WOBC is a student-run freeform community radio station broadcasting 24 hours a day at 91.5-FM in Lorain County, Ohio and on the web at wobc.org. A non-commerical station located at Oberlin College, WOBC broadcasts more than 150 programs weekly–talk shows, news reports, music shows spanning all genres, and live performances–each conceived and produced by volunteer DJs. Daily operations are handled by a five-member administrative board and a volunteer staff of over 30. Learn how to get involved.
WOBC airs an eclectic mix of music and public affairs programming including new and old popular music, punk, folk, classical, blues, r&b, metal, hip-hop, jazz, electronic, radio dramas, talk shows, and news segments. Several genres are organized together in blocks: Folk Sunday mornings, International Monday nights, Classical Tuesday nights, Punk Wednesday nights, Hip-hop Thursday nights, Electronic Friday nights, and Metal Saturday nights.
WOBC broadcasts from the top of Wilder Hall, the Oberlin College Student Union, located at 135 W Lorain Street, Oberlin, Ohio. The WOBC office and studios are located in Wilder room 319 on the West side of the building’s third floor.
Mini-Documentary on WOBC by Agathe Le Berder (2012)
WOBC was first established in 1949 as KOCN, the Oberlin College Student Network, which made it’s first broadcast November 5, 1950 at 590-AM. The first broadcast originated from a building located at 32 East College Street that was later demolished to allow the construction of the Oberlin Inn. When construction of the Inn began in the mid-1950s, the radio station moved to the garage behind Grey Gables, a building on West College Street that was later demolished to construct the Mudd Center. The station’s called letters changed from KOCN to WOBC in the early 1950s to comply with new call-letter standards.
During the this period, studio equipment and broadcast electronics were built by Oberlin College students, save the purchase of used turntables and microphone. The AM signal was broadcast directly to dormitories over a network of wire and transmission boxes attached to electrical poles in town. In 1953, the station acquired a teletype machine as a result of a sponsorship deal with Lucky Strike which provided news updates. During the first two decades of the station’s operation, programming consisted largely of classical music, news, jazz and popular music.
WOBC began broadcasting at 88.7-FM in 1961. The studio remained at the garage behind Grey Gables until 1964 when the station moved to its current location in Wilder Hall.
Download the WOBC Oral History recorded at the 1988 WOBC reunion.