WWNO!

Paul Maassen