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Jul 01 2011

A bang, then a whimper


The last few hours of the old format on WDUQ-FM (90.5) were held down Thursday night by veteran announcer Tony Mowod, who spent his 7 to 11 p.m. shift exchanging stories with local jazz musicians and former WDUQ staffers.

For the record, the last song was Gene Ludwig’s version of “What Is This Thing Called Love?” followed by Mowod’s usual theme, “For Lena and Lennie” by Quincy Jones. Mowod’s usual closing line — “keep a bit of love in your heart, and a taste of jazz in your soul” — was delivered in unison by the crowd that had gathered to watch the final moments.

The Federal Communications Commission has yet to approve the transfer of WDUQ’s license from Duquesne University to the new owners, a joint venture between Boulder, Colo., based Public Media Company and WYEP-FM (91.3). But WYEP and PMC assumed management of WDUQ at 11 p.m. last night.

A new news-talk format that leans heavily on NPR and American Public Media syndicated shows now takes the place of WDUQ’s mix of news and jazz. BBC World Service fills the early morning hours.

WDUQ’s HD channel will continue to program jazz, for listeners equipped to receive it, while the main analog channel will continue to carry six hours of jazz on Saturday nights, including “Rhythm, Sweet & Hot” and a show featuring former WDUQ midday host Bob Studebaker.

Technical purists may be interested to know that a few technical glitches marred the transfer from the jazz format to the new 90.5. As Mowod’s theme faded out, a few moments of the U.S. Naval Observatory’s Master Clock faded in, followed by a BBC broadcast joined in progress. No legal ID was apparent.

Here’s the audio of the final moments of the “old” WDUQ:

MP3 file, 3.3 MB