Brunswick Students Floating over Being on Air; the High School Starts a Teen-Operated Radio Station after Six Years of Planning

Article excerpt

Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI

BRUNSWICK -- The radio airwaves in Glynn County got a little more competition Thursday.

At high noon, the county's first student-run radio station, WBHS-LP at 106.7-FM, began broadcasting from its studio at Brunswick High School.

Licensed and regulated by the Federal Communications Commission, the 100-watt high school radio station is the only one of its kind in Georgia, according to state and federal records.

"We'll be broadcasting music mostly at first. But we plan on having a couple of interview programs. We also will have local news, weather and sports segments," said Drew Sturdivant, a senior and president of the school's Technology Student Association.

"Our target audience is mainly the school so we will have a mix of music," said Sturdivant, who will be one of the on-air personalities.

In a partnership with Glynn County's Emergency Management Agency, the station also will broadcast information from public safety officials in the event of emergencies.

"We helped them put up their broadcast tower and antenna," said agency director Capt. Richard Strickland of the Glynn County Police Department. "We'll be able to use their station for emergency news and information broadcasts during hurricanes and other severe weather and disasters."

Strickland said emergency personnel would handle such broadcasts, not students.

The noncommercial station has about a 10-mile broadcast radius, which means it can be heard in most of the county. Initially, it will broadcast from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, said Patrick Gunter, a technology education teacher with a broadcasting license who is one of the faculty advisers.

Gunter said there isn't enough programming available to broadcast during the weekends. But the next step will be to expand to an 18-hour program format from the initial 12-hour format, he said.

"It's all going to be pre-recorded programming at first. Nothing live," said Ralph Gronto, director of technology and career education for the Glynn County School District.

TRAINING ON THE AIR

The radio station is designed to give students hands-on training in radio broadcasting and engineering. …