About WHOV

88.1 WHOV-FM is a non-profit, non-commercial radio station serving the interest of the Hampton University community, the citizens of Hampton Roads and the surrounding metropolitan areas. WHOV had its beginnings in 1941 as a carrier current station whose signal was limited to designated buildings on campus. It remained a carrier current station until 1964 when it became the first federally licensed educational FM radio station among historically black colleges and universities. Then operating 17 hours a day, 365 days a year, WHOV was granted a power increase by the Federal Communications Commission on July 1, 1992 to increase to 10,000 watts(e.r.p)—8000 vertical and 2000 horizontal. The increase in power brought with it a frequency change to 88.1 FM and a wider listening audience. The station remains unique from most in that it is primarily staffed by community volunteers and Hampton University students. In June 1996 WHOV increased its daily broadcasting hours from 17 hours a day to 19 hours by adding the extremely successful Gospel Express to its weekday programming. In October of 2004, Hurricane Isabel severely damaged WHOV’s transmitter and the station was knocked off the air for approximately three weeks. Quick action by the university in response to this dilemma allowed for the purchase of a new more powerful transmitter that allowed WHOV to broadcast 24 hours a day by adding overnight programming.

WHOV prides itself on its wide and diverse musical, instructional and informational formats. Its immediate audience includes the faculty, staff and students of Hampton University, as well as adults and professionals, youth, and teenagers living in the Hampton Roads area. The station can be heard on campus in administrative offices, the cafeteria, student center, and all residence halls. The station can also be heard in all the major cities that make up the Hampton Roads community, including north of Williamsburg as well as parts of North Carolina and areas of the Eastern Shore. WHOV consistently ranks as the area’s #1 college station in this market.

Recognizing that the music industry has changed over the years, so has WHOV. Primarily a jazz station at one time, now the station has three main formats of jazz, gospel and R&B. Its morning drive program, The Gospel Express, is one of the area’s highest-rated programs in its format, beating all of the area’s commercial and non-commercial stations. Lessons in Jazz is a critically acclaimed program that has earned the respect of jazz aficionados and enthusiasts across the country. We also recognize our Hispanic community and play Latin music in all of its forms. The weekend Hispanic Sounds program ranks as the #1 radio broadcast for fans of Latin American music in Hampton Roads.

A station that has something for everybody, true music fans can tune in and appreciate the variety of music that can be heard on WHOV.

WHOV is also the home of Hampton University football and men and women’s basketball and broadcasts live games across the country and into the playoffs.

Ranked the 12th Best College Radio Station in the nation by The Princeton Review in 2003, WHOV was the only Historically Black College or University to achieve that honor.

The station currently boasts a roster of over 60 students who work in some major capacity with the station and accepts community volunteers as well. These people are the life blood of WHOV and are what makes us as great as we are. Their dedication, creativity, hard work and love for this genre of media allows WHOV to continue to compete in this market as well as set new trends everyday. Just ask the many students who have gone on to successful careers in radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, advertising, public relations, music and more. We also boast many alumni who are lawyers, doctors, teachers and the list goes on and on.

Experience the new standard of excellence, always taking it to a higher level, we are the Nation’s Number One College Radio Station, The Voice of Hampton University. “The Essence Of HU” 88.1 WHOV FM.


Radio station WHOV-FM is a non-commercial, educational station owned and operated by Hampton University. It serves as practicum for Hampton University students who participate in radio broadcasting. Of equal importance is its mission to promote the total educational program of the university. Beyond the confines of the college, the station must fulfill its obligation to “operate in the public interest, convenience and/or necessity” as mandated by the Federal Communications Commission.

In carrying out its mission, WHOV must adhere to the highest standards of professionalism in its total operation (management, programming and on-air performance). The teaching/learning process should be an integral part of the foregoing. Staff members involved in teaching must set the example for professionalism and demand a high quality of performance from the students who are learning.

The purpose of these guidelines is to establish a reasonable and orderly format for the efficient operation of the station.