Discussions fail and Streetsboro radio station GM resigns

Jackie Valley

Bob Long officially resigned as the general manager of WSTB-FM (88.9) yesterday, a day after the situation regarding the station’s temporary shutdown seemed to be heading toward a resolution.

“I received a copy of (the letter of resignation) mid-morning,” said Kevin Grimm, president of the Streetsboro Board of Education. “It’s a sad turn of events. It was unfortunate because I thought this whole situation was being worked out.”

In a statement from Streetsboro City Schools, Superintendent Linda Keller said the board will act on the letter at a special meeting tomorrow night. Long will continue teaching communications-related classes at Streetsboro High School.

“We regret that Mr. Long had to make this decision,” Keller said in the statement. “The district did not ask him to resign and in fact we discussed working together to resolve these issues.”

Long announced his plans Sunday night to resign Monday morning but did not do so after discussions with school officials.

Long could not be reached for comment. Bill Weisinger, volunteer program director at WSTB, said Long did not wish to conduct any interviews following his resignation.

“He’s drained,” he said. “He just needs to get back to his work as a teacher.”

Weisinger said the school district’s decision to install a new lock on the radio station’s door without notifying Long sparked his decision to resign.

But Grimm said the district installed a key lock on the door so administrators could get into the station, which previously only had a keypad lock not accessible to school officials. He said administrators gave Long a key for the lock, similar to locks used for all other classrooms.

School officials shut down the station housed in Streetsboro High School last Monday after an information technology employee found two photographs on station computers the administration deemed inappropriate.

Of the two photographs released, one depicts a former 18-year-old student in the presence of alcohol at a New Year’s party this year in Columbus with radio staff members. The other picture does not contain any alcohol.

Although Grimm said he received unhappy letters and phone calls, he said many community members also expressed support for the handling of the situation.

“I would rather be chastised for ensuring student safety than crucified for not,” he said, adding that a police investigation concluded no criminal activity occurred in the photographs.

Even so, Weisinger said recent events make it seem as if the school district does not want the station back on the air.

“It remains much ado about nothing,” he said.

Grimm said Keller and Principal Mike Berner met with the student staff of the radio station yesterday with the intent to “get it back on the air as soon as possible.”

To comply with state technology regulations, the district is installing fiber optic lines to link the station’s computers to the district. The station’s computers will be returned today.

To fill Long’s position as general manager, Grimm said the district will look first at current staff members before moving to an external search.

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