What is WEOS? | How to Get Involved | How is WEOS Funded?
Driving Directions | Studio Rentals | History of WEOS
What is WEOS?
WEOS is primarily a public radio news, information and music station, broadcasting to the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. We air many popular public radio programs from NPR, PRI, the BBC World Service, and Pacifica Radio...including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Democracy Now!, Fresh Air, Living on Earth, Only a Game, Whad'ya Know?, Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!, World Cafe, and This American Life.
We also air several locally-produced programs, such as Out of Bounds, Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, Metallic Onslaught, and Gospel Outreach.
WEOS operates in partnership with WXXI Public Broadcasting in Rochester. So we often air special coverage of local, state and national news that is produced by WXXI.
Our main signal is 89.7, transmitting from a few miles west of Geneva, covering most of the Finger Lakes. We also have a repeater station on 90.3 in downtown Geneva.
What about WITH-FM?
WITH 90.1FM Ithaca is a broadcast station launched in 2010 that serves Ithaca and the surrounding areas. It will operated jointly between WEOS and the WXXI Public Broadcasting Council. It features a mostly Triple-A music format with selected public affairs programming. The full schedule is available at www.withradio.org
What about WHWS?
WHWS-LP 105.7FM Geneva is Hobart & William Smith Colleges' station, devoted to programming specific to the Greater Geneva community. It has more campus-related shows with student programs, faculty symposiums, and additional Hobart Statesmen and William Smith Herons sports coverage. It also showcases Radio Bilingue, the only Spanish-language service in the Finger Lakes! For more info, visit http://www.whws.fm/
Why do I hear football and lacrosse games sometimes?
Our parent organization is Hobart and William Smith Colleges. We provide extensive sports coverage of HWS Athletics on our sister station, WHWS 105.7FM in Geneva. But due to schedule conflicts we still air some sports, namely Hobart football and Hobart lacrosse, on WEOS in the fall and spring, respectively. There is a full schedule posted on the WHWS website.
How is WEOS funded?
WEOS is funded by underwriting contributions from local businesses, donations from our loyal listeners, and some federal grants from the Corporation of Public Broadcasting. We also receive funding from our parent organization (and FCC license-holder) Hobart & William Smith Colleges and through our partnership with WXXI.
We can't emphasize enough: quality public radio costs money, and our largest source of funding, by far, is listener donations. We depend on contributions from our listeners to keep going, so please help us with your donation: click here to give online.
How do I get to WEOS's studios? (Directions)
The WEOS studios are located on the campus of the Hobart & William Smith Colleges, in the city of Geneva, New York. This is in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York...roughly halfway between Rochester and Syracuse.
General Directions: Our street address is 113 Hamilton Street, Geneva, NY 11456 which is also known as Routes 5 & 20. We are a bit more than one block west of the intersection of Rt.14 (South Main Street) and Routes 5 & 20. Once you pass Pulteney Street, look for the first house on the left (it's got a WEOS neon sign in the window). The driveway is to the left of the house, there's free parking in the back. Please go to the back door and ring the doorbell.
From the I-90 Thruway/points north: Take exit 42, after the tolls turn right on Rt.14. Continue for 4.1 miles. Turn right on Gambee Rd (at Vance Metal Fabricators). Cross the RailRoad tracks. Take next left onto Genessee St. Go until Genessee ends. Turn right on Castle St, then the next left onto South Main Street (back on Rt.14). At the signs for Rt.5&20, turn right, then right again onto Hamilton/5&20. Go through the light at Pulteney, and we're the first house on the left.
From Ithaca/points south or east: Take Rt.96 to Rt.96A to Rt.5&20 West. Stay on 5&20 past Rt.14 & Pulteney Street, and we're the first house on the left.
From Canandaigua/points west: Take Rt.5&20. When you reach the City of Geneva, you'll past the HWS athletic fields on your right, and go up and over a small hill. After the hill, the next traffic light is Pulteney Street. WEOS is the last house on the right before that light.
Does WEOS Rent their Studios for ISDN Interviews?
Yes, we do! If you want to interview someone in the Geneva area and have CD-quality audio with real-time conversations, our ISDN is just want you need.
