WFMU is a non-commercial radio station in Jersey City, New Jersey, which can be received locally via the FM frequency 91.1 MHz (FM ) and worldwide via the Internet. The station has received several awards for his experimental programs. He is frequently called FMU without the initial W call sign, which merely states that the radio station is located east of the Mississippi River. The terrestrial Empfangsbereicht includes, but large parts of the city of New York City.

WFMU sends in the free-form format for which the presenters and DJs have complete control over the content of their broadcasts. There is no editorial, content requires or decreases. The only form of default has organizational reasons and is the hour: The DJs change the hour. WFMU is the oldest existing radio stations in the United States with this format.


WFMU ended on April 24, 1958 for the first time on the air. At that time, WFMU was still part of the Upsala College in East Orange, New Jersey. Just before the Upsala College was closed on 31 May 1995, WFMU bought the broadcasting license of the College and has since independently. In August 1998, the station moved to a newly purchased building in Jersey City. The current owner of the broadcasting license of WFMU is Auricle Communications, a nonprofit organization consisting of current and former employees and listeners of WFMU. WFMU also has WXHD with a relay station in Mount Hope, New York, which spreads the program on 90.1 MHz FM in the transmission area Hudson Valley, NY, the lower Catskills, in western New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.

For several years, WFMU offers its program to also via the Internet. Streams are in MP3, RealAudio, ASX, Ogg Vorbis and AAC available, then the shows for two weeks in the MP3 format and unlimited in Real Audio format through the website of WFMU will be provided. About a dozen shows are broadcast as podcasts. In addition, WFMU offers instead of the radiated beyond the normal radio signal Jewish Moments in the Morning, Monday through Friday 6-9 clock in the morning (EST ), a special Internet Radio, its content is not the strict rules of the FCC (eg concerning the so-called Seven dirty words ) subject.


WFMU rejects in principle from any support from the government, by businesses, private foundations and other public institutions that would be subject to conditions which are contrary to the principles of the transmitter. The transmitter is fully funded by its listeners, which is especially once per year in a two-week fundraising marathon (during which, among other things traditionally Yo La Tengo ) and it is achieved by also annually held record fairs. All DJs and presenters are unpaid volunteers ( with the exception of DJ for the weekday morning program, Nachum Segal ), some of which are active at the transmitter since the 1970s and 1980s. This type of independence is to be guaranteed that the FreeForm format can continue to exist and the DJs do not adhere to certain playlists and Heavy Rotation concepts or have to determine the content of the consignment due to possible advertisers, marketing agencies and focus groups (see Payola ).

Program and cultural impact

Rolling Stone magazine gave WFMU four years in succession (1991-1994) the title of "Best radio station in the country ." From the magazines Village Voice, the New York Press and the College Music Journal WFMU was also awarded as the best radio station in the United States or in New York City. The New York Times described WFMU in his 1999 article as a transmitter, " whose name has become a sort of secret handshake among a certain group of tasty visual experts" and called in the same article Lou Reed, Matt Groening, Jim Jarmusch and Eric Bogosian as explained fans of the transmitter. Other prominent WFMU fans are, inter alia, the Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant, Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore, Cars musician Ric Ocasek, television host Conan O'Brien and actor Crispin Glover.

Great attention of the international media was the attempt of WFMU DJs Glen Jones to break the Guinness World Record for the longest continuous radio broadcast. On 29 May 2001, the record attempt officially ended successfully with 100 hours and 41 seconds transmission period.

The program content and format of the individual content varies to a great extent. Most play music from all sorts of eras, genres and languages ​​and cultures, to exist alongside many experimental programs, documentaries, call broadcasts, and once a week a so-called listener - hour in which each play a receiver in the transmitter the music of his choice can.

Although WFMU traditionally shuns news broadcasts, the station offered in 2000, the show Democracy Now! ( with different title: Democracy Now in Exile! ) of journalist Amy Goodman for a transitional period for asylum after the shipment had been deposed by a change in management from the transmitter WBAI Pacifica Radio and the network.

A similar example was the short-term acquisition of the webcast program of jazz radio station WWOZ in New Orleans after their studio and transmitter by Hurricane Katrina were destroyed in August 2005.