WCSF 88.7 FM Announces New Website and Web Address

Joliet, Ill. –WCSF 88.7 FM, the student staffed radio station at the University of St. Francis (USF), has a new online home and a newly-designed website.

Visit wcsfradio.com to find WCSF’s weekly program schedule, a link to listen to the station online, a variety of music charts, station news.

The new website was designed by Communication and Media Arts (CMMA) student and WCSF program director Cosme Lozano and features updates from USF student Mary Mathieu.

WCSF’s 24 hour-a-day, 7 days-a-week broadcasting features a variety of music including rock, folk, jazz, urban, dance, holiday, and classical, USF Fighting Saints football, talks shows, and daily news programming. The station is also home to the area’s popular holiday programming, The Spirit of Christmas, which begins on Thanksgiving Day (November 25, 2021) and runs through noon on January 2, 2022.  USF CMMA students and community volunteers provide on air talent, programming, and management for WCSF.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 52,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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Spirit of Christmas Perseveres through a Unique Season

Joliet, Ill. – This past summer, the radio antenna tower for WCSF 88.7 FM, the University of St. Francis’ (USF) radio station, was blown off its mounts atop Tower Hall on the main USF campus in Joliet during a strong thunderstorm. This challenged the station to transition its broadcast to a temporary, but less effective, tower. While the normal range for the radio station reaches as far as Mokena, Morris, Wilmington and Bolingbrook, the temporary signal reached only one or two miles. What was thought to be a short-term challenge lasted much longer than initially anticipated and impacted the reach of the largely popular annual Spirit of Christmas programming, serving as yet another reminder that 2020 was a year in which anything can and will happen.

Despite the challenge, WCSF 88.7 FM persevered. Through the persistence of WCSF station manager Anthony Musiala and Spirit of Christmas producer Don Burke (with the support of USF Administration), a new tower and antenna were scheduled for fabrication and installation, but not before the start of Spirit of Christmas programming on Thanksgiving Day. Understandably, listeners were concerned when they realized that couldn’t hear Burke’s familiar voice, programs like “Hardrock, Coco and Joe” and “The Cinnamon Bear”, and the diverse variety of holiday songs for which the Spirit of Christmas is known.

On the Spirit of Christmas Facebook page (facebook.com/WCSF887), one listener posted, “I can’t wait. I am listening to a static radio music now. But I love it so much that I don’t care.”

This listener wasn’t alone, either. Dozens of other listeners also called, posted comments and emailed stating that they were missing their favorite Christmas programming.

In the week leading up to Christmas, the installation of the new tower and antenna finally began. The antenna mounts were bolted atop Tower Hall and, in the week after Christmas, the new antenna elements and cabling were hoisted up, secured and connected. While not quite a Christmas miracle, WCSF 88.7 FM was finally broadcasting at full power again before the end of the calendar year.

In an effort to provide even just a small portion of the Spirit of Christmas programming listeners had missed, Burke and Musiala extended Spirit of Christmas for an additional 48 hours, with programming scheduled to conclude on Monday, January 4.

The extension included a “Cinnamon Bear” marathon, which immediately received a warm reception. On the Spirit of Christmas Facebook page, one listener posted, “My children always loved The Cinnamon Bear! I was sad that we missed a lot of it this year, so this is a real treat. Thank you!”

One caller left a voice message that effectively summed up the feelings of many listeners. The caller stated, “I simply want to thank you for the beautiful Christmas music. It brought such joy into my life. I don’t have a home computer so I wasn’t able to listen to it without it being on the radio. So to go a whole month without it, I have to tell you, it was really tough. I’ve been listening to the program for the last 20 years. It was one of my most treasured traditions. It was actually kind of painful, I know it sounds silly but it was. I’ve listened to it almost nonstop for the last 4 days. Thank you, thank you, thank you. God bless you for all that you do. You and your program are a true blessing. I wish you an extraordinary New Year and blessings to all of you. Thank you.”

The moral of the story is that we should not take things for granted. Special thanks are extended to Don Burke for another outstanding season of Spirit of Christmas programming, even under the most trying of circumstances.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 51,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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Spirit of Christmas Programming Starts on Thanksgiving Day

Joliet, Ill. – Starting at noon on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020) and running through noon on January 2, 2021, University of St. Francis (USF) radio station WCSF-FM 88.7 switches over from its regular programming to the Spirit of Christmas, a 24-hour, commercial-free, season-long holiday format.

