Things Of Great Historical Significance
History by the Decade:
The station signed on the air in March of 1971 under the direction of Mr. Walter Brzezinski, Concord Carlisle's electronics teacher (back in the day when CCHS used to have shop classes). WIQH started life as a 10 watt station, giving it a range of just a few miles on the crowded radio dial of the Boston area. The studio was in the CCHS "A Building", in the back of what was then a large closet within the Audio Visual Room. In 1975, Concord Carlisle High School completed a big expansion that added four new buildings to the campus. One of the leftovers from the building project was a mobile classroom trailer that, by the fall of '75, became WIQH's new home. The famous trailer, parked at the end of the new "I Building" offered more room for 88.3FM. Over time, students built walls to separate the space into three rooms - two studios and an office.
Through the mid '80s, WIQH regularly broadcast from about 3PM until about 9PM weekdays and for a few hours on Sundays. The late '80s saw a slight increase in on-air hours as broadcasting frequently continued until 10 on weeknights. Around 1985, as the Federal Communications Commission rewrote its rules governing small non-commercial radio stations like WIQH, the station applied to the Commission for permission to increase power tenfold, to 100 watts. For a variety of reasons, the FCC didn't grant the power increase until the mid 1990s. In 1995, 88.3FM finally managed to flip the switch on its new 100 watt transmitter, approximately doubling its broadcast range.
In the late '90s, the school struggled to find a faculty advisor for the station and things took a turn for the worse. Sporadic broadcast hours, waning student involvement and aging equipment took its toll. Things began to resemble a famous lyric from Simon & Garfunkel hit "Sounds of Silence". The fall of 1999 signaled major changes for WIQH. A diverse group of adults from Concord and Carlisle came together with strong interest in getting the station back up and running smoothly again. At the same time, coincidentally, a group of students at CCHS were also trying to revitalize the radio station. Working from different directions, both groups received approval from the CCHS administration to revive the radio station program.
WIQH begins broadcasting from its new facilities in Room I-1 of Concord Carlisle High School. 2002 was a very eventful year. First up was the 5th Annual CCHS Battle of the Bands. For the first time, WIQH produces and hosts the event. The Battle was established by the CCHS Class of 2001 in their freshman year; responsibility for the event was inherited by the radio station when the Class of 2001 graduated. In September of that year,'Member of the Month' program begins, instituted by General Manager Paul O'Neill, '04. The program awards a non-management station member for outstanding contributions to the station. Each Member of the Month receives a free lunch from a local food provider, gets a certificate suitable for framing, and gets her/his name and picture posted in the Member of the Month gallery for the rest of the school year. Later, in October, the WindoWall is built and installed. It goes in the space occupied by one of the garage doors in Room I-1. The wall provides much needed outside light and visibility without having to open any garage doors. The wall was designed and constructed by David Holdorf, Paul Macone and Ned Roos. In November, WIQH broadcasts automated programming for the first time. Using "Simian" automation software and a Sine Systems transmitter remote control paid for by a Concord Education Fund grant, WIQH aired a full day of programming without any person actually at the station.
WIQH has 110 members and it's signal today reaches around the world, thanks in part to the magic of streaming audio and the internet.