WBDG to celebrate 51 years on air

Radio marathon being planned for April

Staff report

WBDG, 90.9 FM, went on the air on February 14, 1966. This spring, the station will celebrate its 51st year of broadcasting with the WBDG 51/51 Marathon from April 28 through April 30, 2017.

It’s not the first time at the rodeo for WBDG. The station has broadcast radiothon-type broadcasts before, but WBDG General Manager Jon Easter said this year’s event promises to be different.

“Our student broadcasters are taking ownership of this event like I haven’t seen in several years,” Easter said. “I’ve always been lucky to have great student leadership, but this group wants to make sure the 51/51 Marathon is listener-focused and memorable for everyone.”

The marathon broadcast is a tradition that began to celebrate WBDG’s 20th year on the air in 1986.  That year the station raised enough money to go stereo.  Marathons continued through the mid 1990’s with usually one student staying on air for 24 hours. The tradition was revived in 2005 with the idea of a “Marathon Crew” taking over the station for 39 hours in honor of the station’s 39 years on the air.  That tradition continues with WBDG adding an hour each year to commemorate the station’s new year on the air.

Student broadcasters work in committees to organize and execute the marathon broadcast.  The marathon exists to raise awareness about high school radio in Wayne Township, educate student broadcasters about how to run a radio event and promotion, and to raise money for the station and give away prizes.  Alumni DJs will be interviewed, and there will be many special promotions over the 51-hour broadcast.

WBDG went on the air in 1966 and is one of only about 200 radio stations in the country’s 25,000 high schools.  The station broadcasts a variety of music 24 hours, 7 days a week.  Students staff the station during school hours and many evenings. The station also broadcasts school events and sports.  For more information, contact Jon Easter at (317) 988-7122