Spirit of Christmas features a variety-filled rotation of over 4,000 songs, including multiple versions of holiday classics, like “White Christmas”. One special program that airs nightly at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. during Spirit of Christmas is the classic 1937 radio series, The Cinnamon Bear, which tells the story of Judy and Jimmy Barton and their adventure to an enchanted world alongside Cinnamon Bear, a stuffed bear with button eyes and a green ribbon around his neck, to recover the missing silver star from their Christmas tree.

You can tune in to FM 88.7 to listen to the Spirit of Christmas on your radio in the Joliet area, or you can livestream it at stfrancis.edu/spirit.

Area businesses are also invited to promote themselves through special sponsorship opportunities that air during Spirit of Christmas programming. Sponsorships start at $250 and are a great way to promote your business or extend holiday wishes to the Joliet community and beyond. For more information about sponsorships, please call 815-740-3610.

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Currently celebrating 100 years of higher education rooted in Franciscan values, the University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 51,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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Spirit of Christmas Programming on WCSF-FM 88.7 Starts Thanksgiving Day

Joliet, Ill. – Starting at 12 noon on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019) and running through January 2, 2020, University of St. Francis (USF) radio station WCSF-FM 88.7 switches over from its regular programming to the Spirit of Christmas, a 24-hour, commercial-free, season-long holiday format.

Spirit of Christmas features a variety-filled rotation of over 4,000 songs, including multiple versions of holiday classics, like “White Christmas”. One special program that airs nightly at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. during Spirit of Christmas is the classic 1937 radio series, The Cinnamon Bear, which tells the story of Judy and Jimmy Barton and their adventure to an enchanted world alongside Cinnamon Bear, a stuffed bear with button eyes and a green ribbon around his neck, to recover the missing silver star from their Christmas tree.

Established in 1993 by Bob Zak, Spirit of Christmas was ahead of its time because season-long broadcasts of holiday music were not yet airing.

“At the end of the fall semester, the radio station would shut down for a few weeks because students were finished with their coursework for that semester,” said current Spirit of Christmas Director of Programming Don Burke. “Bob wanted to experiment with a holiday format that ran from December 1st through December 26th and that continuously played a variety of Christmas songs. Within two days of the original launch, the station’s phones were constantly receiving calls about how much people loved the station and to make song requests.”

You can tune in to FM 88.7 to listen to the Spirit of Christmas on your radio in the Joliet area, or you can livestream it at stfrancis.edu/spirit.

Area businesses are also invited to promoting themselves through special sponsorship opportunities that air during Spirit of Christmas programming. Sponsorships start at $250. For more information about sponsorships, please call 815-740-3610.

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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Christmas Programming on WCSF-FM Starts on Thanksgiving

Nov. 20, 2018 | Joliet, Ill.

Starting on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, Nov. 22) and running through January 2, 2019, University of St. Francis (USF) radio station WCSF-FM 88.7 switches over from its regular programming to the Spirit of Christmas, a 24-hour, commercial-free, season-long holiday format. This year’s Spirit of Christmas is a milestone event, as the program will celebrate 25 years on the airwaves. You can also livestream the Spirit of Christmas atstfrancis.edu/spirit.

Spirit of Christmas features a variety-filled rotation of over 4,000 songs, including multiple versions of holiday classics, like “White Christmas”. One special program that airs nightly at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. during Spirit of Christmas is the classic 1937 radio series, “The Cinnamon Bear,” which tells the story of Judy and Jimmy Barton and their adventure to an enchanted world alongside Cinnamon Bear, a stuffed bear with button eyes and a green ribbon around his neck, to recover their missing silver star from their Christmas tree.

Established in 1993 by Bob Zak, Spirit of Christmas was ahead of its time because season-long broadcasts of holiday music were not yet airing.

“At the end of the fall semester, the radio station would shut down for a few weeks because students were finished with their coursework for that semester,” said current Spirit of Christmas Director of Programming Don Burke. “Bob wanted to experiment with a holiday format that ran from December 1st through December 26th and that continuously played a variety of Christmas songs. Within two days of the original launch, the station’s phones were constantly receiving calls about how much people loved the station and to make song requests.”

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 49,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.