Date: April 12, 1979
Article: Small crew keeps WDCV broadcasting
Author: Peggy Collins
Although classes were cancelled and hundreds of students evacuated the campus last week, WDCV FM remained on the air to provide students with up-to-date reports on the Three Mile Island situation.
According to Program Director Gail Gordens, the station functioned with a skeleton crew of licensed DJs with help from volunteers on a sign-up basis.
Gordens explained that experienced and licensed personnel who have not been working at the station this year volunteered to fill the empty show slots and do news shows. She added that it is possible that non-licensed personnel also provided man-hours for the station. She said that his was possible if a licensed DJ “signed on” the unlicensed member.
Federal Communication Commission regulations, noted Gordens, require that the station remain on the air while school is in session. Although the College remained open, since classes were suspended for the week WDCV was not required to operate.
Normally WDCV must broadcast a minimum of six hours a say, six days a week, said Gordens.
During the past week, WDCV provided special news shows every hour and released statements from the College. The station also provided the community with reports from the Physics department and broadcast live the informational meetings that were held evenings.
Gordens noted that News Director Don Bush coordinated the entire station during the crisis period and kept the station on the air continuously from Friday, March 30 until the end of the broadcast day on Monday, April 2.
WQVE FM 93 of Mechanicsburg asked WDCV for permission to broadcast from the WDCV studios should the Mechanicsburg area be evacuated, noted Gordens. She said that contingency plans were arranged whereby WQVE would use the College station in the event of an evacuation. Gordens said that WQVE installed two phone lines in the WDCV studios to handle its business and personal calls.
Station Manager Dave Dixon stated that he received phone calls from both Carlisle and the College community indicating that “people were glad that WDCV remained on the air,” Dixon also said that the listening audience increased during the week of the crisis.
Commenting on the impact of the station the Three Mile Island scare, Dixon concluded, “This even has proved to the College and the community that WDCV is a service of information. Without the station, Carlisle would not have known what the College was doing.”