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High School Radio Station WLMH Hopes to Regain License and Resume Broadcasting

WLMH Radio Room (Photo: WLMH)

WLMH Radio Room (Photo: WLMH)

On August 1, Little Miami Local Schools in Morrow, Ohio received word from the FCC that its renewal application for its nearly 42-year-old high school radio station WLMH 89.1 FM was being dismissed. In a letter from the FCC’s Media Bureau dated August 1, Little Miami Local Schools was informed that the since the station has been off the air for more than 12 months, the license has expired as a “matter of law.”

According to WLMH’s recent request for Special Temporary Authority (STA) to remain silent, the station went off the air on August 25, 2010 because of budget cuts. The STA request states,

On July 13, 2010 The Little Miami Local School District was declared by the state of Ohio to be in fiscal emergency and as such is being overseen by the Ohio Department of Education. The reason for suspending station operation is not having funds in the budget to continue the station operation…The station will resume full operation by September 30, 2012.”

The school year has yet to begin at Little Miami High School, with teachers set to arrive on August 30 and students returning after Labor Day on September 4.  WLMH General Manager (and English teacher) Wayne Lyke told me over email that although the “station is ready to operate,” it is unable to do so without FCC approval. When asked if he was planning to petition the FCC in order to get the license back, he said, “I am trying my best, but I do not have a lot of resources available to petition.”

Lyke told me that WLMH launched in 1970 and up until 2010 was broadcast during the school year (see it in action in this 2008 news story). He explained that WLMH has been off the air since 2010 due to the school district’s financial challenges at the time. He said, “The state of Ohio declared the district ‘bankrupt’ in 2010 and the radio station was considered an optional expense and was, as a result, eliminated.” Although the radio station has been “a topic of discussion” since it went off the air in 2010, Lyke added that, “it has not been an active academic program because of budgetary issues.”

Lyke is hoping to get the station back up and running this year. He said, “We would like to return the station to full operation if possible.  WLMH has been a resource for community outreach since 1971, acting as resource for conference basketball and football games as well as community news since 1970.” Lyke further explained, “There are a limited number of opportunities for today’s youth to explore the mass media.  The radio program provides a safe and friendly environment for today’s students.”

Lyke also told me, “We are trying to start the station again regardless of whether it is broadcast or internet.  Any support would be welcomed.  Our preference is that the citizens would appeal to their representatives so we could continue our station as a broadcast entity.”

WLMH DJ in 2009


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One Response to High School Radio Station WLMH Hopes to Regain License and Resume Broadcasting

  1. Anonymous October 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    I am fully aware that the school was contacted at least 3 times over the 3 year period they were off the air. They were dishonest to the FCC because they were off for more like 3 years as documented. The school officials were contacted a number of times by an individual that was trying to educate them and help them save their license. The school board of education ignored by this individual who told them their license was in jeopardy and was offering to help them for FREE.

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