General manager of off-air station quits

Jackie Valley

He hopes decision will prompt revival of WSTB for students

After 28 years at the station, Bob Long plans to resign today as general manager of WSTB-FM (88.9), following what he says has become a “stalemate” with the Streetsboro school district.

The school district temporarily shut down the station housed in the high school a week ago, after an information technology employee found two photographs on station computers that the administration deemed inappropriate.

In one of the photographs, which stem from a New Year’s party this year, a former 18-year-old student is pictured in the presence of alcohol. The other photograph does not contain any alcohol.

Long, who also teaches communications-related classes at Streetsboro High School, met with school officials Thursday and asked them to allow two network technologists pictured in the photographs to return to work. That night, supporters of the station met with community members at Streetsboro City Park to discuss the shutdown.

But since he has not received a decision from the district, Long said it’s time for him to move on from the situation so he can focus on teaching.

“I have my classes to teach,” he said. “I can do that now (that) I’ve made my decision. I feel better now. I can grade my papers.”

So far, Long said the computers seized from the station have not been returned. He said school officials previously told him they wanted to get the radio station back on the air by Tuesday.

Long said he hopes his resignation spurs the school district to reinstate the station soon.

“We need to get that going again because it’s a class,” he said. “They’re a great bunch of kids. Hopefully, this will do it.”

School officials could not be reached for comment.

The more than 30-year-old station, which is listener-supported and commercial-free, reaches 35,000 listeners across six counties in Northeast Ohio. The school district, however, has the license for the station.

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