Who should I contact for booking? Greg Cotterill email@example.com - call us at (315) 781-3456; this rings all the phones in the WEOS building and is the best way to reach someone quickly. To leave a voicemail, call Greg at (315) 781-3811.
How many guests can WEOS handle? Our facilities are set up to handle two guests in our mic booth, plus one more in the control room. An additional two more can be added in a separate studio for a total of five guests. However, with sufficient notice we can add additional mics and headphones. We have the physical space to handle a full drum set and guitars for a live performance, although acoustically the rooms are not really set up for it.
What telco equipment do you have? We have a Telos Zephyr Xstream for ISDN or regular telephone calls, a Comrex Vector, and a Comrex Access. We mostly use Electrovoice RE-20 and Shure SM-7B professional studio microphones. The Xstream is capable of the universal G.722 codec, the NPR-standard MPEG L2/128 codec, and also AAC and AAC-LD (low delay) codecs.
What are your phone numbers? Our ISDN numbers are (315) 781-5597 and (315) 781-5598. To speak to the engineer in the studio, call (315) 781-3456.
What are your rental rates? Studio rental is $75/hr with a one hour minimum. With prior notice, we can record the conversation to audio CD or MP3 file...although we do not have the ability to record only our end of the conversation (split-track).
How do guests get to your studio & where do they park? Public transit (C.A.T.S.) is available in the Geneva area, but cars are the predominate method of transportation. WEOS is located in a house on 113 Hamilton Street (aka Routes 5 & 20) in Geneva, on the campus of Hobart & William Smith Colleges. See the directions above for more details. The front window of the house has a big "WEOS" neon sign in it. Our driveway is to the left of the house, and there is parking for several cars in the rear.
The History of WEOS
History: The Early Years
WEOS started in 1947 or 1948...depending on who you ask...as a carrier current AM radio station located at, and limited to, Hobart and William Smith Colleges. It primarily was used as a means of rebroadcasting recorded lectures from Western Civilization or other classes for students to either re-hear, or if they missed the lecture, hear for the first time. However, there are records and citations that mention broadcast experiments and other related efforts in earlier years, one involving the broadcast of a Hobart and Union College football game in 1920.
The station was operated by students, many of which were part of the Delta Chi fraternity. The station's studios were in Smith Hall, before moving to the basement of Sherrill Hall, where real broadcast studios were built in the 1960s. The studios remained there until 1998 when WEOS moved to its current "house" at 113 Hamilton Street (aka Routes 5 & 20), which...as shown in the pic on the right...are very friendly! That's Dublin, HWS President Mark Gearan's labradoodle, who stopped by in December 2007 to take an airshift while the students were away on winter break.
History: The path of WEOS's Engineering
In its more modern form, WEOS was granted a construction permit in 1970, for 91.3FM, on a "Class D" license, limited to 10 watts. However, this frequency would have precluded Syracuse from getting a public radio station (WCNY). Through negotiation, the station applied for and changed its frequency to its current 89.7FM. The station went on the air in 1971, broadcasting a variety of programs both recorded and live, all forms of music, news, and sports, including those of NPR. The transmitter site was on the roof of Eaton Hall.
Realizing the risks inherent to remaining a "secondary" Class D license, and also recognizing the advantages of increasing wattage...the station boosted the power in steps, first to 250 watts, then 460 watts, and finally 1500 watts in the mid- to late-1970's. The latter moved the transmitter site and tower to the roof of Winn-Seeley Gymnasium in the mid 1970s. The station had an old RCA tranmitter and a Phelps-Dodge 4 bay antenna.
Unfortunately, in July 1988, lightning struck the antenna, and a fire destroyed the transmitter and related equipment. The transmitter was to be replaced and back on the air by September, but it was destroyed in-transit in a truck accident, and ultimately didn't arrive until mid-December of 1988. This new Harris FM1-K was installed in a new location in Winn-Seeley gym, including its Optimod 8100A audio processor for improved audio quality. The Studio/Transmitter Link (STL) was a crude-but-functional buried multi-conductor shielded audio cable running from building to building from Sherrill Hall in the old Alpha System fire alarm conduit. The station used to run audio and voltages on these cables, in a home built remote control.
