As a radio geek, I’ve always been jealous of the kids who have had the opportunity to do radio beginning in high school.
Last fall when I visited WGBK at Glenbrook South High School near Chicago I was impressed by the opportunities that teenagers had to run a real radio station and was optimistic that they were in it for the long haul.
Unfortunately I heard some news today about plans for Hamilton High School station WHSS-FM to go off the air at the end of the month, 35 years after the station was founded in Hamilton, Ohio in May, 1975.
According to an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer:
“Says station manager Dave Spurrier, who will retire after teaching 31 years at Hamilton HS: ‘It’s with sadness that I inform you due to budgetary concerns a decision has been officially made to not only close the Broadcasting Arts career-technical education program at Hamilton High School, but also to permanently shut down the radio station. Our last day on the air will be Friday, May 28, 2010.’
The school board ‘is in the process of deciding whether it’s going to strike a deal with groups or individuals who wish to take over the license, or to simply to return it to the FCC,’ he says.”
It’s sad to see another school turning its back on radio. As many high school and college radio vets have pointed out, the experience of working at a station and being on the air has so many benefits to students beyond the assumed pathway to careers in radio. Most students participate in educational radio stations out of a love for music and the art of doing radio and don’t necessarily aspire to be commercial radio DJs. And once that license is sold off or turned back to the FCC there’s little chance in getting it back.
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