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College radio station KZSC. Photo: J. Waits

College Radio Watch: 50th for KZSC, Farewell WSGR, Free Speech, and more News

A mysterious situation is brewing at St. Clair County Community College’s college radio station WSGR-FM, where word has it that the station has been shut down after 43 years on the air. According to the Port Huron Times Herald,

The radio station was originally intended for students in the broadcasting degree program, which was discontinued four years ago. It was then turned into a student club activity.

‘Unfortunately, the radio club has also experienced little student interest and has been inactive for the past two years,’ the college said in a statement. ‘Recent events, including equipment in need of costly upgrades, the resignation of the station manager, and continued lack of interest by students are all factors which contributed to this decision.’

Leading up to the shut down, participants were initially asked to get background checks and were then told that live DJs were being eliminated at the station. On November 20, The Port Huron Times Herald published a piece from columnist and WSGR participant John Middleton, who wrote:

Well, two weeks ago we were all notified that we couldn’t go on air till we had background checks done. I filled out my paperwork and handed it in, hoping that when I arrived from my vacation, that I would be able to come back and get on air. I was saddened to be informed that that was no longer the case. The college decided that they no longer wanted live voices on the air. They only wanted prerecorded shows and a loop that played the same stuff over and over on repeat. This news crushed me and it did the same to the other DJs, especially our director Dale. We all put our hearts into this station, though we were volunteering we took our positions seriously and to heart.

There’s currently no WSGR website, its Facebook page has been removed and FCC records indicate that the station is still on the air, so it’s hard to know what the future is for 91.3 FM in Port Huron, Michigan. There is an active WSGR Listeners Facebook page, which shared the news, along with the comment, “Eventually, this will put the station’s non-commercial license and frequency back into the pool and available for a non-profit or community entity to pick it up. Hopefully, an organization with the right intentions will step forward and make it happen.”

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WVU Responds to Student Radio Strike at U92 in Wake of “Unsafe Atmosphere” (WAJR)

After Decades on Air, College Unplugs College Radio Station WSGR (Port Huron Times Herald)

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60 Years on Air: The Remarkable History of WTJU (UVa Today)

WPRK Celebrates 65 Years on the Air (Orlando Weekly)

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Awards and Accolades

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