The advent of the new transmitter and a new remote control, allowed for the stereo audio, return audio from Remote Pickup (RPU) transmitters (aka "Marti's", after their manufacturer: Marti Electronics) and the data to use this cable, which when equalized, was flat from 15 Hz to 22 kHz!. The Marti's represented a major improvement in remote broadcasting from sports fields and other campus locations, with FM-quality sound thoroughout.
This wave of new equipment continued, albeit unintentionally, when the FM antenna failed in 1989, and was replaced by an ERI 4 bay antenna. It's still in use today for the on-campus repeater station W212BA on 90.3FM.
In 1994, The station applied for and was granted a construction permit to move the transmitter site off campus. For years, there was an effort to get the station's transmitter up on "Bean's Hill" to lessen multipath interference and help improve coverage. This came to pass with a move to Stanley, NY, on a tower site owned by Ontario County public safety on Lake to Lake Road. The station went on the air from that tower briefly, before moving to a new tower site directly adjacent to it. The ERP was raised to 4000 watts, with a directional antenna, to protect 89.7FM WITR in Rochester/Henrietta and 89.9FM WRVO in Oswego/Syracuse. This greatly improved the WEOS coverage area, especially towards Ithaca and other points east.
Most folks on campus had gotten used to WEOS's signal being very strong on-campus, thanks to the 1500 watts pumping out from Winn-Seeley. This move to Stanley greatly expanded WEOS's overall signal, but the actual signal levels on campus were much less. To help make up for that, WEOS added an FM Translator: W212BA, at 90.3FM at 88 watts to fill in the signal on the campus. It uses the old WEOS antenna system on top of Winn-Seeley and provides excellent signal to campus and downtown Geneva.
History: The Shift to NPR Programming
Up until 1990, the station was at the will and whim of the students and community volunteers, as to when the station would sign on the air. In 1988, the Colleges' President, Carroll Brewster charged WEOS to become more consistent in its programming, and to pursue adding public radio programming. At first, there was resistance from students, who equated "public radio" with stodgy old folks and classical music. However, WEOS chose to pursue a more news/talk focus during the day and modern alternative music at night, a format that quickly proved popular both on- and off-campus. This popularly was cemented in 1990-91 when Gulf War I occurred, and WEOS became...and remains...a primary source in the area for up to the minute news and information. WEOS continues to produce the broadcast of visiting speakers, sporting events, live concerts, and other programming, including speakers at Cornell University.
The station's 24/7 non-commercial news and eclectic music format serves a large audience, with a large percentage of the listenership in the Ithaca and southern Finger Lakes area. NPR News, Pacifica, and PRI programming are a mainstay, with local music and other programming, including broadcasts of Hobart Statesmen and William Smith Heron athletic contests.
WEOS also originated broadcasts for the NCAA in the early 1990s of the Men's NCAA Lacrosse Championships. This continued in the 1990s, and the broadcasts were carried by radio stations both in the United States and worldwide, including Japan and Australia. Since then, WEOS has become a mainstay of NCAA programming on the air and on the air through ECAC.tv
History: Digital "HD Radio" Broadcasting
In 2004, WEOS was the first station outside of New York City and the Albany area to broadcast in HD Radio. HD Radio is a digital broadcast method that allows for HD Radio-equipped radios to hear crystal-clear sound with little or no static, pops, clicks or fades. Eventually it will allow us to "multicast" additional program channels on our signal. Visit Crutchfield to learn more and buy a HD Radio-equipped tuner for your car or house, or give us a call at (315)781-3456 and we'll be happy to talk more about it.
WEOS was an early adopter of webcasting, using Webradio and Broadcast America for streaming. WEOS has been using Public Interactive for its streaming, and recently switched its format to Mp3 from Windows Media. WEOS also has archives and podcasts of its programming.
History: The advent of WHWS 105.7FM
In early 2008, WEOS expanded its program offerings with the launch of WHWS 105.7FM. Broadcasting from the HWS campus to the greater Geneva community...reaching from Canandaigua to Seneca Falls to Ovid to Penn Yan. For more info about WHWS, check out http://www.whws.fm/