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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

WCPN - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

WCPN traces its beginnings from WBOE, the radio station of the CLEVELAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Broadcasting from Lafayette School on Abell Ave., it went on the air as an AM station on 21 Nov. 1938. Two months later it moved to the sixth floor of the Board of Education Bldg. on E. 6th St. In 1941 the station was the first educational broadcaster in the nation to convert to FM, with 1,000 watts on 42.5 megahertz, later raising power to 10,000 watts at 90.3 mHz in 1948. Under the direction of Dr. Wm. B. Levenson, the station won national recognition for its use of radio broadcasts synchronized with lantern slides and playscripts, speakers on such topics as health and science, and student-produced programs on current events and student etiquette. A financially strapped Board of Education finally took WBOE off the air in 1978. The 90.3 frequency was silent until the fall of 1984, save for the sideband broadcast of the Cleveland Radio Reading Service. On 8 Sept. 1984, the station returned to the air as WCPN with a remote broadcast of a JAZZ concert featuring vocalist Mel Torme. Located in 1995 in the Jos. E. Cole Bldg. at 3100 Chester Ave., WCPN offered a 24-hour-day schedule of news, public affairs programs, jazz, and blues music. It served more than 120,000 listeners in an area that includes Cuyahoga County, plus areas of 7 surrounding counties. WCPN also shared its efforts with public stations elsewhere through such programs as Sylvia Rimm on Raising Kids; INFOHIO After Nine--Ohio's only statewide radio newscast--and regular reports from the Cleveland bureaus of Marketplace, a nationwide business program, and Living on Earth, a national environmental program. WCPN brings to Cleveland programming from National Public Radio, Public Radio Intl., Associated Press, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., the British Broadcasting Corp., Radio Nederland, and other independent producers. WCPN also cooperates with CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY in a variety of educational activities, and works closely with the local jazz community to promote and produce jazz concerts, including CUYAHOGA COMMUNITY COLLEGE's Tri-C Jazz Fest.

Last Modified: 23 Jul 1997 11:05:53 AM

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