Radio station back on the air

Jackie Valley

Streetsboro’s WSTB returns under new funding format

WSTB 88.9 FM, Streetsboro High School’s radio station, returned to the airwaves Thursday with a slightly new format, capping off almost 31 days of suspended operations.

Bob Long will continue as the station’s general manager despite almost resigning from his post when the situation seemed at a standstill. The Streetsboro Board of Education rejected his resignation at an Oct. 23 meeting.

“The reason I was going to resign was to get out of the way to get things moving,” Long said, adding he’s pleased the station is finally broadcasting again.

The station’s hiatus stemmed from the school district’s discovery of what administrators deemed to be two inappropriate pictures involving students on station computers.

One of the pictures depicted a former 18-year-old student in the presence of alcohol with other radio staff members at a New Year’s Eve party this year.

In a letter to the station’s staff, Long said WSTB’s operating funds will now come from the school budget as opposed to its former $40,000-$50,000 annual operating budget driven by listener support.

The change in the funding format will dictate a more internal approach to coverage, he said. The station, also known as AlterNation, will turn toward more school-related broadcasts, such as Rocket basketball games or other events, instead of being involved in the community.

“Internally, things will be different,” Long said. “Our internal focus will be different because of where the administration wants us to go.”

Kevin Grimm, president of the Streetsboro Board of Education, wrote in an e-mail he had not seen Long’s letter to radio staff discussing the changes.

“Operationally, the only real change is that all students will be directly supervised at all times they are in the station,” Grimm said. “On air, there will be no noticeable change.”

Long said rebuilding the computer networks in the station took almost three weeks, after the district signaled the go-ahead for getting the station back on air. The computers are now all on the school’s network, so administrators have a record of computer traffic.

Contact public affairs reporter Jackie Valley at [email protected].