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Can you tell me what shut down UNCW student radio station WLOZ in 1983?

Pressley Baird
StarNews
WILC- Wilmington College Radio

A student DJ on the air at WILC, Wilmington College Radio. WILC preceded WLOZ as the student radio station at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. (From the UNCW library archives)

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.”

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2 Responses to “ Can you tell me what shut down UNCW student radio station WLOZ in 1983?”

  1. On February 15, 2012 at 9:20 am Scott P wrote:

    I used to hand around the station back in 1990/1991. This was when WLOZ

  2. On June 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm John D wrote:

    I’m confused by Bill DiNome’s comments that “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.” He said that he searched all through The Seahawk and the archives in Randall Library and he couldn’t find any information at all.

    All I had to do was click on the accompanying link to The Seahawk and I found this statement in the linked article: “Prior to 1982, WLOZ broadcast on the frequency now occupied by WHQR, Wilmington’s Public Radio station. WLOZ was forced off the frequency in the wake of an on-air drug sales investigation.” – The SeaHawk, article published January 29, 2001 and updated November 8, 2010. http://www.theseahawk.org/2.13620/wloz-goes-off-the-air-indefinitely-1.1760079#.T9IgA7WE3fZ

    Need help with your research, Bill?



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