Mention the drug scandal that shut down the student radio station at the University of North Carolina Wilmington to student media coordinator Bill DiNome, and his first reaction is laughter.
WLOZ, the station in question, began broadcasting in 1973. It went dark in the early 1980s, and the explanation many give for that is a drug scandal that caused the administration to shut it down.
DiNome called the scandal “the scuttlebutt that never goes away.” He covered WLOZ as part of his job at The Beat magazine when he came to Wilmington about 20 years ago.
“I got to know them pretty well,” he said. “You immediately hear about these things.”
DiNome became student media coordinator in 1998 and started digging for more information about the story. He said he went through everything, including archives at the Randall Library and old copies of The Seahawk, UNCW’s student newspaper.
“I haven’t been able to put my finger on a thing,” he said. “I can’t even come close to confirming that such a thing happened.”
DiNome said the station went dark after its FCC license expired in 1980. The station had no professional advising back then, he said, and students probably lost track of when it was time to renew the license. So people walked away from it, he said.
Student radio at UNCW has now morphed into a “fledging webstreaming radio station” called Hawkstream Radio, according to the student media website. DiNome said Hawkstream has been fledging for a few years because of a lack of both student interest and the funding needed to create a radio station.
Hawkstream isn’t connected to WLOZ. But the story surrounding the old station continues to pop up.
“It’s a great story,” DiNome said. “I’ve just never been able to verify it.”
Date posted: February 14, 2012
User-contributed question by: