New Releases Show – February 1991

The new releases show continued into the 90′s with Jim Cooley, Music Director,
along with Chris Perry, Jeff Ruznic (?) and Lori Edwards.
Jim took his music seriously.
He was a member of the Blue Meanies, along with Bill Sollidor.
Chris Perry later took over for Jim as Music Director.
Here, on the New Releases show, February, 1991, Jim and the crew play an amusing spot for WIDB classified Valentines.
Anybody know how popular these were?

The Steam Tunnels Of SIU

By Bob Piet

Do they exist?

So back when I was a freshman, there were always rumors of these underground tunnels that connected the entire campus.  Back in University housing, I recall a few Resident Assistants (RA’s) outright denying their existence.  If this was an official University Housing policy to deny their existence, I can’t be sure.

The answer is, of course: they exist; the evidence is all over the place.  Walking along the sidewalks, you see the 2×4 vents, and if you look at them at the right angle, you can see right into the tunnel network.  You have the random small brick buildings that when you look at them they go straight down, such as the one in Thompson Point and by Old Main adjacent to the main walkway over to East Campus.  Additionally they do rupture from time to time making steam shoot out of the sidewalks or lawns like some alien planet.   My favorite though, is to wait for a day when there is just a light layer of snow on the ground.  The ambient heat from the steam tunnels will melt the snow and give you and instant tunnel network map.  Oh, and also they mention the tunnels on their website.

Why do they exist?


Gatsby’s: Random Thoughts

By Mark Slaga
Slaga Gatsbys 2
I never understood the attraction of watching some guy spin records.
But it was kinda neat.

Kent Lewin, his face a mask of horror reminiscent of “The Scream,” crouched in the corner nursing a Coke and running he board, cringing as he opened my mic.
I think I broke him in for Steve Dahl.

Slaga Gatsbys 3

Owner Jim Winfree, thought I was bopping his girlfriend.  What a Clown!  But he was right.

Telling a dope joke about getting busted, making fun of my probation officer.
Halfway through the bit I notice he is sitting at the bar shaking his head.

Audience members were always trying to give me dope.  They were usually successful.

It’s 2:30 am Sat.
I’m in the parking lot behind the bookstore loading album crates in my car.
Fifteen minutes earlier, Jim Winfree stuck his gun in my face.
2 guys who were regular audience members are stumbling through the lot,
and they asked me if I wanted to get high…………Duh!

One guy pulls out about 3 grams of MDA (back when it was real). He dumps it out and hands me a straw.  Being accustomed to a certain dosage, I naturally assumed the large pile was for me.  Much to the astonishment of my newfound benefactors.

Let’s cut to Monday morning, 54 hours later. (God I miss MDA).  For some ungodly reason,
I find myself in an auditorium sitting in on a Basic Ratio/Television lecture.
As I begin to sober up and re-enter reality, I realize that there is a full blown debate/discussion about censorship, FCC power, ethics, morality and profanity.
Ten minutes after sobering up I realize that they are talking about the Gatsby’s show
and asking the professor how could this be on the air.

Finally one little dweeb (who is probably a network executive today)
passionately asks in a plaintive cry:
“How can we, as responsible broadcasters, allow this to happen?
Can’t we control it?
What can we do?”

I had had just about enough and besides, the bars were opening.
I stood up and yelled:


I hit the bar, had some Bloody Marys,
went to the station and slept on the couch for 12 hours.

Slega Gatsby 855
The Slaga Stare


My First WIDB Reunion


big guy #28

I would love to tell you that networking is the reason that you should go to the WIDB Reunion this year, but the truth is that you should go because it is a lot of fun!

I decided to go to the WIDB 35th Anniversary Reunion in 2005 because of two reasons.
I was the newly elected General Manager and I really wanted a weekend off work.
I was excited, but also nervous to meet a group of people who were more experienced and accomplished than me. I was still a freshman at the time.

