Senior staffer Irwin Chusid wrote a couple of short articles about radio back in the mid-1970's which I pulled out of the WFMU News Clipping Security Vault and present here for your infotainment.
In this article (120k jpg) Irwin talks about the state of New York area radio, and how commercial needs forced most radio stations at the time to appeal to the lowest common denominator in order to secure as vast an audience as possible, but that WFMU (at the time tucked under the wing of Upsala College) was in a lucky position to be able to experiment and explore the boundaries of radio as an art form. Sez Irwin in his own words today:
Hoo-boy! I don't disagree with anything written here -- in March 1975 -- but cringe at the hippie overtones. At the time, I was serving an indefinite suspension for -- well, too complicated to explain, but I was deemed a threat to the WFMU status quo and somehow management had to sideline me. They found an excuse to suspend, because the reason they used to fire me ("You're not an Upsala student") was dismissed by the dean overseeing WFMU at the time as no violation of existing policy. Instead of taking a hint and going elsewhere, I stuck around, infiltrated the staff and propagandized on behalf of what was then an unthinkable (viz., archaic) concept of "free-form" radio. WFMU at the time was basically a sex-drugs-rock'n'roll album-oriented prog station. Trust me, it was less fun than that sounds, and boring to listen. I circulated this "manifesto" at staff meetings, but there were few takers among then-current staff. The only folks receptive were newcomers. BTW, the original sheet was mimeographed. Smelled great!
In June 1978, Irwin wrote this article (65k jpg) addressing the question "What is freeform?" As he talks about it now:
Soapboxing in 1978, when free-form at WFMU was emerging from a 6- or 7-year doldrums. Don't recall the precise context, but this was probably intended for circulation to new staff and auditioners, encouraging them to expand their concept of radio, and to take advantage of the relative freedom afforded at a non-commercial station. In those days I was in pre-emptive propaganda mode -- get to new staff before old staff got to them. Ironic, because I wasn't in the vanguard against the rear-guard -- I was trying to get WFMU to revert to a programming (non-)format that pre-dated (late 1960s) the arrival of the "new old guard" (early 1970s). Not the birth of free-form -- the "rebirth."