Published: March 2013
WZBC 90.3-FM, Boston College’s FCC-approved radio station, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Listeners today might be surprised to learn that for its first six years, the 1,000-watt station (heard within a 15-mile radius of campus) focused on commercial pop. As the seventies became the eighties, the wheel turned. In 1990 Rolling Stone magazine described the station’s DJs as gazing into “the abyss of rock’s avant-garde” while wearing black denim jeans “by the Gap.”
To become a DJ, an undergraduate must pass a test covering FCC regulations and station history; host a show on the AM station WVBC (broadcast online and through Boston College cable); intern with an FM DJ for one semester; pass an engineering exam; and submit an application to the program director (currently Erika Bjerklie ’14) to host a two-hour show. WZBC broadcasts 73 shows in all (some by non-students), 19 to 23 hours a day, seven days a week, from its studio on the first floor of McElroy Commons.