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WEMU Staff Looks Back On 55 Years Of Service To The Community... And Beyond

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89.1 WEMU
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Today marks 55 years since 89.1 WEMU first went on the air.  On this day of on-air celebration, WEMU's news director David Fair, general manager Molly Motherwell, and weekday jazz host Michael Jewett get together to discuss WEMU's legacy and what they hope the future will bring.

HISTORY OF 89.1 WEMU

WEMU began broadcasting at a frequency of 88.1 FM in 1965 from the Quirk Building on Eastern Michigan University's campus. In 1976, the station moved to King Hall, and in February 1977, WEMU began to feature a primarily jazz format.  Later that year, in October 1977, WEMU changed to its current 89.1 FM frequency.  The next major addition came on April 7, 2004, when WEMU added digital broadcasting.  Located online at WEMU.org, the station streams live 24 hours a day.

According to a 2017 tour of WEMU, the station holds one of the largest jazz broadcast libraries in the United States, with nearly 100,000 records and CDs in its collection.

Still broadcast out of King Hall on the Eastern Michigan University Campus, WEMU currently shares the building with the student newspaper The Eastern Echo and the Early College Alliance program.

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.

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Michael Jewett is the long-time host of 89.1 Jazz every weekday afternoon. Besides his on-air work; Michael is WEMU’s Operations Manager. Mr. Jewett started working for WEMU in 1983. He’s been on the air longer than any other current WEMU music host.
Nearly three-quarters of David Fair’s 20+ years in radio has been at WEMU. Since 1994, he has been on the air at 5am each weekday on 89.1 FM as the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition. Over the years, Fair has had the opportunity to interview nationally and internationally known politicians, activists and celebrities. But he feels the most important features and interviews have been with those who live and work here at home. He believes his professional passions and desires fit perfectly into WEMU’s commitment to serving a local audience.
Mary Motherwell, known as Molly, joined the WEMU staff in November of 1991 as Marketing and Development Director after stints in public relations at Domino’s Pizza International, and as an account executive first at the old Ypsilanti Press and then the former WIQB-FM. In December 2010, upon his retirement, she succeeded Arthur Timko as General Manager, only the third GM in WEMU’s 57 year history.
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