The community radio format allows WHUS to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at 91.7MHz on the FM dial. WHUS broadcasts a diverse mix of music, from polka to hip-hop, with several public affairs shows as well. It also provides commercial-free coverage of ten sports at UConn.
The station originally went on the air as WABL, a 100-watt AM station, in 1922 with two 103 foot (31 m) steel towers serving as the station's antennae. In 1925 power increased to 500-watts and the call letters changed to WCAC.
The 1930s to the 1950s
WHUS Studios in Koons Hall
On April 30, 1936 the station's license was voluntarily surrendered due to frustrations over constant frequency and power changes mandated by the U.S. Commerce Department. Broadcasting was resumed in 1947 at a frequency of 640 kHz AM from studios in the basement of Koons Hall. The studios were moved to the new Student Union Building in 1952. Between 1954 and 1956, there was another hiatus in broadcasting owing to technical difficulties in complying with Federal Communications Commission restrictions on signal strength. In 1956, WHUS-FM began broadcasting, with a 10-watt transmitter at 90.5 MHz, and low power AM broadcasting was resumed at 670 kHz.
The 1960s to the 21st Century
AM programming was predominant through the late 1960s. In 1963 twenty-four-hour-a-day broadcasting was started on WHUS-AM with the use of 24-inch (61 cm) automatic reverse tape reels that provided 6 hours of programming. WHUS-FM moved to 91.7 MHz in 1966, increased power to 1250-watts in 1968, then to 3200-watts in 1974.
WHUS Studios, c. 1964
In the mid-1970s Student managers decided to operate the station 24 hours a day year round, adding non-student volunteers to staff and produce programs. WHUS became a "community" station. Beginning about 1975, a major refurbishment of the studios upgraded the mostly mono vintage equipment so that in 1977 FM-stereo broadcasting could begin. The closed-carrier AM broadcasting system had fallen into dis-repair and was discontinued.
In 1997, WHUS built a new tower that allowed its signal to reach a 60-mile (97 km) radius. This expansion into the Hartford area helped grow its audience. During the summer of 1998, WHUS began webcasting its air signal over the Internet.
WHUS On-Air Studio in 2007
The station moved to an old farmhouse on the North Campus in 2002 for the remodeling of the Student Union. In 2006 the station's website, WHUS.org, acquired a new design and a schedule database system, which allowed dynamic displays of currently playing and upcoming shows. In 2007 the station moved into new state-of-the-art studios in the remodeled Student Union.
Between 2002 and 2012, WHUS was voted "Best College Radio" by the readers of the Hartford Advocate each year except for 2006 when it received a second place award. In December 2009, WHUS was recognized as a finalist in the University of Connecticut's Provost's Award for Excellence in Community Engagement.