Madison, Wis. – This February, WSUM Madison Student Radio at the University of Wisconsin-Madison celebrates 20 years on the air and honors the retirement of founding general manager Dave Black.
WSUM Madison Student Radio is one of the largest college radio stations in the country, with more than 200 student and community members, 17 student staff, and over 2,000 alumni – many of whom have pursued broadcasting careers at NBC, ESPN, Big Ten Network, and NPR to name a few.
WSUM is the only student voice on the airwaves in Madison. Independent, audibly innovative, and student-led programming airs 24/7 on its terrestrial 91.7 FM signal and web streams. Students produce WSUM’s wide variety of music, news, and public affairs content. WSUM is also home to one of the nation’s top college sports reporting teams which provides coverage of 130 Wisconsin Badger games per year.
The station has achieved myriad awards in recognition of its world-class operation from state and national organizations, including the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, College Broadcasters, Inc., and Intercollegiate Broadcast Systems.
At 2:22 p.m. on February 22, 2002, graduate student Dave Black launched WSUM from his UW-Madison campus office. Black, who shepherded UW-Madison’s former closed-circuit dorm room radio operation into a full-fledged station, had worked tirelessly to obtain WSUM’s FCC license, secure a location for the station’s tower, and establish studios on campus. As co-founder and first general manager, he guided the station’s growth from local Madison coverage to reaching over 183,250 listeners worldwide today.
Black retired in fall of 2021 and was succeeded by Kelsey Brannan, a WSUM alumna and public radio veteran who previously worked at Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current, and KEXP in Seattle.
The station honors Black with a virtual retirement celebration on Saturday, February 22.