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College Radio Comes to U.S. Virgin Islands with Launch of WUVI-AM


WUVI Launches in U.S. Virgin Islands

Students at University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) launched their first radio station on January 9. Broadcasts currently air from 6am to 6pm over 1090 AM.

Previously this frequency was the home of the religious broadcaster WGOD. A post on UVI Today states that WGOD’s owner, Three Angels Corporation, is leasing the frequency to UVI for 5 years. The broadcaster changed the call sign from WGOD to WUVI in September, 2012.

According to an article in Virgin Islands Daily News, WUVI is the first licensed college radio station in the U.S. Virgin Islands, although there was apparently a pirate radio station in the 1970s.

UVI students are well-prepared to start a radio station as the school has had a  radio course for 10 years. Student radio pieces have also appeared on local AM radio station Radio One.

In addition to student-produced shows, the station airs syndicated programming, including material from Pacifica. As WUVI prepared for its launch, founder Dr. Alex Randall did an interesting interview with Pacifica about his plans for the station. In the piece he states, “We’re going to focus our mission on local content. It will be a highly localized content generated by students.”

Currently WUVI is solely broadcasting over AM, however plans are in the works for a netcast. A February 16 Twitter post by WUVI says, “Satellite dish up! Streaming is on the horizon! Nice!” Shows on the WUVI schedule (PDF) include a range of music, talk, sports, and pubic affairs programming.

In a piece on the UVI website, some of the motivation behind the station lease was revealed. The article states, “At the launch, WGOD’s [President Reynald] Charles said that he offered UVI the lease after looking at the crime and violence affecting the community, especially young men. WUVI, he said, will bring education to the whole community. Charles hopes that meaningful and educational programing will help to uplift the community and bring positive change.”

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