WELV Station History
The original WELV went on the air as an AM radio station in 1964, and the station broadcast from its studio on Canal Street above what is now Matthew’s Pharmacy. Its call numbers were 1370, and it included a mix of local programs like the “Spring Glen Report.”
An FM signal was added in 1970, and listeners enjoyed a general contemporary adult format of music and local news. In the early 1980s the station was known for news, light instrumentals, and “The Sounds That Swing.” Around 1990, the FM became K-Lite, playing adult contemporary, then country in the mid-90s. The old WELV ceased to exist when the AM station became WRWD AM, and its FM sister station became WRWB-FM.
The Ellenville School District's (ECSD) first radio operation, Radio Ellenville, was born in 1997, after several members of the School's TV Studio staff started playing music on Channel 8 when the studio was not broadcasting TV programs. To hear the programs, people would listen to Channel 8 while watching the video bulletin board.
In 2000, as a response to the consolidation in commercial radio, Congress authorized LPFM radio (Low Power FM) and created a new class of non-commercial 10- and 100-watt stations that would cover a community or neighborhood.
The Ellenville Central School District applied for an LPFM license and on October 29, 2003 the Federal Communications Commission issued a construction permit to build a Low Power FM Radio Station here at the school. The School Board decided to accept the challenge and hired, researched & built the Station before the permit expired on April 28, 2004. The station was assigned the WELV-LP call sign on December 13, 2004, began testing in April 2005, and received its license to cover on September 30, 2005. The 'New WELV' was born.
The long-running morning show, “Dennis in the Morning” debuted in February 2006. Hosted by retired teacher Dennis Warner and students, the show won regional awards from Hudson Valley Magazine in 2006 and 2007, and the Times Herald-Record in 2008. and remained a popular local institution until Mr. Warner passed away in 2013. DWay - The Music Playlists of Dennis Warner are featured every weekday from 8am - 10am. LINK TO DWAY PAGE
WELV-LP now broadcasts 24 hours a day, every day, from its studio in the High School Media Center, and has become known for its eclectic and innovative mix of local news, community interviews, coverage of school events and sweeping array of music. Much of the programming is created and presented by Ellenville students, from the elementary kids on “The Youngsters Radio Show” to high school students who compile playlists, announce events, and conduct interviews. Students learn all aspects of broadcasting, from reporting to writing copy to designing playlists. Perhaps even more importantly, they gain confidence and become engaged in their community.
“The station provides crucial local news and information, and we can do that better than anybody else” said Operations Manager Alan Buckler. “But the most important reason we’re here is for the students.”
Channel 20 Station History
Ellenville Central Schools began its’ Educational Access Television Studio in 1992 under the guidance of Dennis Warner. The program was initially an after school club which included in it’s diverse line-up:
- “Overtown,” a man-on-the-street show hosted by Dennis Warner. Dennis walked though the business district, mic in hand, interviewing local folks.
- “Reading with Rosenthal,” hosted by EHS Irwin Rosenthal, who read children's books to kids in the studio.
- “The Warlock's Domain,” heavy metal music and interview show hosted by Rich Maza.
- WELV's precursor, "Radio Ellenville".
Today the TV Studio has grown to a fully instituted program offering both regular school-day period classes and after school classes for students from grades 9-12.
The station is run over Time Warner Cable and offers 24/7 programming of school related events covering the entire K-12 School District. From Dr. Seuss Day to Athletic Events to Board of Education meetings, the students of this program learn to film, edit & schedule these events for the entire community to enjoy. During the school year, students produce live Thursday Night Shows featuring the long running 'Spotlight on Wawarsing' hosted by students & focusing on local non-profit organizations. LINK TO BOTH PAGES
The school began broadcasting in widescreen during the 2016-2017 school year, and hopes to broadcast in High Definition soon.