Fanshawe campus radio turns 40

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: PROVIDED BY JIM VAN HORNE
Fanshawe's campus radio station, 106.9 The X, which is run by students in the journalism department is turn 40 this October.

On Oct. 31, 106.9 The X, the Fanshawe College student run radio station located in M building, turns 40.

In celebration the broadcast radio and journalism programs will be hosting an open house on Oct. 27.

Alumni will be in attendance as well as guest speakers.

“We are very excited,” Jim Van Horne, the broadcast journalism program co-ordinator, said. “In 1978, the first song [that played on the station] at about 2:30 in the afternoon was Hotel California by the Eagles. It includes the line, ‘You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave’. And so that’s how we look at our graduates. Yes, they check out into industry jobs, but they never really leave us.”

According to Van Horne, one alumnus returning to celebrate and say a few words is Dana Lewis.

“Dana has reported on stories around the world and he did one of the first newscasts on the X in 1978 when we first got the license,” Van Horne said. “He’s going to come back and do another newscast almost 40 years to the day and he’s going to lecture our students on his career.”

Dana Lewis is also contributing to an academic award in the broadcast journalism program called The Dana Lewis Frontline Award.

The X is run by both the broadcast journalism and radio students at Fanshawe.

Van Horne explained why having the X is beneficial for broadcasting students.

“[Having] a live learning lab would enhance the education for the students that it would create. We wanted to create a real world environment with the pressures of expectation(s) and I say it in the best of ways, like the performance aspect of it, so that students thought every hour of every day they were doing the real thing,’ Van Horne said.

Van Horne added thoughts about the future of the next generation of students, journalists and the program in itself.

“We just feel really good about our future as we’ve evolved from the radio station, [to including] a very active and a substantial website, so we feel we’ve adapted to the new age of things.” The Interrobang wishes The X a happy 40th and looks forward to seeing the station grow over the next 40 more years.