On a consistently changing campus, WBHM has remained constant

Written by 

March 19Early in 1976, UAB was granted a license for a public radio station, and WBHM broadcast live for the first time Dec. 5 of that year. Patricia Livingston, pictured, was one of the first voices of WBHM 90.3 FM that day. Originally, the station broadcast 6 p.m.-1 a.m. seven days a week.

Over the years, WBHM has won numerous awards. The first came in 1988, when a drama written by staff member Dick Deason, “Treacherous Island,” was honored by San Francisco State University. In 1990, the station won the bronze medal at the 1990 International Radio Festival of New York for its three-part drama “The Gold Disc of Coosa.” Their award-winning streak has continued throughout the decades — in 2017 alone, WBHM won 16 awards from the Alabama Press Association.

In 1993, the station began rebroadcasting in Gadsden, Alabama, on 91.5 FM through an agreement with Gadsden State Community College — an agreement which continues until this day. WBHM also broadcasts from 104.5 FM in Fort Payne.

Now, listener-supported WBHM 90.3 FM radio, with its staff of 21 full- and part-time employees, is central Alabama’s local NPR affiliate. It has around 107,000 weekly listeners an 132 corporate and business sponsors. But the station remains true to its roots. It is still housed in the same location as 1976 — the former mathematics building on 11th Street South between Sixth Avenue and University Boulevard.

  • Find a breath of fresh air at UAB

    retro art streamBeginning with iron lung treatments in the 1950s, UAB has long been committed to the respiratory health of its patients. That continues with its COVID Respiratory Clinic to better evaluate treatments needed for coronavirus patients.

    posted 7 days ago 138 views
  • Engineers build solutions for problems

    retro art streamNecessity may be the mother of invention, but UAB engineers are the ones who bring them to life.

    posted 21 days ago 378 views
  • Protecting UAB Hospital patients is no isolated effort

    retro art streamIn 1960, many incoming patients were first admitted to the Isolation Unit before transferring to another ward; there were fewer antibiotics at the time, and undiagnosed infections were more prevalent. Today, protecting patients in the time of coronavirus takes an even more complex and multilayered approach — including visitation restrictions and the use of negative airflow rooms.

    posted a while back 328 views
  • Tens of thousands of remote computers power UAB — and it all started with one

    retro art streamIn 1968, the Medical Center’s computing capability consisted of an IBM 1401 setup and IBM 729 Magnet Tape Units. Now, during limited operations, much of UAB’s mission-critical work is happening on thousands of computers — all of them not on campus.

    posted a while back 373 views
  • Strong foundations for a healthy Birmingham

    retro art streamIn March 1947, officials broke ground in the medical center for a new building to house the Jefferson County Public Health Department (JCPHD), now the Jefferson County Department of Health. The department is working alongside UAB and other organizations to monitor closely the ongoing situation surrounding novel coronavirus COVID-19.

    posted a while back 450 views
  • Sometimes, bigger is better

    retro art streamUAB Hospital has come a long way since 1929 — all the way to the America’s Best Hospitals list.

    posted a while back 821 views
  • Beyond the page: Bright future ahead for UAB libraries

    retro art streamIn the 1980s, UAB students studied at large tables in Mervyn H. Sterne Library. Today, the library is home to more interactive- and group-study spaces than ever before, plus new dean Kasia Gonnerman joining the Blazer family April 1.

    posted a while back 661 views
  • Ready, set, strike

    retro art streamUAB’s volleyball players score on and off the hardwood. Check out UAB Women’s Beach Volleyball team during the Green and Gold match 2 p.m. Feb 14 and season opener against North Alabama 10 a.m. Feb. 22, both at home.

    posted a while back 444 views
  • Snowpocalypse serves up a snowy soccer match

    retro art streamSix years ago, Blazers kicked a soccer ball back and forth on campus during Winter Storm Leon, which brought Birmingham to a standstill on Jan. 28, 2014.

    posted a while back 666 views
  • Campus walkway gives a boost, gets a lift

    retro art streamIn 1975, UAB completed a pedestrian bridge crossing University Boulevard at 13th Street South to accommodate a quickly growing student population. This year, UAB art students brightened the footbridge with a UAB-themed mural.

    posted a while back 989 views