“I didn’t do it [start a radio station] because somebody asked me to or because there was any demonstrated need. It was just part of being a college student and wanting to experiment with things.”first general manager Harrison Wroton told a reporter for the NC State alumni magazine in 2007
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More than 20 years after WLAC fell silent, an aeronautical engineering major brought radio back to the university with an experimental station unofficially called WOLF in January 1944, consisting of “a one-tube, low power transmitter, a small public address amplifier, a record player, and a few records.”7 “I didn’t do it [start a radio station] because somebody asked me to or because there was any demonstrated need,” first general manager Harrison Wroton told a reporter for the NC State alumni magazine in 2007. “It was just part of being a college student and wanting to experiment with things.”8
Broadcast from Wroton’s room in Watauga Hall, the station only reached a few of the student dormitories as a carrier-current station. The station was plagued with technical difficulties and a poor coverage area during its first few years. As one Technician article reported, “The station will cover Watauga with enough volume to give WPTF a good race and with excellent quality, but in the other dorms it sounds like radio Berlin during an air raid.”9
In 1945, WOLF became WNCS “The Voice of NC State College” 570 AM. The carrier current station was admitted into the Student Publication Authority (now known as Student Media), given a budget of $1,100, and studio space on the second floor of Owen Hall. WRAL donated some equipment and the station’s transmitter was moved to the basement of the 1911 Building (then a dormitory). WNCS also joined the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System and began running United Press and campus news reports.10
A March 29, 1946 Technician article proclaimed, “Adopting a strict ban on soap-box operas, hill-billy music, and transcribed ditties extolling the various products on the American market, State students have established their own radio station and are broadcasting a variety of programs, including complete world news coverage, to an increasing audience of campus dwellers.”11
7. Agromeck yearbook (1963).
8. Richter, Chris. (2007, December). “On the air.” NC State.
9. Jones, Wesley. (1945, May 4). “Radio station going into operation soon.” Technician.
10. “New campus radio station WNCS is considered outstanding by experts.” (1946, March 29). Technician.
11. “New campus radio station WNCS is considered outstanding by experts.” (1946, March 29). Technician.