Pittsburgh City Council has proclaimed Tuesday, April 29, 2014 to be “WYEP 40th Anniversary Day” in the city of Pittsburgh.
Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak and Council President Bruce Kraus jointly sponsored the resolution.
“Growing up here and growing up in a working class neighborhood … before the days of the Internet … part of the way I would find out about innovative music and bands and different cultural experiences was through WYEP,” Rudiak said.
Council lauded WYEP for sponsoring community events, bringing nationally renowned musicians to Pittsburgh and building a LEED silver certified headquarters on the South Side.
A handful of WYEP staff members attended Tuesday’s meeting, including 30-year veteran DJ Rosemary Welsch and General Manager Abby Goldstein.
“It takes a lot of smart, creative, wonderful people to sustain a community radio station like this for 40 years, and I want to acknowledge everybody that joined us today: members of the staff, members of the board,” Goldstein said. “We even have a founding member who signed our articles of incorporation back in 1974.”
That founding member is Jeff Smith, who says WYEP was created at a unique time and in a unique place.
“We came to Pittsburgh because it was the only city at that time, the only major market that had a radio frequency where, as a citizen, you could go apply to the FCC for a license,” Smith said. “That meant that instead of having to pay millions of dollars like you would have to do today to get access to the airwaves, you needed to put in a lot of work, but you could get a radio station on the air.”
WYEP Board Chair Greg Joseph thanked City Council for their consideration as well as station staff for their hard work and dedication.
“There are so many more people that could be up here with us today: our volunteers, the folks that donate to the station, listeners abroad, the folks that show up at the events we put on each year,” Joseph said. “Those are the people that keep us on the air.”
90.5 WESA is a sister station of WYEP.