WIDB was incredibly important to me and I wanted to make sure to impress our alumni. When I arrived at Pinch Penny on Friday night and saw dozens of animated people wearing WIDB reunion credentials, l sensed a passion about WIDB among all of us that I thought only I felt.

Big Guy #8

We were all at the station on Saturday morning, where I heard some inspiring stories about the WIDB of the past. Stories about the riots, how WIDB sold $60,000 in one year, and conspiracies to get rid of GM’s were surprising. Later that day we played softball during the picnic at Giant City and basically enjoyed the beautiful weather. It was sunny and hot but there was shade and plenty of Ice-cold drinks, including beer kegs.

kandi #21

Everyone gathered for a large banquet dinner at Giant City. After dinner I had to give a speech about the station and what my plans were. I kept thinking to myself how this was my chance to impress everyone, but I did the opposite.
I gave the worst speech ever. I was so nervous,
but the majority of the alums continued to be very welcoming and kind to me.

What I am trying to say is that my experience at the WIDB Reunion was fantastic. I met so many fun people and I learned a lot about the station. I also learned a lot about the best way to attend this event. If you go to Lalapalooza, you have to have a plan. Same here.

vic #0

First, stay at Giant City. Almost all events are there, the cabins are great, and if you get organized and split a cabin it’s reasonable. Starting at noon, Saturday, it’s picnic, rest time, open bar, dinner, pool party, bonfires, sunrise, breakfast, all at Giant City. No driving—walk to everything!

cave #73

In 2005, I spent a lot of time driving back and forth from C’dale to Giant City. You may think it’s close but it takes almost an hour, round trip. If you go to the picnic, then come back to shower, go to the dinner, then drive someone back, come for the pool party, then go back to C’dale to sleep, then come for breakfast, that’s about four hours on the road in 24 hours. I will be spending these four hours in Giant City, this time. I’m getting a cabin. I’m psyched for a good time!

Second, reserve early—immediately! The cabins go fast. Everybody knows how cool the cabins are. You have to pay for at least one cabin (two nights) and one reunion fee to get a cabin. You may think it’s a lot to lay out this far in advance, but believe me, it’s worth it. No one else is allowed to stay in Giant City when we’re there, and we have exclusive use of the pool for the weekend.

Linton #17

Third, believe that you have something in common with everyone there—old and older—caring about WIDB and how it brings all kinds of people together.
All these people I met cared about what I had to say and what was happening at WIDB.

Vic #39

Many people might tell you that the reason to attend the reunion next year is to network with a large base of successful alums; I can’t say that I disagree,
but I wouldn’t bank on getting a job just by showing up. Everyone will agree that it helps to meet as many people as you can because you never know who will help you out.
At the reunion, the “meeting” is mixed in with the partying.

Believe it or not, even I am looking forward to partying with these old guys!
I missed a lot last time (driving back & forth so much) so I’m determined
to get my share this time!
It only happens once in five years, so use any excuse you can to make sure that you are at the 2015 WIDB Reunion. Take it from me it is going to be a great time!

Zippy #47


Election – November 1972

The first Presidential Election WIDB covered was in November ’72.
Throughout the ’70s and most of the ’80s WIDB maintained a substantial and industrious news department. Under News Director Cliff Albert, newspersons were dispatched to Senator (Puchinski/Percy), Governor (Walker/Ogilvie), President (Nixon/McGovern) candidates’ campaign headquarters in Chicago.
Correspondents included Chris Bury (now at ABC TV Network News), Walt Leisering and Todd Cave (now at Turner Broadcasting/Time-Warner), Mike Slabik, Debbie Santarelli, Bob Comstock, and Rick Bronars.
There were live reports from WIDB reporters stationed in Chicago, Springfield, and in Jackson County. Anchoring the coverage at WIDB were Allan J. Friedman, Tom Cooper, and Cliff Albert. On election night, WIDB’s regular programming was pre-empted for over four hours by election coverage. Here are some short edited highlights.