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City of license Clemson, South Carolina
Broadcast area Clemson University
Frequency 88.1MHz.[1]
Format Educational
ERP 3000 watts
HAAT 68 meters
Class A
Facility ID 12000
Transmitter coordinates 34°40′42″N 82°49′15″W / 34.67833°N 82.82083°W / 34.67833; -82.82083
Callsign meaning Student Broadcasting Facilities
Owner Clemson University Board of Trustees

WSBF-FM (88.1 FM) is a radio station licensed to Clemson, South Carolina. The station is owned by the Clemson University Board of Trustees and serves the Clemson University community. It is entirely student-managed and features alternative music formats not found on most commercial stations.



WSBF-FM began as a closed-circuit broadcasting facility of 600 kilocycles on May 1, 1958 with the words "Good Afternoon, this is the high fidelity voice of Clemson College". [2] It made its first over-the-air broadcast on April 1, 1960. The original transmitter unit that powered the station via the electrical system in the dormitories (primarily Johnstone Hall) still exists, and has been preserved. The station quickly became known as "wizz-bif," and in the early days broadcast such shows as Bob Mattison's (the "Voice of Clemson") agricultural shows, which were also broadcast on AM stations in Anderson, Spartanburg, and Columbia. Other early shows included a show broadcast from Harcombe Commons dining hall in the mornings, a "Late, Late" show featuring old standards, and a "Concert Hall" show featuring the classics, "Night Beat," and "East of Midnight." In 1961, adverts in The Tiger, the student newspaper, proclaimed that the station offered the most news of any radio station in the Upstate. By 1965, WSBF had changed format to include "The Frank Howard Show," "Pigskin Preview" show featuring old standards, and a "Concert Hall" show featuring the classics. The purpose was to provide students with educational entertainment, news, and music. Music format ran to the Top 40 model in the mid to late 1960s. The studios were located on the eighth level of the Johnstone Hall complex, two floors above the Loggia.

The next major format change occurred under programming director Woody Culp, changing to "progressive," in the spring semester of 1972. An article in The Tiger on November 12, 1971, states that the decision to change followed a telephone survey of listeners several weeks before, and that the response was favorable. This coincided with the national rise of previously under-valued FM stations all across the dial as a source of "underground" and alternative formats. The strategy at that time was to give heavy airplay to new groups. Off-beat news stories and non-Top 40 music was emphasized.

The current format has evolved from "progressive" to "alternative," a shift taking place in the mid 1980's. The alternative format included progressive, but also includes other genres of music such as classical, rap, jazz, punk, industrial, indie, talk, and many others. The "alternative" name implies alternative in any genre, not just "alternative rock". The current stated goal of WSBF is: "We educate the listener by exposing him/her/shim to new genres and to the leading edge of more familiar genres, such as rock. We play what other stations cannot and do not." [3]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "WSBF-FM". FM Query Results. Federal Communication Commission. Retrieved 2008-08-23.  
  2. ^ TAPS, Clemson annual, 1959, pages 238-239.
  3. ^ WSBF Disc Jockey Handbook
  4. ^ Student-run station WSBF-FM at Clemson University celebrates 50 years on the air

External links



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