CBN History Part II: WCBN 650 AM

The popularity of the Network grew rapidly. The voice of the Network began to define itself as the station became a major outlet for student interests. Programming was aimed toward the student body, since it was the only group of people who could hear it. According to aMichigan Daily Freshman Issue from 1960, WCBN-AM did regular broadcasts of Michigan football, basketball, and hockey games; band, glee club, and orchestra concerts; and various other campus events. In addition, all of WUOM's programming was available for WCBN to broadcast.

Miniature map of the coverage of WCBN 650 AMThe carrier current broadcasting system was brought into other University buildings, including women's dormitories and the President's residence. As the years progressed, carrier current loops were installed into private residences, including the Inter-Cooperative Council's building on North Campus.

Although the Network had been formally created as a single entity, its studios remained scattered across campus until 1957. With the erection of the new Student Activities Building on central campus came a suite of studios and offices for CBN. Centralization simplified both management and engineering,

With growth came greater financial need, and the Network began to take advertising from both local and national businesses. Revenue went back into equipment purchases and other station expenses.

A conscience change was made to WCBN's programming by its Program Director in 1969. It was stated that the programming of the station would reflect the needs and wants of its audience, instead of those of the air staff. This was a big step in the evolution of the Network, as this is a directive that is followed by today's programming staff.

Throughout the latter half of the 1960's, many CBN members felt that the goals of the station would be better executed if WCBN broadcast on FM, in addition to carrier current AM. During 1969 and 1970, a great deal of research was carried out to determine if this would be possible (and it was). On November 30, 1970, WCBN put forth a proposal to the Office of Student Services Policy Board asking for support and funding.

In February of 1971, the Board of Regents approved the proposal for a 10-watt WCBN-FM, and construction began.