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Mar 24, 2010 12:11 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

WLIU back on the air in new studios

Mar 24, 2010 12:11 PM

East End public radio station WLIU 88.3FM conducted its first live local broadcast from its new studios on Hill Street in Southampton Village on Monday.

The station relocated last week from Chancellors Hall on the Stony Brook Southampton college campus, where it had been for the last 20 years. WLIU broadcasted music and news feeds while it moved its production studio equipment, and station manager Wally Smith said there was only about three hours of dead air when the actual transmitting equipment was moved to the new studios.

“Thanks to the magic of Bob Anderson, our engineer, we were able to stay on the air with our national programming during the move,” Mr. Smith said. “The move went very well, considering we were not able to do any prep work. We literally moved the day we signed the lease [on the new studios].”

The new studios are about 2,000 square feet, about 1,200 square feet less than at the college, but Mr. Smith said the downsizing was not too painful.

“It was great space for us, but it wasn’t essential,” he said. “It’s very different from the state-of-the-art studios we had at the college. But since we moved in, this has become such a comfortable space to work in, and it gives us something we never had before: a location that is visible to everyone. People can walk by or drive by and see us. The staff loves it, and they’ve had a great time putting it together.”

Mr. Smith said the station will continue transmitting through the tower at the college until June 30 and plans to have equipment mounted on a new tower in North Sea by then.

Host Bonnie Grice ran through the first live show from the new studios on Monday morning, with guest Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley. DJs Ed German and Brian Cosgrove resumed their shows on Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Mr. Smith said that Peconic Public Broadcasting, the soon-to-be new owners of the station, will launch an aggressive new fund-raising effort this week to raise money to complete the purchase of the 88.3 FM station licenses from Long Island University and begin restoring programming features, like its local news coverage, that have been halted due to financial constraints during the transition from college support. The $850,000 purchase must be completed by June 30.

Mr. Smith said it would be six months to a year before the station is back 
to the programming levels it enjoyed when the university was subsidizing operations.

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So glad you're back!
By sunshine (47), southampton on Mar 24, 10 8:42 PM
Luv you ED GERMAN!!!
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 25, 10 6:10 PM
Hooray .. how about all of us reading this article and comments send in a contribution to help the station. Can even be $10 (or more!). Let's show 88.3 how much we care about the services they provide to all of us ...
By Nancy Q. (27), east Hampton on Mar 27, 10 10:39 AM
Good idea but must of us already do..if not, send in your $$$ now!
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 27, 10 6:33 PM
Maybe we could start a groundswell ... $10 or $20 from a lot of people will really make a difference ... we've seen that from politics to disaster relieve ... it would be a disaster if we didn't have the station, that's for sure. I looked up address ... p.o. box 1410, Southampton, 11969 -- or go to their website ... let's see an avalanche of support...
By Nancy Q. (27), east Hampton on Mar 27, 10 8:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
Do it ....you won't regret it!!!! There are very few things today where you CAN make a difference and this is one of them. We love Ed German "The King of Jazz" on WLIU!!!!
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 27, 10 10:18 PM