KUOI History | Uncondensed | Page Three
subjects tackled were birth control at Brown, textbook pricing at Brigham Young and radical discrimination at Yale. Even though college radio was non-profit, it could advertise. One of the features offered by the IBC was access to the large national advertisers. Lucky Strike cigarettes sponsored a show on KUOI called Lucky Number. The syndicated shows were distributed on platters — these ranged from classical music to original plays.
One script writer was able to sell his work to the large commercial networks but one of his plays about religious persecution was too hot to be handled by the commercial networks, and only was heard on the IBC. KUOI was producing three-act plays that were to be aired on act a night.
The IBC also allowed KUOI to go on a more full-time schedule. KUOI now was on the air from 7 a.m to 9 p.m. Not only that but they got the OK to build an official studio, complete with triple-pane windows and red and green lights to warn people if an announcer was on air. This seems like pretty small potatoes in this day and age, but in 1947 it was a major accomplishment. Consider the fact that snowball fights between the sorority houses was pretty controversial stuff, the campus blood drive was a major annual event and all the women had to be in their houses at 11 p.m.
January 1947 saw the beginning of KUOI’s perennial function, a search for more funds. Again, the cry was heard. “Hey everybody let’s put on a show,” this time for a dance. Launching an “all-out fund drive,” the staff, with help from the Business Administration Chamber of Commerce, raised $667.00 in two weeks. Always the optimists, the funds were earmarked to build a transmitter, new studio controls and buy more records.
The airwaves were not free from competition, however, and the men at Lindley Hall thought they might give KUOI a run for its money. With a short-wave radio and a phonograph, KLH went on the air. With no regular schedule and no manpower, KLH was not long-lived. A cozy relationship existed between the folks at KUOI and the Argonaut, and that helped the station gain listeners and compete with KRPL, the only local commercial competition.
Every new show idea KUOI came up with seemed to get coverage in the Argonaut. Whether this was good public relations work on the part of the staff or simply the nature of the campus camaraderie, not to mention the outcome of the fraternity system, is hard to say. A poll in 1948 gave an indication of their real PR effectiveness. Questioning students at three popular hangouts: The Nest, Bucket and The Spruce (everybody wasn’t dry), the staff asked, “How do you think KUOI could be of more service to the university?” Delta Tau Delta member Bob Dahlstrom would have liked to have seen a course in radio announcing offered. Alpha Phi Jody Turner said, “The announcers that try to sound funny should stop because they aren’t!” Bert Sorensen from Sweet Hall thought they needed ASUI support and professional advice. Mary Clyde, Delta Gamma, said, “. . . It has improved a hundred-thousand percent since it started!”.
There were some things KUOI had absolutely no control over. Just about the time they thought they had a handle on equipment, some new breakthrough would force a modification in plans. An advertisement announced, “. . .Plays up to 45 minutes! Now a complete album of music on one record” (20). This was the advent of the long playing record. This was the first of many breakthroughs that would hit the recording industry in the next thirty to forty years and although the simple change over from 78 to 33 1/3 RPM would not present any major difficulty for KUOI. This was representative of why the station always seemed to be standing around with their hand out.