PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University will host an April 16 anniversary celebration for two of its broadcast affiliates — stations KWSU-AM (Pullman), KWSU-TV (Pullman) and the co-operated Washington Higher Education Telecommunication System.
The commemoration will be from 3-6 p.m. in the skybridge on the third floor of the Edward R. Murrow Communications Center. Visitors can tour broadcast facilities. Cake and punch also will be served.
KWSU-AM (Pullman), the first of WSU’s 13 Northwest Public Radio stations statewide, is celebrating 80 years in broadcasting. The station is a direct descendant of a pioneer radio transmitter built at WSU in 1908. It started as a Morse code transmitter and began voice broadcasts in 1922.
KWSU-TV (Pullman) began operation in 1962 and is one of the oldest television stations of its kind. “Pullman got its public television station the same month as New York City,” said Dennis Haarsager, who has managed the WSU stations since 1978. The station airs a mix of educational and Public Broadcasting Service programming and serves thousands of viewers in central and eastern Washington, north-central Idaho and northeastern Oregon.
Born in the early 1980s, WHETS has provided service to citizens of the state of Washington for 20 years. It was originally built to interconnect WSU’s campuses and courses originating from each site, and now uses some three dozen classrooms and offers more than 100 courses per semester in a wide variety of disciplines. With more than 12,000 hours of traffic annually, it is the largest such network in the country and is interconnected with telecommunications facilities provided by the Washington K-20 Education Network.
“Public broadcasting and WHETS provide tens of millions of contact hours each year for WSU with the general public, extending the university’s presence to communities large and small statewide,” Haarsager said.