When Alan Heavens ’72, a journalist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, returned to campus this summer, he was pleased to see that despite advances in technology and a change of location, WEOS and WHWS haven’t changed at heart.
“WEOS was a huge part of my life at Hobart, even in the silence between the end of the carrier current station and the beginning of the FM,” recalls Heavens, reminiscing about his time as program co-director of WEOS AM with then-roommate Charles Ulmann ’70. Heavens was first drawn to HWS by the recommendations of Alan Vaber ’51, who spoke highly of the Colleges – and the radio station in particular.
With Ulmann, Heavens greeted students daily in a 7 to 9 a.m. report that included a briefing from Saga Dining Hall. “We had to crawl into narrow spaces in the dorms to tune the AM transmitters when they drifted off frequency,” says Heavens, who eventually helped convince the Colleges that a move to FM radio would prove helpful in forming a lasting relationship with the Geneva – and therefore be well worth the start-up costs.
Eventually, Heavens became the first news director of the Colleges’ FM station, broadcasting the Chapel’s Sunday morning service, covering news of the war and engaging professors in group discussions on current and controversial topics. Heavens continued his work at the radio station throughout his years at HWS, signing off only days before his graduation. As a student he majored in history and was a member of the soccer and wrestling teams.
Other HWS alums have noted their gratitude to WEOS, and have gone on to have careers in broadcasting. Henry Lenz ’72, another founder of the HWS FM station, is currently one of the chief engineers of CBS Radio; Alan Kalter ’64, who now serves as the announcer for “The Late Show with David Letterman,” got his start broadcasting at the Colleges. Other notable WEOS alums include Warren Littlefield ’74, a producer in Hollywood and the former president of NBC Entertainment.
In the photo above, Heavens (third from left) visits WEOS with other alums during Reunion weekend.