For most of his years on campus, the most likely place to find Brent Brotine would be the WPGU studios in the basement of Weston Hall.
“As a high school radio station jock from WNTH Winnetka, I made a beeline to WPGU the day I arrived. I was an advertising major, and served as commercial manager for our initial years as an FM station” says Brotine (BS ’70, MS ’71).
“My best memories of Illinois are all the ways College of Communications students produced great media content in the pre-digital days. Splicing recording tape with razor blades. Editing 16mm film on Moviolas and flatbed tables. Coaxing what limited effects we could produce from WILL-TV’s analog switchers. And getting our fingers stained with real ink in Professor Glenn Hanson’s typography labs in Gregory Hall.”
Not that WPGU-FM was entirely without computer assistance. “In those early days we prepared our program logs on the university’s mainframe computers,” Brotine says. “I would keypunch new data weekly and carefully carry our boxes of IBM punch cards to the computer center for next-day printouts on vintage green bar computer paper — if the program ran.”
“Naturally, all the late nights we put in at WPGU prepared me well for long hours at Chicago advertising agencies as the Mad Men days were just ending. For sustenance, I relied a lot on pizza from Thunderbird — and as good as Chicago pizza can be I’ve yet to find a local joint that makes theirs the way T-bird did.”