On a consistently changing campus, WBHM has remained constant

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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.

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