No, the headline above is not a typo. It's deliberately intended to be rendered as W-M-F-U. You WFMU listeners may notice something different in the way the on-air DJ gives the required legal ID every hour on the hour from this moment on. What at first listen may appear to be an outbreak of mass DJ dyslexia will reveal itself to be something a smidge more prosaic (and potentially either more maddening or more enjoyable, depending on whether you're on the business side or the pleasure side of the WFMU listening experience).
In 1994, a radio station located in New York's Hudson Valley was
donated to WFMU, which we employed to repeat our broadcast signal to a
wider terrestrial audience. Its assigned call letters were WXHD, broadcasting at
90.1 FM. Being that this particular (and particularly unattractive) call sign was to be heard only once an hour, as part of our mantra-like legal station identification — let's all recite it: "WFMU East Orange, WXHD Mount Hope, wfmu.org" — there was little reason to do anything about changing it. After all, for all purposes, no matter where or how you heard our freeform radio
magic, our identity (our "brand," if you will) is that of WFMU.
Except to those people who would invariably get it wrong.
So how magnaminous are we to rename our 90.1 station identity to render all those typos obsolete? So much so that we DJs are guaranteed to carry on flubbing our new WFMU/WMFU tongue twister ID for weeks to come — that is, when we're not going, "WXHD, er, i mean, WMFU Mount Hope."
A bit of history: WFMU's call sign actually stands for something concrete. The W is assigned as the first letter to broadcast stations east of the Mississippi, what the FM stands for should be obvious, and the U is for our former Viking overlords, Upsala College. With that in mind, we can all play a little game to determine what four-word phrase those litle letters WMFU should represent. (And yes, Polly Pottymouth and Dickie Dirtymind, we know what "MFU" conjures thoughts of — and we have a special gift for you.)
Which reminds me: Happy Mother's Day!