WQUN officially closes


Autumn Driscoll/Quinnipiac University

Photo Courtesy: WQUN.com

Kailee Heffler

The day the music dies is here.

WQUN, an AM studio owned and operated by Quinnipiac University, officially went silent on May 31.

The university decided that Friday was the station’s final broadcast, but will not fully cease operations until June 30 of this year.

The university spoke out about the closing of WQUN in a statement released earlier this year by Vice President of Public Affairs Lynn Bushnell. 

“To shift resources to more closely match the ever changing needs and interests of our students, and to better prepare them for future employment opportunities, we will cease operations of AM 1220 WQUN, the university’s Greater New Haven community radio station, on June 30, 2019,” Bushnell said.

The university came to this decision after seeing a drastic decline in students interested in radio.  

“When WQUN first went on the air in 1997, it was used as a training ground where students would learn and hone their broadcasting skills before graduating and securing jobs in the radio industry,” Bushnell said. “The number of students who even consider a career in radio, or who want to intern at WQUN AM has declined sharply, prompting the university to reexamine the prudence of continuing to operate a community radio station.”

WQUN did not only support students in their future endeavors, but was also a station that wanted students to be a part of the New Haven community.

WQUN’s mission statement states “WQUN will be used to entrench Quinnipiac College [University] further in the New Haven community.”

Holly Masi, Hamden zoning enforcement officer, believes this statement is why Quinnipiac University should not be shutting down the station.

“It helps to bridge the relationship of the university, the community and all the businesses, public service groups, charitable organizations and public officials,” Masi said. “It’s the place where everyone can go to communicate, provide, and discuss information of all kinds in a truly unbiased way.”

Masi started a petition to save the station, a page that has over 1,000 signatures, in attempt to stop the closing.  

“I was sitting home one night thinking of the conversations I had with many people in the community and I just decided to start a petition. Something inside told me there would be a lot of people that would be unhappy,” Masi said. “The Facebook page and petition were meant to give the community a place for their voices to be heard and to let them know how to reach out to the university to express their opposition.”

Hamden resident Bobby Shrek has been a longtime listener of WQUN and is disappointed to see it go.

“I am really disappointed that WQUN is being shut down because I used it for local news and traffic,” Shrek said. “I also enjoyed their classic rock hits they would play.”

The station has not only fostered such a community, but has also provided real-world experiences for students.  

Masi plans to continue her outreach and support for the station even after it closes, noting the town’s relationship with the university is about to change.

“I think that their handling of the situation put up a wall between the university and the community and is very damaging to their Town/Gown Relationship,” Masi said. “I think they will regret this decision.”