Student Radio Station Returns During Probe
An Oakland Community College student radio station went back on the air Monday as officials investigated a weekend incident in which material some considered obscene was broadcast.
WORB-FM, a 10-watt station that broadcasts at 90.3 over a two-mile radius from its base in Farmington Hills, was off the air from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday by mutual agreement between the station and college administrators.
“We met with the administration this morning, and no more statements or decisions will be made until later this week,” when the radio’s governing board will meet, said interm station manager John Moshier, 20.
The station received two complaints Saturday afternoon when it aired taped music and a live interview with musician and convicted felon Kevin M. Allin, who performed under the stage name “G.G. Allin and the Toilet Rockers.” The lyrics contained numerous sexual references and profanities.
Allin, a 33-year-old New Hampshire native, is serving a sentence of 18 months to four years at a temporary state prison in Adrian. He pleaded no contest to assault charges filed in Ann Arbor last year in the beating and burning of a 25-year-old woman.
WORB’s Saturday afternoon show is open to non-students who want to bring in tapes and do their own programming, according to 21-year-old deejay Eric Dickerson, who is in charge of the show.
Dickerson said a man named Terry, whose last name he did not know, brought in a tape by Allin. Although Dickerson knew some material might be objectionable and asked Terry to give an appropriate warning, “He didn’t disclose to me the extreme vulgarity” of the material, Dickerson said.
When Dickerson became aware of what was going out over the air, he issued a disclaimer and signed the station off a half-hour early at 3:30 p.m.
Dickerson, who said he should have screened the tape before allowing it to be played, said he has voluntarily given up his show until OCC administrators finish their examination of the incident.
“I didn’t want to generate all this publicity,” he said.
The show was not taped because the station’s cassette deck was broken at the time, Moshier and Dickerson said. Neither wanted to comment on the exact content of the show.
Federal Communications Comission regulations prohibit obscenity in broadcasts, although courts have disagreed over what materials can be censored.
George Cartsonis, OCC director of college communications, said the college regards the station as a training experience that won’t always meet professional standards.
“In any learning experience, some mistakes will be made,” Cartsonis said. “This was an unfortunate one, but I should think a certain amount of leeway should be allowed to a student who is learning his trade as this student is.”— Bonnie DeSimone