WFSI-FM 88.1 Lakeland – According to the 1950 yearbook issue of Broadcasting magazine, a construction permit was issued in 1949 for WFSI, a low-power educational FM licensed to Florida Southern College in Lakeland on 88.1 megacycles. College records credit FSC’s president, Dr. Ludd Spivey, for advancing the idea of the campus station.
WFSI operated with a Collins Model 738A-1 transmitter and a power of 10 watts from studios on campus in Edge Hall. An instructor at the college, G.C. Sields, Jr., managed the operation during part, if not all, of the years the station was on the air. Programming was limited to just a few hours a day Monday through Friday evenings and featured United Press News, symphonic music, opera, interviews, poetry, book reviews, and discussions of current issues.
Ed Richmond, a Florida Southern student in the mid 50’s, remembers that during his years at the college, “There was a small studio and a smaller control room. I only heard it on the air once, probably 1954. WFSI was not on the air in 1955/56 (my senior year). I was told that the Collins transmitter or antenna (or both) had broken down, and the faculty member-trustee was either no longer at FSC or had no further interest in it.”
Although issues of the Vane A. Jones publication “North American Radio & TV Station Listings” continued to track WFSI into 1958, the station apparently ceased broadcasting in the spring of 1955.
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