MacCracken House on the University Heights campus

WNYU, NYU’s campus radio station, transmitted its first broadcast on December 12, 1949. Founded by student engineers, WNYU originally broadcast from a cramped basement in MacCracken Hall at the University Heights campus, using three turn tables, three microphones, and two remote lines – and a very limited library. The first broadcast reached only MacCracken Hall and a few other buildings, but by December 15 “The Voice of University Heights” was heard all over campus. If you had tuned into that initial broadcast you might have heard strains of “Finian’s Rainbow,” a hit show of the 1940s, or a summary of recent student council meetings. An early favorite program was “Miserable Mortie” Kramer, “king of the disc jockeys” from 10 pm to midnight. Among the other radio fare were sports, news briefs, live music by University Heights bands and string quartets, Hall of Fame Players presentations, and “music to munch by” broadcast during meals.

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